Category Archive: Competition

Data consent Part Two: For the sake of Europe’s privacy, it’s time we moved on from the unworkable consent model

 By Simon Davies Last week I published a post that questioned whether Europe’s data consent regime was any longer sustainable. The response to this blog was interesting. Rather than being pilloried by colleagues, I received overwhelming positive comments, both privately and on Twitter. Many took the view that consent was becoming meaningless, and that either …

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MEP’s start to militate about the EU Google investigation as the Competition Commission shows its true colours

By Simon Davies Members of the European Parliament are starting to become militant about the failure of the EU competition authority to take action over mounting complaints about the activities of Google. A statement endorsed by MEPs has complained that “despite four years of investigation and three sets of commitment proposals, the Commission has achieved …

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US wiretap case could be the key to Google transparency compliance in Europe

By Simon Davies In one of the most important online privacy developments of recent years, the Italian data protection regulator has issued a ruling that requires Google not only to explicitly inform users of the extent of commercial processing of their data, but to also secure customer consent before that data can be used. It …

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European Commission to citizens: “Human rights are trumped by commercial secrecy – get over it”

By Simon Davies Earlier this week the Secretary General of the European Commission issued a volatile administrative ruling that had the remarkable effect of simultaneously retarding both privacy and transparency. The decision by Europe’s top civil servant came after a two-month consideration of an appeal by the Privacy Surgeon against the Commission’s refusal to disclose …

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Document access request goes to appeal as the EU Commission admits possible flaws in its Google investigation

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon today filed an appeal over the European Commission’s refusal to release documents related to its current investigation into Google. Our request for documents – covering eighteen categories – was submitted in mid November. It sought data related to the Commission’s operational procedures and requested clarification of the conduct of …

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EU document access request raises uncomfortable questions about Google antitrust investigation

By Simon Davies Earlier today I submitted a comprehensive access request to the EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, seeking detailed information about his investigative procedures and requesting clarification of a number of aspects of the conduct of his current inquiry into Google. The request, which can also be read by clicking the link in the …

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Analysis: Why the EU’s competition warning shot at Google is good news for privacy

 By Simon Davies The EU competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, has put Google on notice that it risks huge fines if it cannot propose improvements to its search business. His comments – at a press conference in Brussels yesterday – appear to have put the advertising giant into checkmate. “I concluded that the proposals that Google …

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