Category Archive: Regulatory action

Europe’s shame: how governments are conspiring to cripple data protection rights

 By Simon Davies It’s official. The Council of the European Union, representing Europe’s governments, is moving swiftly to cripple data protection rights for half a billion people. As noted in a previous blog on the Privacy Surgeon, over recent months a deep chasm has emerged over Europe’s proposed new data protection framework. If this chasm …

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A speech reveals Google’s poetic deception over EU privacy law

By Simon Davies Last month, Google gave one of its most impressive public performances of the year – one that was filled with strategic artistry that would do justice to Mark Antony. It’s likely that you overlooked this precious moment, which is a pity because – like a Bill Hicks comedy sketch – it was …

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Google’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ offensive goes spectacularly off the rails

By Simon Davies Google’s European roadshow, which the company hopes will destabilise a new EU court ruling on the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF), has backfired spectacularly. Google had hoped that the roadshow would trigger a division within the digital rights movement and stoke a media firestorm of protest against a decision by Europe’s highest …

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Why I decided to boycott Google’s sham ‘Right to be Forgotten’ road show

 By Simon Davies Earlier this week, in a futile moment of wild optimism, I emailed a prominent Google executive to ask if I could join an expert panel for the road show events that the company is currently rolling out across Europe to fuel dissent about a legal principle called the Right to be Forgotten …

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Privacy Surgeon lodges complaint against four police forces over border violations

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon has lodged a detailed complaint with the European Commission against four national police authorities, setting out allegations of serious border control violations. The complaint alleges that police in Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy have re-introduced border checks by stealth at some rail crossings into their respective countries. This action …

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A global police misconduct crisis and the Total Surveillance solution

By Simon Davies Each year, between five and six hundred people are killed by US police. To put the figure in perspective, that’s more than twelve times the number of lawful executions across the nation. Except that in this situation most of the victims are declared innocent. In human terms, this is a sobering statistic. …

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Google Glass goes on sale today – but there are relatively few circumstances where you can legally and safely use it

By Simon Davies Google’s controversial Glass technology goes on sale to the public for the first time today amidst a flamboyantly promoted one-day sale across the US – but “buyer beware”. The experience might not be as rich as you imagine. Ignore for a moment the rising tide of public concern about Glass – or …

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Audio interview: Europe’s new privacy supremo criticizes the US and commits to building EU harmonisation

By Simon Davies Europe’s new data protection and privacy supremo has lashed out at the Obama administration, accusing the US of failing to deliver meaningful safeguards in the wake of the Snowden revelations. In a wide-ranging audio interview with the Privacy Surgeon, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin – president of the French privacy watchdog CNIL and also the …

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The Trans-Atlantic divide on privacy just became a little wider

By Simon Davies Over the past three weeks the so-called “Trans-Atlantic Divide” on privacy between the US and Europe has widened significantly. This shift could indicate new dynamics in the global push on America to institute more meaningful privacy safeguards for non-US persons. In this short period the European Parliament and the European courts have …

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European court rules mass surveillance of communications unlawful

By Simon Davies In one of the most significant civil liberties developments of recent years, the European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU Data Retention Directive  – which requires the mass collection of citizen communications data – is incompatible with the Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights. The controversial 2006 Directive requires communications providers …

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