Policy Observatory

Dutch DPA: Microsoft breaches data protection law with Windows 10

Fri, 2017-10-13 14:09

Microsoft breaches the Dutch data protection law by processing personal data of people that use the Windows 10 operating system on their computers. This is the conclusion of the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) after its investigation of Windows 10 Home and Pro.

Leaked document: EU Presidency calls for massive internet filtering

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:23

A Council of the European Union document leaked by Statewatch on 30 August reveals that during the summer months, that Estonia (current EU Presidency) has been pushing the other Member States to strengthen indiscriminate internet surveillance, and to follow in the footsteps of China regarding online censorship. Standing firmly behind its belief that filtering the uploads is the way to go, the Presidency has worked hard in order to make the proposal for the new copyright Directive even more harmful than the Commission’s original proposal, and pushing it further into the realms of illegality.

Denmark: Targeted ANPR data retention turned into mass surveillance

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:20

Since mid 2016, Denmark has a nationwide automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system with stationary cameras at 24 locations and mobile cameras mounted on 48 police cars. The ANPR system is currently being integrated with POL-INTEL, the new Danish system for intelligence-led policing (predictive policing), which is supplied by Palantir Technologies. Expansion of the ANPR system with more cameras can be expected in the coming years.

Cross-border access to data: EDRi delivers international NGO position to Council of Europe

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:18

Today, 18 September 2017, a global coalition of civil society organisations, led by European Digital Rights (EDRi), submitted to the Council of Europe its comments on how protect human rights when developing new rules on cross-border access to electronic evidence (“e-evidence”). The Council of Europe is currently preparing an additional protocol to the Cybercrime Convention.

Cross-border access to data has to respect human rights principles

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:14

The Council of Europe started preparing an additional protocol to the Cybercrime Convention – a new tool for law enforcement authorities to have access to data in the context of criminal investigations.

Secret documents reveal: BND attacked Tor and advises not to use it

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:12

The German spy agency BND developed a system to monitor the anonymity network Tor and warned federal agencies that its anonymity is “ineffective”. This is what emerges from a series of secret documents published by the German Netzpolitik blog. The spies handed a prototype of this technology over to the US National Security Agency (NSA), in expectation of a favour in return.

Did the EU Commission hide a study that did not suit their agenda?

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:05

In 2013, the European Commission announced a launch of a study on copyright – and never published its results. Julia Reda, a Member of the European Parliament, tabled a freedom of information request on this issue and was eventually granted access to the study. Even though the independent study was finalised in 2015 and financed by public funds, the European Commission failed to publish the research.

Human Rights Court sets limits on right to monitor employees

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:04

On 5 September 2017, the Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled on the Bărbulescu v. Romania case. It found that there was a breach of the right to family life and correspondence (Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights), as claimed by Mr Bărbulescu.

Leaked document: Does the EU Commission really plan to tackle illegal content online?

Fri, 2017-09-22 23:02

On 14 September, Politico published a leaked draft of the European Commission’s Communication “Tackling Illegal Content Online”. The Communication contains “guidelines” to tackle illegal content, while remaining coy in key areas. It is expected to be officially published on 27 September.

Spanish police raid .Cat domain name registry offices

Fri, 2017-09-22 22:59

Spanish police has raided the offices of Fundació puntCAT, the registry operator for the .cat domain name, just days after a court ruled to shut down domains referring to the independence referendum.

Founder of fan-made subtitle site convicted for copyright Infringement

Tue, 2017-09-19 16:09

A 32 year old Swedish national has been convicted to a $27.000 fine and a year of probation after he was found guilty of copyright infringement for distributing subtitles of copyrighted movies. 

China makes chat group administrators criminally liable for unlawful messages

Tue, 2017-09-19 13:38

New regulations in China will make chat group administrators responsible — and even criminally liable — for messages containing politically sensitive material, rumors and violent or pornographic content. The regulations also demand that all chat room users in mainland China verify their real identity.

World Wide Web Consortium abandons consensus and decides to standardize DRM

Tue, 2017-09-19 13:35

World Wide Web Consortium overruled dozens of members' objections to publishing a DRM standard without a compromise to protect accessibility, security research, archiving, and competition. EFF appealed the decision which concluded with a deeply divided membership. Only 58.4% of the group voted to go on with publication. This is an unprecedented move in a body that has always operated on consensus and compromise.


Spanish DPA fines Facebook 1,2 million euro

Wed, 2017-09-13 20:28

The Spanish Data Protection Authority fined Facebook with 1,2 million euro for several breaches of the Spanish Data Protection Law. This investigation is a part of a joint initiative of DPAs from Belgium, France, Hamburg and The Netherlands. Facebook appealed the decision. Full press release of the Spanish DPA is available in English here.

Chinese man sentenced to prison for selling VPN software

Tue, 2017-09-05 14:34

A Chinese man running a small-scale website on which he sold VPN software has been sentenced to 9 months in prison.

How the GDPR will disrupt Google and Facebook

Fri, 2017-09-01 13:32

Google and Facebook will be disrupted by the new European data protection rules that are due to apply in May 2018. The companies will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission.

Antitrust regulators raise the issue of tech giants' monopoly over customer's online data

Wed, 2017-08-30 11:56

Tech companies earn billions of euros each year from the data they gather from people’s increasingly digital lives.

But to prove these companies have fallen afoul of Europe’s tough competition laws, regulators like Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top antitrust enforcer, must show that their dominance over vast amounts of people’s data has hampered consumer choice by relegating potential rivals to the sidelines, according to competition lawyers and policymakers.

Finnish PM urges fast-track of intelligence law

Wed, 2017-08-23 12:39

Juha Sipilä, Finland’s prime minister considers that the right to life is more important than the right to privacy and urges lawmakers to agree new rules that would give the country’s intelligence agencies more surveillance powers.

New administrative notice-and-takedown procedure in Greece

Tue, 2017-08-15 20:34
Greece has recently adopted a new administrative procedure to tackle online copyright infringements. According to this provision, which was transposed into the Greek Copyright Act (Law 2121/1993) as Article 66E, in case of alleged online copyright infringement, copyright holders shall have the right to file an application with the Committee for the notification of online copyright infringements.

U.S. judge says LinkedIn cannot block startup from public profile data

Tue, 2017-08-15 16:00

A U.S. judge on Monday ruled that Microsoft Corp's LinkedIn unit cannot prevent a startup from accessing public profile data, in a test of how much control a social media site can wield over information its users have deemed to be public.