Stories by Loek Essers

Germany orders Google to stop illegal user data processing

As part of an EU-wide crackdown on Google's data collection practices, Germany has ordered the company to change its user data processing, which is in violation of the country's laws.

European Commission details grounds for Apple tax probe

The European Commission believes Apple could have received significant tax reductions from Irish authorities, and is focusing its investigation on tax rulings that favored two Apple subsidiaries, according to a newly revealed Commission document.

Facebook's new ad sales plan raises hackles in Germany

As Facebook began rolling out a global advertising network on Monday that will capitalize on all it knows from tracking users across the web, German consumer organizations immediately raised their voices in protest.

Apple tax probe details to be published by European Commission on Tuesday

Apple's alleged favorable tax treatment by the Irish government will come under renewed scrutiny Tuesday, when the European Commission publishes its reasons for opening an in-depth investigation into the company's tax affairs.

Forget 'airplane mode': devices are decreed okay for inflight use in Europe

Airline passengers traveling on European airline flights will be able to leave their mobile phones and other connected e-gadgets on throughout the entire flight, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said Friday.

Google gets privacy policy lesson from EU data protection authorities

European Union privacy regulators want Google to make its privacy policies easier to find and understand, with exhaustive lists of what data it holds and processes, in order to comply with EU law, they told the company this week.

Right-to-be-forgotten 'dashboard' to help EU's data protection authorities

An electronic case-handling dashboard and a network of specialists will be created to help EU data protection authorities deal with complaints filed by people whose requests to delete search results based on a recent "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling is denied.

French crime database breaches privacy rights, EU court rules

Storing someone's private information in a crime database for 20 years when charges against that person have been dropped violates privacy rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday.

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner

European government agencies should adopt open document formats in their dealings with citizens, outgoing European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has urged.

German court lifts countrywide ban on UberPop

The Frankfurt Regional Court has lifted a nationwide preliminary ban on Uber Technologies' ride-sharing service UberPop, ruling that there is no urgent need for an emergency ban.

Mail.Ru buys rest of Russia's VKontakte, ending shareholder dispute

Internet conglomerate Mail.Ru has at last acquired total control of Russian social network VKontakte after a lingering shareholder dispute involving allegations of embezzlement and the involvement of the Russian secret service.

Netflix will launch on French telco's set-top boxes

Video on-demand service Netflix is expanding in Europe and will soon appear on the set-top boxes of French telecom operator Bouygues Telecom, the operator said on Monday.

Google acquires online survey specialist Polar

Google has acquired Polar, a company that specializes in online polls that allows its customers to get "instant opinions on anything."

Swedish ISP urges European Commission to end 'illegal data retention'

Swedish law requiring network operators to retain communications metadata continues to breach European Union rules, according to Swedish ISP Bahnhof, which has asked the European Commission to intervene.

German court denies Uber's request for suspension of nationwide ban

The Frankfurt Regional Court has denied Uber Technologies' request to suspend a nationwide ban in Germany on its ride-sharing UberPop service, a court spokesman said Thursday.