Stories by Loek Essers

Google to change UK privacy policy after regulatory pressure

Google has agreed to improve the information it provides to people about how it collects personal data in the U.K., after it was required to do so by country's data protection authority.

EU air passenger database about to take flight, but critics want it grounded

The European Commission is reportedly revving up the engines on a controversial plan to retain passenger flight data across the EU, although a prior attempt got its wings clipped due to privacy concerns.

France wants to hold social media networks accountable for hate speech

French president François Hollande wants to hold social media companies accountable for hate speech spread on their services.

Privacy tsar to EC: Wrap up EU-US data exchange talks quickly or else

The European Commission must soon strike a deal to regulate personal data transfers of EU citizens to the U.S., Germany's federal data protection commissioner warned, saying further delays could trigger a suspension of those transfers, with dire economic consequences.

Mass surveillance 'endangers fundamental human rights,' says European study

Mass Internet surveillance endangers fundamental human rights and has not helped to prevent terrorist attacks, a top European human rights body concluded after analyzing documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.

Facebook in Turkey ordered to block material insulting Prophet Muhammad

A Turkish court has reportedly ordered Facebook to block access to pages that share material insulting the Prophet Muhammad, threatening to block access to the site in the whole country if it does not comply.

Facebook privacy class action suit in Austria to kick off in April

An Austrian court has set a date for Facebook to face a class action complaint about its privacy policy from 25,000 of its users.

Dutch authorities fine Uber €10,000 a pop

Dutch authorities have started fining ride-hailing service Uber Technologies €10,000 (about US$11,200) every time they catch a driver using the UberPop service, which is banned in the Netherlands.

EU should oblige Internet firms to hand over encryption keys, says antiterrorist advisor

Internet and telecommunications companies should be obliged to share encryption keys with police and intelligence agencies to help them fight terrorism, the European Union's Counter-Terrorism Coordinator has advised.

Calls for European ISPs to filter content could be illegal, EU council documents suggest

Last week justice ministers from across the European Union called on ISPs to conduct voluntary censorship of online content -- but documents in preparation for a meeting of telecoms ministers suggest such a move could be illegal.

Dutch e-book resale site has to close for now, court rules

Dutch e-book resale site Tom Kabinet has to close because, at least at the moment, it cannot prove that all the books offered for sale on the site have been legally obtained, an Amsterdam court ruled Tuesday.

Copyright law needs overhaul to meet Internet needs, says EU lawmaker

European copyright laws are too fragmented and ill-suited to online usage today: Legislators drafting new rules should limit copyright terms; allow unrestricted hypertext linking; exempt public-sector works from copyright; harmonize rules to simplify cross-border commerce, and restrict the use of DRM.

Amazon got likely illegal tax deal in just two weeks, EU Commission says

Luxembourg needed just 11 working days to approve a probably illegal tax deal allowing Amazon.com to allocate a large part of its European Union profits to one of its companies that does not have to pay tax, the European Commission said.

US and UK to step up cyber defense efforts

The U.S. and Britain are stepping up their collaboration to fight digital threats. They are planning to launch more attacks against each other to test their defenses and scare away possible enemies.

Last call for last-minute flight booking charges, EU court rules

It's last call for last-minute flight booking charges in Europe: Websites must show the total price for a flight right from the outset, and not wait till the last screen before booking to display additional charges, the European Union's top court ruled on Thursday.