Stories by Loek Essers

Facebook app gives free Internet to mobile users in Zambia

Facebook introduced an app on Thursday that will give mobile phone subscribers in Zambia access to a set of free basic mobile data services -- and Facebook.

'Right to be forgotten' ruling is unworkable and misguided, UK Lords say

The EU court ruling that gives people the "right to be forgotten" by search engines is misguided in principle and unworkable in practice, said a U.K. House of Lords subcommittee Wednesday.

Twitter acquires image search firm Madbits

Madbits, a year-old company that uses deep learning technology to assign relevant information to raw images, has sold itself to Twitter, according to the Madbits website.

Privacy groups call for action to stop Facebook's off site user tracking plans

U.S. and EU privacy and consumer groups called on privacy regulators to stop Facebook's plans to gather the Internet browsing patterns of its users while they visit other sites.

EU, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo meet on 'right to be forgotten' but questions remain

European data protection authorities still have questions after meeting with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo about the implementation of a recent ruling that gave European citizens the right to be forgotten by search engines.

The Pirate Bay makes searching for torrents easier on mobile devices

The Pirate Bay launched a mobile site on Thursday to make it easier to navigate the search engine for torrent files on mobile devices.

EU hears Google, Microsoft, Yahoo on 'right to be forgotten'

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are meeting with European data protection authorities Thursday to discuss how to implement a recent ruling that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.

Europeans call for a single EU copyright to get more access to online services

Many European consumers are frustrated by frequently being denied access to online services outside of their home countries and are calling on the European Commission to implement a 'common copyright' in Europe. This pits them against publishers and broadcasters, who want enforcement of existing rules instead, a public consultation on EU digital copyright reform showed.

Dutch spy agencies can receive NSA data, court rules

Dutch intelligence services can receive bulk data that might have been obtained by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) through mass data interception programs, even though collecting data that way is illegal for the Dutch services, the Hague District Court ruled Wednesday.

Google rival slams EU Commission over antitrust settlement proposals

One of the complainants in an antitrust case against Google has slammed the European Commission for apparently adopting wholesale Google's proposal to settle the case, while giving complainants no fair chance to express their views on the settlement. Meanwhile, the Commission is considering revising the terms of the settlement, according to media reports.

Members of UK Parliament call for judicial review of data retention law

Two members of the British Parliament are seeking judicial review of a surveillance law that extends U.K. data retention rules and was rushed through by the government.

Dutch courts lets ebook reseller stay online

Dutch publishers have failed in their efforts to immediately close down ebook reselling site Tom Kabinet.

EC slams Apple for in-app purchase policies

The European Commission took Apple to task Friday for failing to firmly commit to stopping inadvertent in-app purchases, particularly those made by children.

UK rushes through surveillance bill, extending data retention rules

The U.K. government has pushed through a new surveillance law to replace one a European Union court said interfered with fundamental privacy rights -- but, say civil rights campaigners, the new law is worse than the one it replaces.

EU privacy watchdogs to quiz Google, Microsoft on 'right to be forgotten'

European privacy authorities have invited Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to discuss the implementation of a landmark ruling by Europe's top court that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.