Stories by Loek Essers

Facebook, under siege, slams European privacy regulators

Facebook has warned that overlapping national probes into its privacy policy could severely endanger the European Union's economy if such a fragmented strategy is continued and applied to other businesses.

EU to revamp laws to tackle online crime and terrorism

The European Commission plans sweeping rule changes to better combat online terrorism and cybercrime.

EU cars to get automatic emergency call system from 2018

Cars and light vans in the European Union will be fitted with an automatic emergency call device as of March 2018, now that the European Parliament approved rules that make such a system mandatory.

Google aims to transform European newsrooms

Google will give €150 million (US$163 million) to European publishers and digital journalism startups in the next three years as part of a wider package that aims to support the news sector.

To compete with Silicon Valley, European startups need to grow fast

Europe is still lacking real tech giants like Google, Facebook or Amazon, but it looks like things are slowly changing. However, if European companies want to start competing with Silicon Valley, they have to start thinking internationally from the beginning, says BlaBlaCar COO Nicolas Brusson.

Making software to block annoying ads is legal, German court rules

AdBlock Plus users in Germany can breathe easily: A court there has ruled that the browser extension for filtering annoying ads is legal to make and distribute.

EU data protection reform triggers warning from civil rights groups worldwide

European Union data-protection reform proposals could undermine basic privacy rights globally, a growing chorus of critics say.

Booking.com will no longer require European hotels to offer it better room prices

Europe's largest hotel reservation site Booking.com has settled antitrust cases against it in Sweden, Italy and France over contractual clauses it used to oblige hotels to offer it the same room prices as competitors, or better.

Twitter accounts outside of the US now fall under EU data protection rules

Twitter revised its privacy policy over the weekend, changing where it handles the account information of users outside the U.S. and clarifying some points.

Should computers determine how our kids learn to talk? Maybe not

Increasingly, computers are deciding what news stories we read, and may even end up teaching our children to speak. But whether we should allow them to is becoming the subject of a heated debate related to the use of algorithms.

Proving Google's abuse could be difficult for the EU

The European Commission might have a hard time proving that Google abused its supposed dominant market power in the European search market.

EU files antitrust charges against Google over search services

The European Commission has charged Google with abusing its dominant position in Internet search services in Europe by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product, Google Shopping. It also opened an antitrust investigation into Google's Android mobile operating system.

Files encrypted by CoinVault ransomware? New free tool may decrypt them

Victims of the CoinVault ransomware might be able to decrypt their files with a free tool released by Kaspersky Lab together with the Dutch police.

China's 'Great Cannon' DDoS tool enforces Internet censorship

China is deploying a tool that can be used to launch huge distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to enforce censorship. Researchers have dubbed it "the Great Cannon."

Hacked French broadcaster's passwords revealed in TV broadcast

The hacked French-language TV network TV5Monde might have made it easier for hackers to compromise its systems and social media accounts. One of its employees was interviewed about the hack on TV -- in front of a wall of posters that appeared to contain usernames and passwords for the channel's social media accounts.