Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, set for expanded role in next Commission

As the antitrust investigations stack up on US tech giants’ home turf there’s no sign of pressure letting up across the pond. European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen today unveiled her picks for the next team of commissioners who will take up their mandates on November 1 — giving an expanded role to competition […]

Facebook succeeds in blocking German FCO’s privacy-minded order against combining user data

Facebook has succeeded in blocking a pioneering order by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year that would have banned it from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — without their consent. Pioneering because the antitrust regulator had liaised with EU privacy authorities during a […]

EU-US Privacy Shield legal showdown now set for July 9

A legal challenge to a data transfer mechanism that’s used by thousands of companies to authorize taking European citizens’ personal data to the US for processing has been delayed. As we reported last month, the General Court of the EU had set a date of July 1 and 2 to hear the complaint brought by […]

Facebook fails to stop Europe’s top court weighing in on EU-US data transfers

Facebook has failed in its last ditch attempt to block a referral by Ireland’s High Court of questions over the legality of EU-US data transfer mechanisms to the region’s top court. Ireland’s Supreme Court unanimously refused its request to appeal the decision Friday, via Reuters. Irish law does not include a provision to appeal against […]

UK Internet attitudes study finds public support for social media regulation

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has published a new joint report and stat-fest on Internet attitudes and usage with the national data protection watchdog, the ICO — a quantitative study to be published annually which they’re calling the Online Nation report. The new structure hints at the direction of travel for online regulation in the UK, […]

EU-US Privacy Shield complaint to be heard by Europe’s top court in July

A legal challenge to the EU-US Privacy Shield, a mechanism used by thousands of companies to authorize data transfers from the European Union to the US, will be heard by Europe’s top court this summer. The General Court of the EU has set a date of July 1 and 2 to hear the complaint brought […]

Facebook still a great place to amplify pre-election junk news, EU study finds

A study carried out by academics at Oxford University to investigate how junk news is being shared on social media in Europe ahead of regional elections this month has found individual stories shared on Facebook’s platform can still hugely outperform the most important and professionally produced news stories, drawing as much as 4x the volume […]

The EU will reportedly investigate Apple following anti-competition complaint from Spotify

The spat between Spotify and Apple is going to be the focus on a new investigation from the EU, according to a report from the FT. The paper reported today that the European Commission (EC), the EU’s regulatory body, plans to launch a competition inquiry around Spotify’s claim that the iPhone-maker uses its position as […]

When it comes to elections, Facebook moves slow, may still break things

This week, Facebook invited a small group of journalists — which didn’t include TechCrunch — to look at the “war room” it has set up in Dublin, Ireland, to help monitor its products for election-related content that violates its policies. (“Time and space constraints” limited the numbers, a spokesperson told us when he asked why […]

Facebook accused of blocking wider efforts to study its ad platform

Facebook has been accused of blocking the ability of independent researchers to effectively study how political disinformation flows across its ad platform. Adverts that the social network’s business is designed to monetize have — at the very least — the potential to influence people and push voters’ buttons, as the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data misuse […]