Brussels seeks to demand more from Big Tech in revamp of internet rules

The EU is considering two-tier legislation to impose greater responsibility on Big Tech over removal of illegal content and the fight against counterfeit products in the first overhaul of the bloc’s internet rules in two decades.

The bloc’s preferred option is to adopt “asymmetric measures” where more is demanded from Big Tech to enforce policing of online services and the smooth functioning of cross-border digital services, officials in Brussels said.

The move comes as groups such as Facebook and Google are accused of using their clout to undermine European rivals and confirms Big Tech’s worst fears that the rules will hit them harder.

“Asymmetric measures with stronger obligations for very large platforms, further clarifications of the liability regime for online intermediaries and EU governance with reinforced oversight and enforcement . . . [is] the preferred option,” a leaked document said.

Big Tech, mostly Silicon Valley-based groups, are likely to see

Read More

5 Rules to Win Back Trust, Credibility, and Digital Customers

As a long-time business executive and adviser to entrepreneurs, I see a definitive shift away from customer trust in traditional business messages, and the executives who deliver them.

Today’s digitally distracted consumer is led to trust only things that they see with their own eyes. They want the raw data versus a polished message.

This distrust for the scripted message has led to a new demand for unfiltered marketing, and the emergence of business credibility heroes, like Elon Musk, with his bold statements, and sometime villains, such as Mark Zuckerberg defending Facebook privacy practices.

I just finished a new book, “Unfiltered Marketing,” by Stephen Denny and Paul Leinberger, which helped me put this digital communication transformation into perspective for all business owners.

I believe that the sooner every entrepreneur and brand builder adapts to this emerging trend, the sooner they will find success. I summarize the key elements of the

Read More

China Drafts Rules on Mobile Apps’ Collection of Personal Data | Technology News

(Reuters) – China unveiled draft guidelines on Tuesday seeking to limit the scope of mobile apps’ collection of personal data in the latest attempt to curb the sprawling technology sector.

The set of draft rules published by the Cyberspace Administration of China covers 38 types of apps from online shopping and instant messaging to ride-hailing and bike sharing.

China has increased scrutiny of its technology sector in recent weeks, last month drafting anti-monopoly rules for tech firms.

It has also expressed concerns about data protection and consumer rights, while authorities have on a number of occasions ordered apps to be suspended for mishandling user information.

“In recent years, mobile internet applications have been widely used and have played an important role in promoting economic and social development and serving people’s livelihoods,” the cyber administration said in a statement.

“At the same time, it is common for apps to collect …

Read More

Working around Covid-19: the software suite helping businesses operate safely | The new rules of work

With this year’s ongoing disruption to working lives, business leaders have struggled to take stock of changing norms, changing attitudes and changing concerns.

But one enduring concern centres on workplace safety in the context of the global health pandemic. To better understand these concerns, ServiceNow recently commissioned The Work Survey, a global survey of 9,000 executives and employees. The report found that 60% of employees believed their company would prioritise business continuity over workplace safety and, even if a company put safety first, 46% of employees doubted their employer would take the necessary steps to ensure their safety.

These apprehensions were anticipated by ServiceNow, which is why at the beginning of the pandemic the company launched the Safe Workplace suite, a collection of apps that allay staff concerns by streamlining the complex health and safety logistics of reopening large business premises – issues that cut across departments such as HR,

Read More

UK To Impose Tougher Rules On Google, Facebook

Britain announced Friday it will set up a watchdog to regulate tech giants such as Facebook and Google, help protect smaller competitors and give consumers more control over personal data.

Britain’s announcement comes as US tech giants are facing increasing scrutiny around the world over their power and as other countries step up their regulatory powers.

“Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren’t pushed out,” said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

The measures are due to come into force after Britain goes it alone at the end of a post-Brexit transition period from the European Union.

Next month the EU is to present its own major legislation called the Digital Services Act, which will set out rules for strict oversight over big tech.

Britain’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the new regulator, the Digital Markets Unit, will “govern the

Read More

Britain to curb Google and Facebook with tougher competition rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will impose a new competition regime next year to prevent Google and Facebook using their dominance to push out smaller firms and disadvantage consumers.

The code will be enforced by a dedicated unit within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which this year said it needed new laws to keep the tech giants in check.

Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising, accounting for around 80% of 14 billion pounds spent in 2019, Britain’s competition regulator the CMA said.

The two U.S. companies have said they are committed to working with the British government and regulator on digital advertising, including giving users greater control over their data and the ads they are served.

While “unashamedly pro-tech”, Britain’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said there was a growing consensus that the concentration of power in a small number of companies was curtailing growth, reducing innovation and having negative impacts

Read More

EU takes a leap forward in supporting consumer device ‘right to repair’ rules

The European Parliament has signaled a move toward ‘right to repair’ rules in order to improve consumer choice and confidence in tech products. 

On Wednesday, members of the EU parliament voted to support consumers’ “right to repair,” with 395 in favor, 94 against, and 207 abstentions.

The vote backs wider aspirations of the EU Commission (EC) in increasing the durability and longevity of electronics in order to reduce levels of e-waste across the region. 

See also: Macs can now be repaired by some independent shops, says Apple

In March, the EC laid out a number of proposals including the right to repair consumer products including PCs, smartphones, and tablets, as well as potential rules requiring devices to be designed with sustainability, energy efficiency, and recycling suitability in mind.

The measures were proposed as part of the EC’s Circular Economy Action Plan (.PDF), a framework for creating “a regenerative growth model

Read More

Tech giants face fines or even break-up if they breach new rules: EU’s Breton

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Tech giants that break new EU rules aimed at curbing their powers could face fines, be ordered to change their practices or even be forced to break up their European businesses, the bloc’s digital chief Thierry Breton said on Wednesday.

Breton’s comments come two weeks before he is due to present draft rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), which are likely to affect big U.S. players Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.

The DSA will force tech companies to explain how their algorithms work, open up their advertising archives to regulators and researchers, and do more to tackle hate speech, harmful content and counterfeit products on their platforms.

The DMA takes aim at online gatekeepers with a list of requirements, such as sharing certain kinds of data with rivals and regulators; and outlawed practices, such as favouring their own services.

Read More

EU plans new rules giving Europeans more control of data

LONDON (AP) — The European Union is laying out new standards for data giving Europeans more control over their personal information as it seeks to counter the power of U.S. and Chinese tech companies.

The EU’s executive Commission on Wednesday proposed new rules on the handling of data that would aim to give people, businesses and government bodies the confidence to share their information in a European data market.

The proposed legislation would would spell out how industrial and government data – normally off limits because of intellectual property rights, commercial confidentiality or privacy rights – could be shared to help society or boost the economy. The bloc’s strict privacy rules would still apply, with mechanisms in place to preserve confidentiality or anonymity.

The aim is to drive innovation in areas such as health care or climate change by allowing data to be more easily shared with companies or researchers.

Read More

Alibaba CEO says China’s draft anti-monopoly rules ‘timely and necessary’

By Yingzhi Yang and Josh Horwitz



a screen shot of a man in a suit and tie: World Internet Conference in Wuzhen


© Reuters/ALY SONG
World Internet Conference in Wuzhen

WUZHEN, China (Reuters) – China’s move to draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behaviour by internet platforms is “timely and necessary”, Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said on Monday.

Speaking at the World Internet Conference, Zhang said Chinese internet companies have moved to the forefront of the global industry with the help of government policies, but regulations need to evolve.

The industry’s “development and government supervision is a relationship that promotes and relies on each other, so that platform enterprises cannot only develop well themselves, but also serve the sustainable and healthy development of the whole society,” he said.



a man wearing a suit and tie: World Internet Conference in Wuzhen


© Reuters/ALY SONG
World Internet Conference in Wuzhen

Video: RCEP trade pact is a ‘wake-up call’ for the U.S., business council says (CNBC)

RCEP trade pact is a ‘wake-up call’ for the U.S., business council says

Read More