• FTC must open up about Google, online platform investigations, bipartisan senators say
    09 April 2019
    A bipartisan pair of prominent US senators asked the Federal Trade Commission today to break with precedent and disclose any ongoing privacy or competition investigations of Google and other big online platforms.

    In a letter to the five members of the FTC, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020; and Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, said they want the FTC to “take action” over “potential privacy, data security, and antitrust violations involving online platforms.”

    Klobuchar didn't go as far as another Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is demanding the unwinding of a series of acquisitions by Google, Facebook and Amazon. But the bipartisan appeal by Klobuchar and Blackburn to prod the FTC into disclosure of ongoing probes was unusual.

    By Mike Swift.

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  • Industrial subsidies and barriers to entry targeted by EU and China after summit
    09 April 2019
    China is ready to engage in negotiations with the EU on strengthening the World Trade Organization’s rules on curbing industrial subsidies, the country’s premier said today.

    Li Keqiang also pledged to limit domestic investment barriers by opening up new sectors to foreign companies.

    “China stands ready to work with WTO members and the EU for consensus” on the revamp of the global subsidy rules, Li told reporters following the EU-China summit today. “We have reached a joint statement: it lays out a lot of specific plans about industrial subsidies.”

    By Joanna Sopinska.

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  • Google, Vodafone call for more consistency in watchdogs' GDPR enforcement, guidance
    13 March 2019
    Google and Vodafone have called for more consistency over enforcement of the EU's strict new privacy rules and over guidelines issued by national watchdogs.

    Rosario Alvarez Munoz, privacy counsel at Google, told a conference* in London that businesses understand regulators' dual role — to direct and to enforce — but stressed the importance of a harmonized approach across the EU over the General Data Protection Regulation, now in force for more than nine months.

    “We are at the early stages of GDPR enforcement, but we think that now we are moving into the next stage, and consistency is a key aspect to consider,” Alvarez Munoz said.

    By Cynthia Kroet.

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  • Companies using AI to see final ethical guidelines at EU summit in April
    01 March 2019
    Businesses using artificial intelligence applications will be shown a final set of ethical guidelines at a summit organized by the European Commission on April 9, MLex has learned.A high-level expert group on AI, appointed by the commission last year, is in the final stages of processing feedback received on provisional guidelines it published in December, and aims to deliver a final version to the EU executive in March.

    The aim of the April event will also be to seek overseas jurisdictions willing to showcase ethical regulatory standards around AI under a commission plan to create a coalition of international regulators to take a common approach on the emerging technology. For this, it has been considering Canada and Japan for partnerships, as MLex reported last year

    By Cynthia Kroet.

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  • UK-EU data-transfer deal could take 'years' under no-deal Brexit, Buttarelli says
    26 February 2019
    UK banks, insurers, airlines and others could have to wait “years” before the UK and EU reach a data-transfer agreement if they part ways next month without a Brexit deal, the EU’s internal data-privacy regulator has said.

    European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli said that a no-deal scenario would mean companies would have to find alternative ways to transfer personal data between businesses that operate in the EU and the UK.

    “Companies will have to — in an interim period — transfer the data from the UK to the EU by using standard contractual clauses, binding corporate rules, certificate mechanisms, and in a limited number of cases, with consent; but then a solution needs to be found,” he told journalists today in Brussels after presenting the EDPS’ annual report.

    By Matthew Newman.

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