Big Data

Eurobites: EU Reads US the Riot Act Over Privacy Shield

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Internet copyright proposals rejected; Ericsson confirms Wind Tre win; Inmarsat says no to second EchoStar bid.

  • The thorny issue of data transfer between the European Union and the US -- and the attendant personal privacy concerns -- continues to keep the European Parliament busy. In their latest move on the matter, Parliament members have adopted a resolution calling on their executive -- the Commission -- to suspend the Privacy Shield protocol from September 1, unless the US is "fully compliant" with its strictures by that date. In its resolution, the European Parliament says it "takes the view that the current Privacy Shield arrangement does not provide the adequate level of protection required by Union data protection law and the EU Charter as interpreted by the European Court of Justice." The Privacy Shield replaced the discredited Safe Harbor arrangements in 2016, and was intended to place stronger obligations on US companies handing Europeans' personal data, limit US government access to such data and provide EU citizens affected by such issues with greater chance of redress. (See Eurobites: Trump Won't Trash Privacy Shield, US Officials Predict and Eurobites: Privacy Shield Gets EU Go-Ahead.)

  • Also keeping them busy in Strasbourg and Brussels is the issue of copyright law, and how it relates to the online age. As the BBC reports, a set of proposals that would have, among other things, put more onus on websites to check their content for copyright infringements, have been rejected by the European Parliament. The likes of Sir Paul McCartney, who are understandably miffed at seeing their music pop up free and gratis on YouTube and elsewhere, supported the proposals, but others talked of a "link tax" and said the freedom of the Internet would be threatened by the measures.

  • Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has confirmed that it has landed a chunk of radio access network (RAN) business at Italy's Wind Tre. According to a Bloomberg report earlier this week, Ericsson got the work at the expense of ZTE, the Chinese vendor that is teetering on the brink following the US imposition of a ban on its importing American components.

  • British satellite company Inmarsat plc (London: ISAT) has rebuffed a second bid from US rival EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), the Guardian reports. The bid valued Inmarsat's business at £3.2 billion (US$4.2 billion). Inmarsat is viewed as prime acquisition material as its share price has slumped during the past few years (See Inmarsat Rejects Lowball Takeover Bid by EchoStar.)

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) are setting up an unnecessarily asterisked AI*5G lab in Hangzhou, China, which, as its name suggests, will focus on the use of artificial intelligence and so-called machine learning in 5G networks. "Cloud virtual reality gaming" is cited as one of the potential applications of the technology combination. (See Nokia, China Mobile to establish 5G + AI lab.)

  • In similar territory, the Portuguese subsidiary of France's Altice is working with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd to bolster its 5G credentials. This week Altice Portugal demonstrated the technology using a Huawei prototype router with a top speed of 1.5 Gbit/s. As Reuters reports, the operator's CEO, Alexandre Fonseca, said he expected the first commercial versions of such devices to appear in Portugal in 2019 or 2020.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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