Eurobites: EU Lets the (Non-Personal) Data Flow

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Archos to install blockchain-based browser on its devices; Dialog in talks to buy Synaptics; Eurofins acquires Insite Security.

  • European Union negotiators have reached an agreement over new rules that they hope will allow for the free flow of non-personal data between EU member states. As well as prohibiting "data localization" restrictions, it is envisaged that the new rules will also help prevent vendor lock-in when it comes to cloud services -- the European Commission anticipates the creation of codes of conduct for cloud services, which will make it easier to switch between cloud services providers. As the new rules are concerned with non-personal data, they will have no bearing on the recently implemented General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), says the Commission.

  • Archos, the French consumer electronics manufacturer, has done a deal with UK-based Liberty (no, not the cable guys), which will see the latter's browser installed on a selection of Archos's tablets and smartphones as from the fourth quarter of this year. Using the blockchain-backed browser, says Liberty, users get greater control over their data, remaining anonymous but earning cryptocurrency from advertisers who wish to target them, in the form of AIM cryptocurrency tokens. The more Archos's users anonymously share their data with "affiliated brands," the more AIM tokens they earn. Funny old world.

  • UK-based Dialog Semiconductor, which supplies chips for Apple's iPhone, among other devices, is in talks to buy Synaptics Inc. of the US, the pair have confirmed.

  • Eurofins Digital Testing has acquired Insite Security, a Dutch cybersecurity specialist. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • New figures from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority show that people in Britain's rural areas are far less likely to use their smartphones for online banking than those in towns and cities. As the BBC reports, the study attributes the discrepancy to an older population and patchy mobile coverage. The findings come in the wake of news that brick-and-mortar bank branches in the UK are closing at the rate of around 60 a month.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) has launched a Silicon Valley based startup acceleration program focusing on embryonic companies developing products and services relating to artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. Called, irritatingly, Fab Connect(AI), the program will see Orange collaborating with the likes of Google, Nvidia and Microsoft.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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