Eurobites: Irish data privacy unit asked to find what's up with WhatsApp

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: ETNO uses climate-change hook for regulatory plea; music-streaming economics still suck for musicians; Allot lands central European deal.

  • A panel made up of various EU authorities has called on Ireland's Data Protection Commission to take a long, hard look at Facebook's use of WhatsApp customer data. As the Irish Times reports, the European Data Protection Board stopped short of imposing an EU-wide ban on WhatsApp data access – something Germany wanted – but felt that Facebook's updated data policy merited "swift further investigations." Ireland is Facebook's tax-efficient European base, so the actions of its data privacy authority on this issue are highly significant. (See Eurobites: EC Probes Facebook/WhatsApp Deal.)

  • The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has used this week's European Commission proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies "fit" for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 as a hook on which to hang yet another plea for regulatory conditions that are favorable to the telecom industry. In its statement, ETNO says: "Favourable regulatory conditions for deployment and adoption of 5G, fibre networks and digital solutions are a critical factor of success also for Europe's climate policy … new networks are known not only to be more efficient from the energy consumption viewpoint, but also they are regarded as a tool to significantly reduce emissions in other industrial sectors and across society."

  • A six-month inquiry into the economics of music streaming by UK politicians has come to the not altogether surprising conclusion that, generally speaking, they don't make a lot of financial sense to performers and songwriters. As the BBC reports, the government committee found that "pitiful returns" are still the order of the day and that a "complete reset" of music streaming services was needed. According to the report, Spotify is believed to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream, while Apple Music pays about £0.0059. That won't keep Barrett Strong in sharp suits…

  • Israel's Allot has landed another cybersecurity services deal with an unnamed operator in central Europe. The vendor will be supplying its NetworkSecure platform, which will offer the mystery company protection from the usual nasties, including malware, viruses, phishing and ransomware.

  • UK altnet CityFibre has signed a blanket wayleave agreement with Gloucester City Homes, a social housing provider in the south-west of England. The deal means that CityFibre will connect all of the provider's homes across the city to its new full-fiber network. CityFibre is investing £31 million (US$43 million) in its Gloucester rollout.

  • Neos Networks wants the world to know that it has completed the third phase of its full-fiber rollout in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is hooking up various public sector sites in the region, including schools, hospitals and leisure centers. According to Neos, this means that it is about halfway through its full rollout program.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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