WELCOME to Connected Rights, your rustling in the leaves of digital rights news and analysis.
LEADING EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS ARE TRYING TO LOBBY for the introduction of ancillary copyright across the EU, in the form of Article 11 of the new Copyright Directive. Google and Facebook are apparently “fleecing…the media of their rightful revenue”.
Look, this is very simple. If these companies are charged to reproduce teensy snippets of article text, they simply won’t do so anymore, and these journalists will see their traffic collapse. Small publications will be wiped out. No matter how angry people are with Google and Facebook, this would be a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.
But even if that wasn’t the case, there’s something very off about seeing organisations such as AFP and Tagesspiegel combining their own lobbying with reportage, as is the case here – check out this thread from Julia Reda, the MEP organising the pushback against Article 11.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS “TAKING A LOOK” at the possibility of regulating Google ordering of news results, as the president is upset about critical pieces being surfaced above non-critical pieces.
Will this go anywhere? I’m going to venture a guess and say no, primarily because of the First Amendment. The government officials who say they’re looking into it are just humouring Trump, this is all very silly, and it’s not so much a serious threat as an unneeded insight into Trump’s mind.
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AFTER BREXIT, THE UK WON’T JUST NEED an “adequacy agreement” with the EU in order to ensure a continuing free flow of personal data – it will need a “bespoke legal agreement that would authorise the UK and EU to continue to participate in information exchanges”. That’s according to a new study that was commissioned by the European Parliament.
The study says the UK will need to continue being involved in the development of EU data protection policy, and there will need to be an initial “standstill period” in which the UK and EU continue to allow personal data exchanges “on a provisional basis” – after all, developing an adequacy agreement will take time, and the process can only start after the UK is no longer in the EU.
Without this agreement, there will be a “temporary halt in personal data exchanges”. Mind you, with the increasing possibility of a no-deal Brexit, there may be a temporary halt in a whole lot more – but data would be a biggie nonetheless.
HAS THE GDPR LED TO A FLOOD OF THREATENING LETTERS in Germany, from sketchy law firms demanding money to make their legal threats go away, as many people (including the Grand Coalition) feared would happen? Nope, according to a new Tagesschau report. Nonetheless, justice minister Katarina Barley is apparently planning to introduce a bill that would protect small businesses, clubs and self-employed people from such letters.
SPEAKING OF THE GDPR, WHERE ARE THE FINES? As I wrote for IAPP, it will be at least a few months before they start to appear – but that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening. Indeed, at least one data protection authority has already issued a data-processing ban based on their new legal toolkit.
THE GERMAN JUSTICE MINISTRY HAS ASKED GOOGLE what it does with people’s location data, in the wake of the revelation that the company tracks people even when they have turned off location history on Android phones or iPhones with Google Maps installed.
Der Spiegel saw the letter, which suggests that Google’s reported practice would harm consumer confidence in digital services. It also demanded that Google make it possible to allow people to comprehensively control both the collection of location data and location history in one place – at the moment, it’s a task that requires dancing around several settings pages.
THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN DOES NOT ALLOW MURDERERS to demand their anonymisation in online media articles from the time of their trial, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. Nice try.
SOUTH AFRICA’S DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY IS STILL in the process of setting up, more than a year after it should have been up and running. Why? Because there’s a deadlock over who will be the Information Regulator’s accounting officer, and the impasse has blocked the putative watchdog from hiring any staff beyond its executive members.
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DO YOU STILL USE YAHOO OR AOL’S EMAIL SERVICES? Maybe don’t. The outfits are going against Silicon Valley privacy trends and telling advertisers they’re happy to scan users’ emails for clues about things they might want to buy. Google used to do this with Gmail but stopped.
BACKING UP YOUR WHATSAPP CONVERSATIONS TO GOOGLE DRIVE? The Facebook-owned operation would like you to remember that those chats will no longer be protected by WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption.
WANT TO FEEL UPBEAT ABOUT THE FUTURE? This piece is rather anecdata-ish, but it suggests a lot of teens are shunning social media these days.