EU Digital Single Market

The European Commission (EC) recently proposed the European Cloud Initiative (ECI): a plan to create a world-class data infrastructure to store, manage, transport and process data at high speeds. The primary aims are to support establishment of the ‘Digital Single Market’ in Europe, improve Europe’s position in data-driven innovation, and improve competitiveness and inspire cohesion and collaboration on projects across Europe. By establishing the European Data Infrastructure (EDI – a high-performance computing framework), the ECI will create the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The EOSC will provide European researchers and professionals in science and technology an environment in which to store, manage, analyse and share data linked to their research, seamlessly and efficiently across the EU. The aim is to extend the EDI and the EOSC to the public sector and industry by 2020.
Continue Reading The European Cloud Initiative: Will Data Protection Requirements Cause Stormy Weather?

The European Commission (the executive of the EU) recently published the initial findings of its e-commerce inquiry, an investigative process conducted to determine whether and to what extent competition is being restricted or distorted in the sector. The inquiry focused on geo-blocking, a commercial practice whereby online providers block user access to the purchasing of goods or digital content services based on that user’s geographical location. Last year we reported on the EU’s strategy for a European ‘digital single market’ (DSM) which included putting an end to what it considered ‘unjustified geo-blocking’. The recent findings are that the use of geo-blocking is widespread throughout the EU, but that there are sometimes valid commercial reasons justifying the practice.
Continue Reading European Commission Publishes E-commerce Geo-Blocking Inquiry Findings

Pursuant to its Digital Single Market strategy and adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on the revision of Directive 2002/58/EC, better known as the ePrivacy Directive. Its intention is to bring the existing legal framework up to date “with the challenges of the digital

On 22 December 2015, the European Commission announced its next steps towards completing the single market for cross-border parcel delivery. The Commission’s aim is to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight of the parcel market over the coming year, thereby providing consumers and businesses with better access to digital goods and services across Europe.

Cross-border parcel delivery is considered to be one of the key drivers of e-commerce, and forms part of the Commission’s strategy on achieving a Digital Single Market (‘DSM’). The Commission believes that affordable and high-quality, cross-border delivery can build consumer trust in cross-border online sales, and can stimulate the growth of e-commerce. However, high prices and inefficient deliveries between Member States have deterred consumers and businesses from buying and selling online.
Continue Reading European Commission targets cross-border parcel delivery as part of its Digital Single Market Strategy

Earlier this month, we reported the progress of trilogue discussions on the long-awaited General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). On 15 December 2015, almost four years after the legislative proposal was originally tabled by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council finally reached agreement, bringing the GDPR one step closer to adoption.

The final trilogue negotiations, which were concluded 15 December 2015, saw a “strong compromise” reached between the European Council, Parliament and Commission. The GDPR will be formally adopted by the European Parliament and Council at the beginning of 2016, and organisations will then have two years to ensure that their data practices are compliant. Some headline provisions of the agreed text are:

  • Companies can be fined up to 4% of their annual turnover for data protection breaches
  • Companies based outside Europe will be subject to the regulation if they offer goods and services in Europe
  • Companies processing sensitive personal data must appoint a data protection officer
  • Companies will only have to deal with a single supervisory authority

Continue Reading Agreement reached on the GDPR

In May 2015 the European Commission (EC) announced its strategy for a European ‘digital single market’ (DSM) that mirrors the possibilities of the physical single market. It can be difficult to keep up with the Commission’s ever-evolving plans, so Reed Smith released a Client Alert to review some of the more controversial aspects, including the

A study published 22 September 2015 criticises the EU’s development of its Digital Single Market (‘DSM’) strategy for being overly commercially and economically driven, with little attention to the key legal and social challenges regarding privacy and personal data protection. The development of the DSM should not be at the expense of individuals’ privacy rights, say the authors. The study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

The DSM strategy was unveiled earlier this year and is aimed at removing regulatory barriers so that digital services can operate seamlessly throughout the EU. However, despite promises made by the Commission and DSM Vice President to review the interplay between the e-Privacy Directive (2002/58/EC) and the DSM, the study finds that the strategy downplays the complexity of issues such as data anonymisation and minimisation in Big Data.Continue Reading Study reports draft EU Data Protection Regulation leaves gaps in protection when it comes to Big Data, Internet of Things and smart devices

The European Union economy stands to miss out on the benefits of cloud technology, as legislative measures across the individual Member States act to prevent businesses from using cloud services on an EU-wide level. The use of off-premise cloud technologies offers both economic and productivity benefits to start-ups and larger enterprises, but according to Pearse O’Donohue, Head of Software and Services, Cloud Computing in the European Commission, many organisations are unable to appreciate its benefits because of limitations and restrictions contained within some Member States’ laws. O’Donohue was speaking at a Datacloud Europe Event in Monaco.

O’Donohue emphasised that cloud technologies offer easy solutions for new firms looking to develop without huge upfront technology costs, but that numerous legislative barriers mean that facilitation of such services is not always possible. For example, Member States’ laws may prevent organisations from expanding into other countries, limiting their ability to use cloud services.Continue Reading ‘Reform EU cloud protection rules or risk missing out on billions of euros’ worth of revenue’

As part of Ofcom’s strategic review of the telecommunications sector announced earlier this year, the UK communications regulator published a discussion document on 16 July 2015 it’s main policy objectives. At the same time, the European Union has been reviewing regulation within the telecommunications industry as part of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market (DSM)

This post was also written by Samantha Daly.

On May 6th, The European Commission released it’s much anticipated white paper on its “digital single market’ (DSM) strategy to provide better access for consumers and businesses to digital goods and services across Europe, create the right conditions for advanced digital networks and innovative services