World Consumer Rights Day: Do big tech companies respect yours?

world-consumer-rights-day

March 15 marks World Consumer Rights Day, a commemoration established by the United Nations in 1983. The choice of March 15 comes from a speech delivered on that day in 1962 by John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Speaking at the United States Congress, the then U.S. president defined the consumer as an essential element in the production process, recognising their political relevance and urging institutions to protect their rights.

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Data Protection Day: a date that shouldn’t go unnoticed

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On Thursday, January 28, Data Protection Day is once again being celebrated. The first edition was held in 2007, after the Council of Europe had decided a few months earlier to set the date. 

Why this day? On January 28, 1981, the Council of Europe signed Convention 108 in Strasbourg for the protection of personal data in its automated processing. It was the first legally binding international instrument for data protection, and for more than 30 years an important legal reference, in Europe and beyond. Today, Data Protection Day is celebrated all over the globe, and outside our continent is known as Privacy Day. 

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Our opinion on the Spanish government’s Digital Rights Charter

digital-rights-charter

How to incorporate the current rights framework into the digital environment? And how to protect these rights in this area? The Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs attempts to answer these two questions in what has been titled the Digital Rights Charter, which it presents as part of its ‘España Digital 2025’ plan.  This is a document whose purpose is to guide future policy decisions and actions by public authorities. 

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Europe’s battle between ePrivacy and child safety

eprivacy

When the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications back in 2017, it probably had no idea of the conflict to come. Better known as the ePrivacy Directive, the proposed legislation simply aims to update protections of the fundamental right of EU citizens to privacy and confidentiality when using public communications networks. And it’s finally due to come into effect on 21 December.

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International data transfers, on a tightrope. The EU must stand firm

international-data-transfers

On November 11, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published some “Recommendations” – in two parts – in response to the Schrems II ruling of July 16, 2020. This extremely important decision from the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidates the current international data transfers framework in the European Union and United States, considering that the rights of EU citizens are unprotected. 

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False freelancers problem goes beyond the labour market

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Following a trade union complaint, the Labour Inspectorate of the Spanish government has just officially registered 4,056 delivery people who were working for Amazon as false freelancers in Madrid and Barcelona. In addition, it is demanding the U.S. company pay 6.16 million euros in unpaid contributions. 

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TikTok and the New Cold War: Europe not Doomed to Irrelevance

tiktok

The short-video application TikTok, a phenomenon among teenagers, is the new battleground in the digital cold war between China and the United States. The Trump administration considers TikTok to be a Trojan horse that the Beijing regime is using to collect data from thousands of Americans, data that would be used for espionage. 

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Employment Risks in the Age of the Algorithm

age-of-the-algorithm

Important debates on the future of work have been on the agenda of politicians and legislators for some time. But now that the EU has come through the worst of the pandemic, new nuances have been added. Acceleration of the digitalization process over the past three months, with massive use of telecommuting, is creating new challenges. And this also compounds the risks for the most vulnerable citizens, such as older workers and freelancers who rely heavily on technology platforms. 

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The pandemic has Europe facing the challenge of digital sovereignty

digital-sovereignty

When the EU territory slowly recovers its activity following the worst weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, the debate on using applications as tools to control possible new outbreaks will still be open. As we have already discussed in this blog, there are basically two schools of thought when it comes to processing the data created by these apps – centralised and decentralised – but what really has drawn attention from the media, politicians and experts is the role in these tools played by Apple and Google, who have offered to collaborate with the institutions. 

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Data processing in light of the pandemic: Europe should not abandon its model

data-processing

The severity of the coronavirus pandemic not only reminds us of the real meaning of the internet: it is also putting discussions on the table that the EU did not consider having just a few weeks ago. The technological ability to track the footsteps of its citizens, facing an expanding disease that is countered with social isolation, is a huge temptation for EU governments. And, with tens of thousands of deaths throughout the EU, it would be incomprehensible to completely dispense of a tool capable of combating the virus. 

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