AIG Directors' Lunch
On 2 October, we hosted the Advertising Information Group (AIG) Directors’ Lunch in Brussels to discuss with EU officials the value of advertising to the economy, citizens and media in Europe. The group heard from Othmar Karas MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, who delivered his keynote speech, as well as officials from DG CNECT and DG JUST on topics such as e-Privacy, Collective Redress, Dual Quality and the Digital Services Act.
Thank you to all who attended and made it a successful lunch. You can find the photos from the event here.
A revised text of the ePrivacy proposal was published last week, in view of the Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society meeting on 11 October.
COMPET Council of September 26 puts focus on the importance of increased digitalisation
During the COMPET Council meeting on 26 September, discussion focused on the importance of increased digitalisation if sustainability and growth are to be achieved in Europe going forward.
Participants agreed that the future success of Europe was largely dependent upon the opportunities of digitalisation. There was also discussion around increased B2B data sharing and calls for Europe to adapt the Single Market to the digital age with regulation that is light touch and digital by default. Emphasis was also placed on the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play going forward, which the EU's High-Level Working Group on Competitiveness and Growth has already held detailed discussion on.
European Court of Justice rules on "right to be forgotten" in Google case
On 24 September, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) delivered its judgement in a dispute between Google and the French privacy regulator (CNIL) regarding the geographical scope of de-referencing. The case addresses legal questions concerning the right to be forgotten and its application to search engines, such as Google. In 2015, CNIL ordered Google to globally remove search results listings to pages containing damaging or false information about a person, which prompted Google to introduce the following year a geo-blocking feature that prevents EU users from being able to see the delisted links. Google did not however censor (de-reference) the search results for people in other parts of the world and went to challenge a €100,000 penalty imposed by CNIL in 2016.
The judgment clarifies that the right to be forgotten applies within the EU and that search engine operators must take effective measures to ensure the protection of the data subject’s fundamental rights. However, this does not necessarily apply outside the EU and leaves the matter in the hands of the authorities of the member states to consider (i) a data subject’s right to privacy and the protection of personal data and (ii) the right to freedom of information.
European Court of Justice rules that storage of online cookies requires "active consent" from web users
On 1 October, the CJEU gave its ruling on ‘cookie consent’ requirements, in which it established that the storage of online cookies requires ‘active consent’ from web users.
The CJEU ruled that the consent to the storage of and access to cookies on user equipment is not validly constituted by way of a pre-checked checkbox. User consent must be explicit and specific. The Court also states that service providers should inform users of the duration of the operation of cookies and whether third parties may be provided access to those cookies.
Commissioner-designates grilled during first week of hearings with EP Committees
The European Parliament questioned the Commissioners-designate before deciding whether or not to approve the entire Commission.
If no issues arise we expect the hearings to be closed on 17 October. President-elect Ursula von der Leyen will then present the full College of Commissioners and its programme in Plenary. The Plenary vote on the composition is scheduled for 23 October.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
9 October: Digital Transformation EXPO Europe (DTX Europe), London
15 October: Does digital management exist? Challenges for the next generation of TV, The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
22 October: Digital Government Conference, Helsinki (Ministry of Finance of Finland / Finnish Presidency)
25 November:High-Level Conference on Data Economy, Finnish Presidency