Regulation

ICO concludes Cambridge Analytica investigation

Although the internet was born out of a military research project, many of its original advocates touted its democratic potential to provide a platform for free exchange of ideas and creativity. But there were always voices of warning that the mass connectivity resulting from a global network could lead to something more Orwellian. The creeping […]

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Regulation of the gig economy

The gig economy has garnered heavy criticism since it became an integral part of the world of work over the past decade or so. On the one hand it has been credited with providing flexible work for millions of people unable or unwilling to secure full time employment. On the other hand, it has been […]

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Regulation of app stores

There have been a couple of interesting developments recently relating to apps on the Apple and Google app stores, both of which potentially threaten self regulation of these platforms. Fortnite sues Apple and Google Epic Games, the publisher behind hit computer game Fortnite, is taking legal action against both the Apple and Google app stores. […]

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News publishers questioned about data deals with Google

As part of an investigation by the European Commission into the effect of data collection practices by Facebook and Google upon competition, news publishers have been sent detailed questionnaires regarding data sharing agreements with Google. In particular, the questionnaires seek details from publishers on ways in which the search engine behemoth uses data collected from […]

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Content moderation oversight board proposed by Facebook

Social media companies have traditionally argued that they are merely internet platforms as opposed to publishers with the ensuing editorial responsibilities (despite the odd court case where it has been to their advantage to hold themselves out as publishers). But in the face of increasing public controversy about malicious content plaguing social media sites, the […]

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California passes landmark gig economy rights bill

The rise of the gig economy and zero hours contracts – often facilitated by the internet and apps such as Uber, Deliveroo and Limber – has been the subject of vigorous debate over recent years. Governments across the world have been grappling with the implications for employment law and wider society, balancing the boost to […]

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The big data regulation debate

Back in 2006, Sheffield mathematician Clive Humby declared “data is the new oil” after reaping the benefits of helping to set up a supermarket loyalty card scheme. This was the same year that Facebook went mainstream, accelerating the pace of data harvesting and spawning an entire industry devoted to the collection, analysis and monetisation of […]

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New digital services tax implemented in France

Governments around the world have grappled with the challenge of sufficiently taxing international companies – particularly peripatetic tech giants – which aggressively pursue policies of (perfectly legal) tax avoidance. One of the main reasons that so many Silicon Valley icons decide to base their European operations in Dublin (including Google and Apple) is due to […]

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Max Schrems: the return

In the wake of growing data protection concerns around the turn of the century, a framework dubbed “Safe Harbor” was agreed between the EU and the US in 2000, which essentially permitted transatlantic free-flow of personal data. Towards the end of 2015, as a result of one of several legal challenges brought by prolific Austrian […]

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First GDPR level fines in the UK

One of the key changes brought about by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018, was a substantial increase in the maximum fines available for data protection breaches, to the higher of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover. Any breaches which occurred prior to this date […]

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Airbnb should be seen as a digital service provider

Airbnb has been a phenomenal success since it was launched just over a decade ago, arguably creating more choice for travellers seeking accommodation while providing a user friendly platform which allows homeowners to rent out a spare room easily. However, it has also faced mounting criticism from various quarters: city officials claim that investors snap […]

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Porn age checks delayed (again)

Internet regulation has been very much in the public eye lately, particularly following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the government recently published its Online Harms White Paper which seeks to address some of the concerns surrounding the ‘Wild West Web’. One of the key issues regularly raised is the protection of children from exposure to […]

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