This Week in Big Tech: Keeping Data Safe Remains Job One in Europe

Keeping Data Safe Remains Job One in Europe

This week in Big Tech news, Austria finds that Google Analytics’ services are illegal, while Belgium rules Europe’s AdTech industry violates regulations. Plus, Facebook loses ground to TikTok and YouTube.

Ruling: Google Analytics Violates Privacy Law

Protecting consumer data continues to play out in Europe. Following Austria’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) ruling this week that Google Analytics’ services are illegal, the nation’s tech providers are facing intense pressure. The DPA’s decision means American companies will have challenges when they attempt to move data from Europe to the U.S. Privacy experts said it could also trigger more scrutiny from privacy regulators of financial institutions (FIs), airlines and other sectors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Regulators Find Europe’s AdTech Sector Broke Privacy Rules

It took a while, but after several years of investigation, a European national authority has ruled that the region’s AdTech industry has violated privacy regulations. The decision by the Belgian Data Protection Authority said regulators agreed the ad sector ignored principles of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which governs privacy rights in the bloc. Since 2019, complaints have been filed against Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe (IAB), the trade group for the digital marketing and advertising ecosystem whose members include media, technology and marketing companies. The group said it is considering a lawsuit.

Facebook Loses Ground to TikTok, YouTube as Use of Video Apps Surges

In the race between Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube to be the No. 1 site for video apps, the Meta owner is losing ground. Meta broke the news by revealing daily active users on its flagship Facebook platform fell by 1 million through the fourth quarter of 2021. Where are they all going? Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg called out TikTok’s video app specifically as a cause, noting the battle for younger audiences is heating up between platforms. This after TikTok pushed Google aside as the most visited internet site in 2021.

Social Media Mega Firms Join Forces to Fight Germany’s Tough Online Hate Speech Rule

Meta, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube may be rivals. But the media giants have united to sue the German government over its strengthened online hate speech law. The NetzDG requires social media outlets to forward illegal content, including swastika photos or posts intended to incite violence, and user data to the Federal Criminal Police Office. The law requires tech companies to wait 30 days before telling a user about a transfer of their information to the police. Given the growing number of lawsuits, Germany has told Google and Meta to delay following these new rules for now.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Debuts in UK, Europe

The wait for the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio beyond North America is over, Gizmochina reported. The device, which promises to deliver tablet portability with laptop versatility, is now available everywhere. Microsoft priced the device lower than the expected, and the company will begin shipping all Surface Laptop Studio configurations starting Feb. 22.