european union

Silent But Deadly: EU Wants Electric Cars To Add Sounds For Safety

Last week, the European Parliament ruled that all electric and hybrid cars must add artificial engine noise so that pedestrians can hear them coming. While the mandate is mostly to protect visually impaired pedestrians, the noise will also benefit anyone on the street who’s ever had a near-miss with a Prius.


Google's New Privacy Policy Violates EU Law

On BBC Radio this morning, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said that the EU had investigated Google’s new Privacy Policy — which gives Google access to the activity of all its users across all its services — and found that it was in violation of privacy laws.


The Netherlands Looks To Take The Lead In Rational Copyright Legislation

US copyright laws are designed to protect the “fair use” of copyrighted content such as mash-ups and remixes — or they were, at least, until the advent of DMCA Takedown Notices. The Dutch government has taken notes on America’s IP failures and is reportedly looking to explicitly protect such DMCA fodder, much to the chagrin of the European Union.


EU Investigating Samsung Over Unfair Lawsuits

When Samsung went on a patent lawsuit spree last year in the European courts, they may have reneged on an agreement they gave the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to license any “essential patents” to competitors “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms. So now the EU is investigating Samsung on suspicion that they distorted competition in the mobile market. Fun!


EU Bans Airport X-Ray Machines

“Backscatter” X-ray machines, which bombard your body with radiation at the airport, are a subject of controversy in the US. Not in Europe, Mother Jones reports — the machines are now banned throughout the entire EU over cancer risks. Good.


EU Investigating Facebook's New Facial Recognition Feature

The new facial recognition photo-tagging feature that was rolled out on Facebook this week has got privacy-freaks in a frenzy, but none more so than European Union data-protection regulators, who are investigating it for privacy violations.


You're Being Tracked And No Law Is Going To Change That

On May 25, some European governments will activate laws against automatic web cookies. This means that web sites will have to explicitly ask for user permission every time they want to store any information in your browser. Some people are asking for this in the US too, in the name of privacy.


European Antitrust Guns Now Pointing At Apple?

As well as facing possible antitrust claims in the US, the European Union is now taking a look at Apple’s closed-shop practises – with EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes claiming makers “cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product”.


Samsung-Led Cartel Fined $US404m In Price-Fixing Scandal

Nine chip makers – including heavy hitters like Samsung and Hitachi – have collectively been fined $US404 million by the European Commission over DRAM price fixing. Cartels: they’re not just for drug lords anymore.


Google Must Take New Street View Photos Every Six Months In UK

After villagers chased the Street View cars away in Buckinghamshire, England, it became pretty obvious last year that a lot of Brits were unhappy having their houses and streets documented online. Now, European regulators have told Google they must delete images obtained by the street cars every six months.