Listen in as MLex expert contributors discuss some of the most important developments in regulatory risk and opportunity worldwide.
Didi’s data remains central to enforcement in China; and the one-year anniversary of Schrems II
The sudden and unprecedented enforcement action targeting China’s largest ride-hailing company Didi appears to have opened yet another chapter in Beijing’s crackdown on the country’s tech giants. The order for Didi to remove a suite of apps just days after the company’s IPO in the US may have been driven by security and commercial concerns over foreign access to large swathes of data generated by the service’s users. Also on today’s podcast, we mark the first-year anniversary of the “Schrems II” court ruling, which nullified the so-called Privacy Shield that had allowed for data transfers to take place between the European Union and the United States. The decision brought deep uncertainty to transatlantic business dealings, yet a solution to the problem remains elusive, complicated by the absence of a federal privacy legislation in the US.
The EU’s ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions; and Biden outlines his antitrust vision
The European Union’s ambitious plan to transform the region’s economy in a bid to combat climate change took a step forward this week, with the announcement of a series of proposals that would help reach ambitious targets to cut the bloc’s carbon emissions. Under the EU’s proposed “Fit for 55” package, which sets a 55 percent emissions cut from 1990 levels by 2030, companies across the energy, transport and heavy industry sectors face a mix of carbon-pricing measures and regulations to accelerate the switch to cleaner fuels and energy sources. Also on this week’s podcast: the Biden administration’s wide-ranging executive order sets out an antitrust and privacy vision with wide-ranging implications for Big Tech.
The politics of classifying nuclear power in the EU; and 10 years of UK Bribery Act
The green credentials of nuclear power have come under recent scrutiny in the European Union, as the bloc ponders whether to label as environmentally friendly investment in the industry. The argument of what’s referred to as the taxonomy of nuclear energy is pitting scientist against scientist and, more importantly, the pro-nuclear energy France against the nuclear skeptic Germany. Yet the impasse over how to classify the investment status of nuclear may suit the European Commission, as it navigates its way through a politically charged scientific debate. Also on today’s podcast, we take a look at the 10-year anniversary of the UK Bribery Act. The legislation is being regarded as a qualified success that has provided a strong deterrent against corporate wrongdoing. However, the low number of criminal convictions means that corrupt top executives won’t be losing much sleep.
Facebook and Google’s adtech practices are back on the regulatory agenda in Europe and Asia
Digital advertising is back on the agenda in Europe, with the announcement of a fresh EU antitrust probe targeting Google’s practice of hoovering up data to better target advertising. However, the new investigation will also leave room for parallel action by regulators in Germany and France, with the European Commission skirting around the national watchdogs’ focus areas: online market power and the market for serving online ads. Meanwhile, in South Korea the local competition regulator is looking into the adtech practices of both Facebook and Google, while an Australian report into digital advertising is expected to put forward recommendations for the regulation of digital advertising.
GDPR’s one-stop-shop principle is put to the test; and the EU-UK clash over trade settings
A central part of the EU’s ambitious privacy legislation, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, was put to the test recently, with a European court asked to rule on whether Belgium’s data-privacy regulator had the right to pursue an investigation into Facebook. The question went to the heart of a central mechanism of the GDPR: the so-called one-stop-shop. But the EU court’s ruling wasn’t as cut and dried as some may have hoped. Also on this week’s podcast: UK steelmakers are facing stiffer competition from foreign rivals, while also facing limits on selling in their competitors’ markets. The predicament is linked to “safeguards” — trade tools that have highlighted trade-policy differences between the UK and the EU in a post-Brexit world.
Why voice activation is shaping up as the next big thing in Big Tech regulation
The next time you ask Alexa for information or bark out an order at Siri — or even just order a burger at your McDonald’s drive through — you’ll find yourself at the heart of what could become one of the most significant regulatory challenges of the next decade. Whether it’s your fingerprints, the retina or your eyes or the sound of your voice, your biometric data is of value to any company wanting to get a sense of what you like and what products you’re likely to buy. On today’s podcast, we look at how biometric data concerns are playing out in US courts, as well as the European Union’s probe of antitrust concerns tied to Big Tech’s use of your vocal-cord vibrations as the access point to a world of services and products.