43 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / Mainland Europe

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EU-Google Seek Accord on Worldwide Search Rules

Bottom Line: EU regulators are seeking concessions from Google which could be applied worldwide to resolve concerns about its business practices.

Reporting from Brussels, news agency Reuters reveals that ongoing discussions between the search titan's legal team and European Commission [EC] regulators are focused on the creation of a business conduct template that could be adopted worldwide. Google, whose search engine is accounts for some 80% of web searches within the European Union [EU], has been accused by rivals of abusing its dominant market position. Concerned about alleged anti-competitive practices, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has vowed to seek ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward ]

... "worldwide solutions. It will not be very useful to get European-wide solutions,"  he told a news conference yesterday [25-Jul-12]. 

The Commission typically looks for concessions that would benefit European consumers, but has on occasions asked for remedies with a broader scope.

The Google probe is a critical case for Mr Almunia, and his demand for globally applicable solutions - which might see an EU decision serving as a template for worldwide regulators.

The current hearing is another example of Almunia's attempt to stamp his mark on EU competition policy.

He believes that Google's search results may unfairly favour its own search services over those of its rivals', while concern has also been expressed that the Cupertino colossus may have copied without permission material from other websites - for example travel and restaurant reviews.

Read the original unabridged article here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Reuters.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5884

EU Mulls Mandatory Fitting of Emergency eDevice to New Cars

Bottom Line: If a proposal adopted this week by the European Parliament becomes law all new cars within the EU will be required to fit a device that automatically alerts emergency services in the event of a crash - the implications of which could modify auto marketing strategy.

The technology, known as eCall, would automatically dial European emergency number 112 if a car crashes, enabling rescue services to arrive faster, saving up to 2,500 lives annually and reducing the severity of injuries by 10% to 15%. So claims the European Parliament in its request to the European Commission to make fitting of the eCall device mandatory. If enshrined in law, the implications for marketers could be ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... extensive, boosting emphasis on safety and technology factors in the marketing of new auto models.

Calls to the new service could be triggered by on-board sensors such as those in the airbag detecting a crash, or by any car occupant pushing a button.

The eCall system will also use satellites and mobile telephony caller location to determine the location of the crashed car. Based on the location, eCall will contact the nearest emergency centre, also transmitting a minimum dataset that includes time, the direction in which the vehicle was travelling, vehicle identification, an indication if eCall was automatically or manually triggered and information about a possible service provider.

Sending the extra data is likely to reduce misunderstanding and stress and helps to eliminate language barriers between the vehicle occupants and the operator, said a Parliament news release.

And in a reassuring nod to data protection actives, Parliament has also decreed that the system must not be used to monitor a person's movements or determine his or her location unless that person has been involved in an accident.

Read the original unabridged article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: PCWorld.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5869

Russian President Medvedev Says 'Niet' to Internet Censorship

Bottom Line: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia would not institute censorship on the internet, calling such a move "impossible" and "senseless."

Rhetoric or reality? The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, although President Medvedev's unequivocal statement earlier this week supporting freedom of the internet  received a warm welcome from freedom advocates and marketers and alike. According to the Russian president, censorship of the Russian internet would be ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 onward]

... "impossible" and "senseless."

Medvedev, who has actively promoted an image of himself as being internet-savvy, also said the internet and social networks should be used to make government more transparent and to increase public participation in policy work.

As examples of work done in this area, Medvedev cited efforts made to create a user-friendly interface for soliciting public feedback on new laws and for the submission of policy ideas.

The internet should be used "to expand citizens' participation in solving the most important issues, and to increase the quality of state governance," Medvedev said.

However, he also opined that the internet must be policed for false information and for illegal materials, such as child pornography and the promotion of terrorism, although insisting that Russia's internet in Russia will not be censored. [Which seemingly does not rule out censorship of politically 'inconvenient' matter emanating from beyond Russia's borders.]

"We're not talking and will not be talking about any kind of censorship on the internet. That is impossible — I've said this on multiple occasions. It's simply senseless," quoth the Prez.

But as the old proverb has it: "Fine words butter no parsnips".

Press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders last month listed Russia in its 2012 Enemies of the Internet report, classifying the mighty nation as "Under Surveillance," which means that the government has threatened internet freedom.

The report said Russia was included on the list because it "has used cyber-attacks and has arrested bloggers and netizens [internet citizens] to prevent a real online political debate."

Russia has Europe's largest number of internet users. Fifty-eight percent of Russians now use the internet 'with some regularity', compared to 30% in 2008, according to the results of a survey published Wednesday by state-run pollster VTsIOM. The percentage of Russians who use the internet daily has jumped to 38% from 11% in 2008.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MoscowTimes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5821

European Commission to Support 'Right to be Forgotten' Data Law

Bottom Line: In the light of the Eurozone's current economic debacle, the European Commission's concern over online privacy issues seems akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned! Nonetheless, the issue exemplifies public demand for consumer protection against privacy abuses by online marketers

European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, addressing the second Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference in Brussels yesterday, told delegates: "People are sharing more and more personal information online and it is now important to ensure their rights. For this reason ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... "the reform of EU data protection rules will include easier access to one’s own data, and better data portability so that it is simple for users to transfer their data between providers.

"I also want to establish the famous right to be forgotten, which will build on existing rules to better cope with privacy risks online. I believe this right is very important in a world of increasing connectivity and unlimited search and storage.

"If users no longer want their data to be stored, and if there is no good reason to keep it online anymore, the data should be removed."

Ms Reding's words were not exactly music to the ears of the direct marketing industry which is concerned at the ambiguity of the term "the right to be forgotten" and what exactly it involves?

Caroline Roberts, director of legal and public affairs at the DMA (UK), which has been engaged in the consultation process for the proposed revisions to the directive, is not enthused at the Commissioner's statement.

"While consumers need to be protected by the right to not be contacted for marketing purposes by companies, eradicating their entire data is completely impractical because it prevents companies from meeting their legal obligations to suppress their data if they [the data subjects] choose to opt out."

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection watchdog, believes the proposed EU framework "should not introduce a standalone right to be forgotten, which could mislead individuals and falsely raise their expectations, and be impossible to implement and enforce in practice".

The European Commission’s proposals for the new legislation are due to be published at the end of January although - given the bloc's labyrinthine decision-making process - observers believe enactment of the process may take considerably longer.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BrandRepublic.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5727

EU to Enforce Clearer Online Shopping Price Transparency

Bottom Line: The rights of European consumers shopping online will be strengthened by new legislation agreeed earlier this week by the EU's Council of Ministers.

Following European ministers' green-lighting of a new law proposed in June this year, the trade bloc's twenty-seven member nations have been given a two-year period of grace in which to pass domestic legislation enforcing new rules governing online shopping. The key benefit to consumers will be the prohibition of internet ads that ...


[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011- 2013]

... attempt to sell additional pre-selected services. When buying a plane ticket for example, consumers are frequently presented with pre-ticked boxes offering add-on services such as travel insurance or car rental. Currently the onus to untick the box lies with the consumer. Come 2013, however, it will be mandatory for websites to present only unticked choice boxes.

Following the new legislation, online customers can refuse to pay if they were not adequately informed prior to the purchase.

Additionally the new laws will reqire a website to make clear any "[information] about its compatibility with hardware and software and the application of any technical protection measures.

For example, "limiting the right for the consumers to make copies of the content," and that "consumers will have a right to withdraw from purchases of digital content, such as music or video downloads, but only up until the moment the actual downloading process begins."

European consumer groups and digital rights groups have hailed the new legislation.

Says Joe McNamee, head of Brussells-based online advocacy group European Digital Rights: "I think that it is probably a helpful small step in the right direction.

"Even certain otherwise reputable companies use some quite underhand tactics through 'imaginative' use of default checks in checkboxes on their websites (such as changing back to the default 'opt-in' if the user has to go back and change anything on a form).

"These companies, at least, will be forced to adopt more transparent policies by the legislation."



All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW-World.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5687

Politicos Demand Increased Web Surveillance After Norwegian Massacre

Bottom Line: Intensified scrutiny of internet content by pan-European governmental bodies and police is likely to follow in the wake of the Norwegian tragedy.

Police and political sources in Germany, Finland and Estonia have called for heightened surveillance of the internet following the bombing and shooting outrages in Oslo last week. This follows the discovery of a Twitter message, a YouTube video, and a 1,500-page manifesto posted online by the self-confessed Norwegian perpetrator of the slaughter, Anders Behring Breivik. Meantime, a policy spokesman  for Germany's rightist Christian Democrats party called upon its government to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... restore its recently watered-down data retention laws. "Only if the investigators can trace the communication during the planning of attacks can they thwart such crimes and protect people," the spokesman told German media.

Less eager to go back to the future was Robin Lardot, Finland's Deputy National Police Commissioner: "We have enhanced network intelligence at the moment," he told local broadcaster, YLE. during an interview earlier this week. 

Meanwhile, government officials from Finland's southerly neighbour, Estonia, have argued for an expansion of specific powers, namely, the ability to quickly look up an IP address.

Despite the fact that IP addresses can easily be faked, law enforcement agencies still use them as a means to trace criminal activity.

However, many internet activists are concerned that politicians will use this opportunity as a way to erode existing online freedoms.

"Whatever the context, police and politicians feel the need to reassure people with ‘new' policies when there is such a tragedy," writes Joe McNamee, of European Digital Rights, a Brussels non-profit, in an e-mail to Deutsche Welle

"Often the policies would have been irrelevant to deal with the tragedy but it doesn't matter - there is a ‘reassurance vacuum' which has to be filled with something... anything, even something useless and counterproductive.

Continued McNamee: "The same vacuum exists in other countries, so - for our security (this is exactly when rushed, bad and ineffective policy is often rolled out) and fundamental rights, we can only hope that politicians act responsibly."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW-world.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5631

EU to Kill Cigarette Branding

New rules mooted by the European Commission last week could result in a comprehensive ban on the branding of cigarettes and other tobacco products. If the legislation is adopted, manufacturers will be forced to sell their products in generic plain packaging across the twenty-seven nation Union. Although cigarette-makers have been aware for some time of the impending threat, they will have to move fast to lodge any objections which must be filed by December 15. A decision is expected by February 2011, although a new law is unlikely to take immediate effect and ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 - 2015]

... it could take another five years before the law is enforced - especially if the tobacco companies carry out their threat to legally challenge the ruling.

UK health minister Andrew Lansley believes plain packs would de-glamourize the habit and deter young people from taking up cigarette smoking.

The Tobacco Manufacturers Association, unsurprisingly, disagrees: "We do not believe any plans for plain packaging are based on sound public policy, nor any compelling evidence."

The International Advertising Association is likewise opposed to the legislation. In a letter to the EU, Erich Buxbaum, IAA  vice-president and area director for Europe, warns: "All brands are registered trademarks. This could lead into a vast legal process - companies will sue the EC. They pay a lot of money every year for their trademarks."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5420

Europe to Probe Google's Alleged Abuse of Dominant Market Position

Internet search titan Google is set to undergo an in-depth probe by the European Commission following allegations that the Mountain View-headquartered company has abused its dominant market position. Hands aloft in pious indignation, Googleliath insists it has never intentionally damaged competing services, and its sole aim is “to provide the best results for users”. It claims there are “compelling reasons” why rival search services were ranked lowly by its dispassionate algorithms.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Four charges have been laid against the US search titan:

  1. That it has intentionally 'hurt' competing services.
  2. It has lowered the “quality score” for sponsored links of competing vertical search services.
  3. It has imposed exclusivity obligations on advertisers, preventing them from placing certain types of competing advertisements on their websites.
  4. Restrictions have been imposed on the portability of online advert campaign data to competing online advertising platforms.

Google denies that it holds a dominant position in online search despite its massive market share, and insists it will vigorously defend the four charges.

Thanks to Google's legion of lawyers and the EC's bureaucratic machinery, the investigation is expected to extend over several centuries!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5415

EC Sets Broadband Target of 30Mbps Within Ten Years

The European Commission has set a target of giving every European citizen access to internet speeds of 30Mbps or more by 2020; at the same time ensuring that at least half  the region's 220 million households have access to 100mbps broadband. This ambitious target begs the question as to whether the EC's ambitions might out-pace its ability to deliver - especially as around 5% of all present broadband services run at 30mbps. Only 0.5% at 100Mbps or higher.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 - 2020]

Nonetheless, broadband speeds in Europe have risen sharply in only a year, suggest official EC figures.

According to EC research, in July this year 29% of broadband lines in Europe ran at speeds of at least 10 Mbps. By contrast in July 2009 only 15% of broadband lines were capable of achieving that speed.

Despite the higher rates, the Commission warned that much work is needed to meet Europe-wide targets on access and speed.

"Fast broadband is digital oxygen, essential for Europe's prosperity and well-being," said Neelie Kroes, commissioner for the digital agenda.

Leading the European bloc in terms of high-speed broadband links a are Denmark and the Netherlands - each boasting coverage to some 80% of households.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5408

Google Provokes EU to Review Online Privacy Law

The European Union has proposed new privacy rules to protect citizens sharing personal data with websites such as Facebook and Google - a move that  will likely draw a line in the sand for privacy-promiscuous US tech companies. It is also likely to alienate the advertising and media industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Google and Facebook have already incurred the ire of EU regulators and politicians this year for collecting personal data without authorization - in particular the former's unauthorized collection of sensitive personal data whilst purportedly trawling the Europe's streets for StreetView data.

[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

The draft European Commission rules - snappily titled A Comprehensive Approach on Personal Data Protection in the European Union - imply the imposition of an online "right to be forgotten."

Such a dispensation would confer on EU citizens a legal right to demand that websites permanently delete already submitted personal data. The proposed rules also mandate that users give explicit consent before companies can use or process their personal data in any way. The mercifully brief (20-page) document also condemns website operators' current privacy policies as "opaque".

States EU Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding: "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right. To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data-protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization."

The proposal recommends giving consumers the right to sue companies for privacy breaches and also proposes criminal penalties.

The Commission, the EU's executive branch, will submit the proposal as legislation next year. It will then be debated and amended by EU members and the European Parliament before becoming law.

In the interim, expect frenzied lobbying from all interested parties - plus loud howls of transatlantic indignation!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5374

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