Today, Europe is at the center of the Digital world. The European Union (EU) decided to be one of, other than the leader of the digital world as it held the main position in all the major events happening this week in the digital world.

 

On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg was interviewed by European Parliament’s leaders about the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, and more broadly, its management of Facebook. Mr. Verhofstadt, Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, pointed that, every year since 2003, Mark Zuckerberg has had to apologize for a misconduct or misusing of Facebook. He even pointed out that, in 2017, Mark Zuckerberg had to apologize twice, whereas he already did it three times in 2018.

Nevertheless, this interview is broadly criticized as it was considered as “short” and “painfully lacking profoundness” commented the co-president of the Green party, Philippe Lamberts. Most of the answers of Mr. Zuckerberg were vague and did not properly answered the questions. As he was questioned for 10 hours in front of the US Congress, its interview at the EP hardly reached one and a half hour.

On Wednesday, the United Kingdom presented a draft of an agreement on Data protection with the EU. In March, Theresa May already mentioned its intention to preserve an adequate level of protection. This agreement should ensure high standards of protection for personal data flows between the EU and the UK. Moreover, it would be based on the principle of adequacy and provide for continuous regulatory cooperation, a permanent role for the UK regulator in the European Data Protection Committee established by the GDPR Regulation.

Later on Wednesday, four cyber-defense and cybersecurity agencies of the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to intensify their cooperation in the face of new IT challenges. These four agencies are the European Union Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA), the European Defense Agency (EDA), the European Cybercrime Center (EC3) and the Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU Institutions, Agencies and Bodies (CERT-EU). “Cyberspace threats do not know of national borders. Cooperation among Member States but also at European level is therefore essential” said High Representative/Vice-President and Head of the European Defence Agency, Federica Mogherini.

On Friday, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU will seek a political agreement in principle on copyright reform at the meeting of EU national ambassadors (Coreper). The copyright reform is mainly discussed because of the disruptive changes brought by the digital evolutions. The draft directive was presented in September 2016 and introduced new exceptions to the copyright rules and lays down new provisions to ensure better protection of copyrighted works. On the Internet, it is often hard to understand whether a work is copyrighted or not.

Finally, on Friday, the much talked General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. It is considered as the most advanced regulation on Data protection in the world and is now spreading its benefits around the world as all companies are forced to comply with it if they want to keep activities on the European market. Indeed, most of the companies already provided the users a notification of the change of regulation and their compliance with it. It does not only provide new directives to the companies but it also provides “Any person who has suffered material or non-material damage as a result of an infringement of this Regulation shall have the right to receive compensation from the controller or processor for the damage suffered.” (Article 82 of the GDPR).

It is true that the Technology is rapidly evolving, however, it is even truer that the EU caught up and is now marching in step.

Jean-Hugues Migeon

For further information:

On the agreement of the 4 EU cyber agencies
ENISA website – https://www.enisa.europa.eu/news/enisa-news/four-eu-cybersecurity-organisations-enhance-cooperation

On the GDPR and its implications

EU-Logos website – http://www.eu-logos.org/?p=22523

On the copyright reforms
European Commission Website – https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/modernisation-eu-copyright-rules

On Mark Zuckerberg’s interview livestream record

European Parliament Website – http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/en/other-events/video?event=20180522-1820-SPECIAL-UNKN