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The road towards universally accessible ultra-fast connectivity in Europe still seems long and bumpy.
Action is being taken to increase transparency on the processing of users’ personal data on the internet, but the main digital advertisers still rely on intrusive practices that try to influence people’s behaviours. European regulation on data protection could mitigate the issue, but its enforcement is limited
Over the years, Big Tech companies have morphed from mere platforms to major international players with vested financial and political motives and connections. Their roles in influencing elections in Europe must be seriously addressed.
The online advertising system is based on the collection and sharing of user data, in an opaquely competitive market which rests mostly in a few powerful hands, including Google. Privacy and data protection are at issue, and Europe is debating what action should be taken.
Digital platforms often trick users into giving up their personal data or buying particular products. These “dark patterns” go against European legislation, but authorities are struggling to combat them.
Digital IDs and health passports are being talked up as the only way to return to normal amid COVID-19 but open the door to an unprecedented central surveillance system and an end to personal autonomy through coercion. And while they are being pitched as optional, those who opt out face exclusion from the most fundamental freedoms.
To monitor the spread of the new coronavirus, EU member states have taken additional surveillance measures potentially putting some fundamental rights at risk.
Mass data collection, geo-location tracking and facial recognition have become normalised in the climate of widespread fear of contagion. Yet these threats to privacy, liberty and democracy will only deepen with the imposition of contact tracing apps.
An exclusive investigation reveals that Instagram prioritizes photos of scantily-clad men and women, shaping the behavior of content creators and the worldview of 140 millions Europeans in what remains a blind spot of EU regulations.
The measures adopted by some Balkan countries to contain the pandemic have raised perplexity in associations and researchers who deal with privacy and digital rights. Emergency actions, derogating from the national rules of law, could translate into mass surveillance tools.