The Circuit: Google and E.U., Samsung and the E.U., South Korea reports cyberattacks

June 25, 2013

Google and the E.U.: A key adviser to the European Union’s top court said Tuesday that the search giant does not have to remove personal data from its search results. The case involves a complaint from a Spanish man who asked that links to content about him having his house repossessed 10 years ago be removed from Google’s search engines. His complaint was upheld by the Spanish Data Protection Agency, and later moved to the European Court of Justice.

As the BBC reported, in a non-binding opinion, advocate general Nillo Jaaskinen said that Google is not “generally to be considered as a controller of their personal data appearing on Web pages it processes.”

According to the report, while the opinion is not binding, the court “generally” follows these kinds of recommendations.

Meanwhile, a group of European publishers have called on the European Commission to reject a package of proposals Google submitted in April to resolve its antitrust probe in the European Union.

In a statement posted on the Web site for the Online Publishers Association in Europe, publishers from Germany, Spain and across other parts of Europe said they do not feel the changes Google proposed do enough to address concerns that the company is unfairly prioritizing its own products in search. On Monday, Google said that its proposals are “meaningful and comprehensive, providing additional choice and information while also leaving room for future innovation.”

Samsung and the E.U.: Reuters reported that Samsung is in preliminary talks with E.U. antitrust regulators to settle a charge that it prevented competitor Apple from using a mobile phone patent that has been deemed essential to the industry.

Citing two sources “familiar with the matter,” the report said that it was still too early to tell if Samsung would be able to settle. If Samsung does not settle and is found to have violated its obligations as an essential patent holder, the report said, the firm could face more than $17 billion in fines.

South Korea reports cyberattacks: The government of South Korea reported that several government and private Web sites had been hacked Tuesday on the anniversary of the start of the Korean War. As The Associated Press reported, several Web sites — including one for the presidential Blue House — were targeted in the attacks.

As the AP report noted, it wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible for the attacks, though officials are looking into the matter. The government has asked officials and citizens to take security measures, the report said.

BlackBerry releases product for competitors’ phones: BlackBerry announced Tuesday morning that it has released a management platform that separates work and personal data on competitors’ smartphones running the Android and iOS platforms.

The move could put less pressure on BlackBerry to put up strong sales numbers for its new line of BlackBerry smartphones, as it will be able to sell its services to business and government clients even if employees don’t pick up the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 or Q5.

The firm’s shares were tracking up over 2 percent in midday trading Tuesday, for a share price of around $14.40.

Edward Snowden: Russian president Vladi­mir Putin said Tuesday that Edward Snowden, the source of the NSA surveillance program leaks, is still in a secure “transit zone” in Moscow’s Sheremyetevo Airport. The Washington Post reported that Putin said Russia has no legal standing to turn Snowden over to U.S. officials and that he will not be extradited per U.S. request.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Snowden, who had been staying in Hong Kong, was quietly encouraged to leave and told that authorities would not interfere with his travel plans if he did so.

That drew criticism from U.S. officials, prompting White House press secretary Jay Carney to call it a “deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant.” He also said that the decision would have a “negative impact on the U.S.- China relationship.”

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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