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Turkey, EU reaches agreement on Refugee crisis

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image source: www.euractiv.com

Turkey and the European Union have reached agreement on the main points of a proposal to tackle the influx of refugees into Europe, according to statements by officials. The next step involves the presentation of the proposal to EU leaders at a key European Council meeting due to be held on March 17 and 18. The…

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EU Commission: Beware of Cyber Attack Amid Coronavirus Crisis

EU Commission Warns of Increased Cybercrime During Coronavirus Crisis

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coronavirus cyber crime
The president of the European Commission is warning EU citizens to beware of on-line scams, particularly for counterfeit medical products and medicines during the coronavirus crisis. Pixabay

The president of the European Commission is warning EU citizens to beware of on-line scams, particularly for counterfeit medical products and medicines during the coronavirus crisis.

In a video message released Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said with more people working from home and spending time online, they have become more susceptible to cyber criminals, particularly those exploiting fears about the virus.

coronavirus cyber crime
President of European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, gives a press conference after EU leaders’ video conference on COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the European Council building in Brussels. VOA

She says European law-enforcement agencies have seized 4.4 million units of illicit pharmaceuticals in recent weeks, seven organized crime groups were dismantled, and 121 arrests were made.

Also Read- The World Unites to Fight the Common Enemy: COVID-19

Von der Leyen said that 2,500 fake links, websites and social media profiles have also been taken down. She urged citizens to double check all websites they visit are maintained by a trusted entity.

Von der Leyen said that if and when actual vaccines or other medicines are proven effective in treating the coronavirus, official government and public institutions will announce it. (VOA)

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Google Having Access to Fitbit’s Data a Privacy Risk: EDPB

Google accessing Fitbit data major privacy risk: EU advisors

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Google
EDPB was warned the European Commission of the potential privacy risks of Google having access to Fitbit's data. Pixabay

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) was warned the European Commission of the potential privacy risks of Google having access to Fitbit’s data.

This comes in the wake of the tech giant’s plan to scoop up the health and activity data of millions of Fitbit users, months after its parent company Alphabet acquired it.

Regulators are in the process of considering whether to allow the tech giant to gobble up all this data, TechCrunch reported on Thursday.

In a statement, the board writes: “There are concerns that the possible further combination and accumulation of sensitive personal data regarding people in Europe by a major tech company could entail a high level of risk to the fundamental rights to privacy and to the protection of personal data.”

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Regulators are in the process of considering whether to allow Google to gobble up all this data, TechCrunch reported on Thursday. Pixabay

It is pertinent to note that, as it stands today, Google is still waiting on regulatory approval for its Fitbit acquisition.

In the EU, how privacy is handled will have a huge impact on whether or not the deal goes through.

Also Read- Facebook and Twitter Remain Divided due to Bloomberg’s Video

The EDPB also leaves a reminder that Google and Fitbit are obligated to conduct a transparent assessment of “the data protection requirements and privacy implications” regarding this merger. The US Justice Department has also raised concerns, according to 9to5Google.

Aplphabet-Google acquired Fitbit as a whole for $2.1 billion late last year, a deal that includes the user data of Fitbit customers including activity, sleep, location, and other health data. (IANS)

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EU Countries may Exclude High-Risk 5G Providers Under New Guidelines

EU countries can restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers from core parts of their telecoms network

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5G
A 5G logo is displayed on a screen outside the showroom at Huawei campus in Shenzhen city, China's Guangdong province. VOA

EU countries can restrict or exclude high-risk 5G providers from core parts of their telecoms network infrastructure under new science and technology guidelines to be issued by the European Commission next week, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The non-binding recommendations are part of a set of measures aimed at addressing cybersecurity risks at national and bloc-wide level, in particular concerns related to world No. 1 player Huawei Technologies.

The guidelines do not identify any particular country or company, the people said.

“Stricter security measures will apply for high-risk vendors for sensitive parts of the network or the core infrastructure,” one of the people said.

5G
Australia’s ban on Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s involvement in its future 5G networks and its crackdown on foreign covert interference are testing Beijing’s efforts to project its power overseas. Pixabay

EU digital economy chief Margrethe Vestager is expected to announce the recommendations on Jan. 29.

Other measures include urging EU countries to audit or even issue certificates for high-risk suppliers.

Also Read- Amazon Employees Risk Their Jobs by Criticizing Amazon’s Record on Climate Change

EU governments will also be advised to diversify their suppliers and not depend on one company and to use technical and non-technical factors to assess them.

Europe is under pressure from the United States to ban Huawei equipment on concerns that its gear could be used by China for spying. Huawei, which competes with Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson has denied the allegations. (VOA)