While the US government is cracking down on big software apps it views as security threats, the EU appears to have big US-based technology companies in its crosshairs as well. EU commissioner Thierry Breton revealed to The Financial Times that it is pursuing the ability to either force big tech companies to sell off its European operations or enforce massive penalties for these companies who store data outside of the EU and avoid big taxes in the process.
The report reveals that regulation around these measures is still being drawn up and so there is likely going to be a lot of changes and a fair amount of time before we see anything of this nature take effect. It is an interesting development in the global tech game where the EU wants to take greater control of the role technology plays in its area and, in particular, the security and revenues generated by it.
There is a feeling from end-users of these platforms that they are too big to care. We need better supervision for these big platforms, as we had again in the banking system,
It’s not clear exactly how the EU would leverage laws like this just yet, though Breton did indicate that it would only apply in extreme circumstances, without revealing what those circumstances are. I’m in favour of greater regulation in general when it comes to how data, security, and privacy are handled, and also the revenues earned in foreign markets as a result. Perhaps we’ve seen big tech companies get away for far too long with some of these practices and this could be the start of greater accountability and a future blueprint for where the industry is headed.
The first proposals for this new regulation are expected to be submitted to the European Council before the end of the year, with finalisation likely only towards the end of the next year.
Last Updated: September 21, 2020