Stories by Loek Essers

Angry Birds developer slashes up to 130 jobs to 'reignite growth'

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish company behind mobile game hit Angry Birds, will lay off up to 130 people in its home country.

By Loek Essers | 02 October, 2014 19:56

Tags: business issues, Mobile games, Rovio Entertainment, layoffs, games

Google bows to pressure, removes news snippets from German search results

In a move to minimize legal risks, Google has stopped showing news snippets and thumbnails for some well-known German news sites in search results.

By Loek Essers | 02 October, 2014 00:50

Tags: Google, copyright, VG Media, intellectual property, legal, Civil lawsuits

Hacked celebrities 'dumb', says proposed EU digital commissioner

Günther Oettinger, the European Union's proposed Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, gave a disappointing performance at his confirmation hearing, dodging questions and calling the victims of a recent data breach "dumb."

By Loek Essers | 01 October, 2014 21:35

Tags: security, european commission, government, European Parliament, privacy

Germany orders Google to stop illegal user data processing

As part of an EU-wide crackdown on Google's data collection practices, Germany has ordered the company to change its user data processing, which is in violation of the country's laws.

By Loek Essers | 01 October, 2014 00:39

Tags: Google, government

European Commission details grounds for Apple tax probe

The European Commission believes Apple could have received significant tax reductions from Irish authorities, and is focusing its investigation on tax rulings that favored two Apple subsidiaries, according to a newly revealed Commission document.

By Loek Essers | 30 September, 2014 22:08

Tags: business issues, Apple, european commission, legal, government

Facebook's new ad sales plan raises hackles in Germany

As Facebook began rolling out a global advertising network on Monday that will capitalize on all it knows from tracking users across the web, German consumer organizations immediately raised their voices in protest.

By Loek Essers | 30 September, 2014 01:09

Tags: security, Ello, privacy, Facebook

Apple tax probe details to be published by European Commission on Tuesday

Apple's alleged favorable tax treatment by the Irish government will come under renewed scrutiny Tuesday, when the European Commission publishes its reasons for opening an in-depth investigation into the company's tax affairs.

By Loek Essers | 29 September, 2014 21:42

Tags: business issues, Apple, european commission, legal, government

Forget 'airplane mode': devices are decreed okay for inflight use in Europe

Airline passengers traveling on European airline flights will be able to leave their mobile phones and other connected e-gadgets on throughout the entire flight, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said Friday.

By Loek Essers | 27 September, 2014 02:18

Tags: European Aviation Safety Agency, mobile

Google gets privacy policy lesson from EU data protection authorities

European Union privacy regulators want Google to make its privacy policies easier to find and understand, with exhaustive lists of what data it holds and processes, in order to comply with EU law, they told the company this week.

By Loek Essers | 26 September, 2014 21:09

Tags: Google, legal

Right-to-be-forgotten 'dashboard' to help EU's data protection authorities

An electronic case-handling dashboard and a network of specialists will be created to help EU data protection authorities deal with complaints filed by people whose requests to delete search results based on a recent "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling is denied.

By Loek Essers | 19 September, 2014 01:17

Tags: security, regulation, legal, government, privacy

French crime database breaches privacy rights, EU court rules

Storing someone's private information in a crime database for 20 years when charges against that person have been dropped violates privacy rights, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday.

By Loek Essers | 18 September, 2014 20:54

Tags: European Court of Human Rights, legal, Civil lawsuits

Open document formats campaign backed by EU's digital commissioner

European government agencies should adopt open document formats in their dealings with citizens, outgoing European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has urged.

By Loek Essers | 17 September, 2014 21:56

Tags: Government use of IT, applications, european commission, software, government, Office suites

German court lifts countrywide ban on UberPop

The Frankfurt Regional Court has lifted a nationwide preliminary ban on Uber Technologies' ride-sharing service UberPop, ruling that there is no urgent need for an emergency ban.

By Loek Essers | 17 September, 2014 00:18

Tags: legal, Civil lawsuits, Uber Technologies

Mail.Ru buys rest of Russia's VKontakte, ending shareholder dispute

Internet conglomerate Mail.Ru has at last acquired total control of Russian social network VKontakte after a lingering shareholder dispute involving allegations of embezzlement and the involvement of the Russian secret service.

By Loek Essers | 16 September, 2014 22:56

Tags: business issues, vKontakte, Internet-based applications and services,, internet, social media, Mergers and acquisitions,

Netflix will launch on French telco's set-top boxes

Video on-demand service Netflix is expanding in Europe and will soon appear on the set-top boxes of French telecom operator Bouygues Telecom, the operator said on Monday.

By Loek Essers | 15 September, 2014 20:55

Tags: Internet-based applications and services, e-commerce, Bouygues Telecom, internet, netflix, Internet service providers, video

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