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Data Sheet—Monday, September 21, 2015

 

European policy makers continue to swear up and down that the union’s new policies governing digital commerce won’t discriminate against U.S. tech firms. But it’s difficult to see how they won’t, especially given Europe’s strong stance on prioritizing personal data privacy.

On Monday, regulators in France ignored Google’s argument that “right to be forgotten” requests should be limited to specific jurisdictions. It believes that requests for link removals should apply to all of the search giant’s global domains.

It will be intriguing to see how that ruling fits within the framework of European-wide policies currently being developed and debated among member countries. The commission will start accepting public commentary in the near future, and drafts of the new rules should emerge in 2016.

One of the commissioners spearheading the drive to create a more unified policy is heading to the United States this week, where he will meet with companies like Facebook and Google, which have particular cause for concern. The goal, he tells The Wall Street Journal, is to create a “level playing field.” To get there, however, could require serious policy excavation on the part of both companies.

Long term, the path Europe chooses will also have implications for the digital marketing and business strategies of major U.S. businesses. Data collection practices tolerated in the United States—like Facebook’s latest ad-targeting measures—are already under attack across the Atlantic, and it doesn’t look like the grip will loosen.

 

TOP OF MIND

 

More than half the world is still offline. Global access to Internet services is growing more slowly, perpetuating a trend that began in 2012. Almost 90% of people in 48 poorest nations still go without. (Reuters)

TRENDING

Be extra cautious with iOS downloads. Apple is scrubbing its App Store of “malicious” apps after malware was discovered over the weekend. The questionable code looks to have originated in China. It’s not disclosing the extent of the damage, but one security firm estimated the number of bad apps at more than 300. Ironically, Chinese hackings have otherwise slowed down ahead of meetings this month between China and the United States.  (Reuters, Fortune)

Another billion-dollar chipmaker buyout inspired by the Internet of things. Dialog Semiconductor will pay $4.3 billion for British company Atmel. The latter makes chips for smartwatches, fitness bands, and other gadgets. (Journal)

Crowdfunding startup Kickstarter forswears IPO aspirations. Instead, it is officially becoming a public benefit corporation. (New York Times)

Verizon thinks it can beat the 2020 date for crazy-fast wireless services. The carrier’s trials of 5G technology begin early next year. The new networks could be 50 times faster than existing 4G coverage. (Fortune)

AMD loses key chip designer. Jim Keller was leading development for the company’s forthcoming “Zen” technology, its strategy for winning share in data centers. The whereabouts of his new job were not disclosed. (eWeek)

THE DOWNLOAD

 

Better driving through artificial intelligence

You’ve been on the road for hours, trying to make good time back home after an exhausting weekend in Las Vegas. With each blink your eyes stay closed a little longer. Your head nods and then snaps back up. Before it can happen again, possibly resulting in a deadly crash, your car begins to slow down and an alarm jolts you awake. Algorithms that anticipate what you’ll do next are getting closer to reality.

 

BITS AND BYTES

 

White House mourns tech advisor. Jacob Brewer, formerly with Change.org, was killed during a charity biking event. (Re/code)

Here’s a peek at BlackBerry’s top-secret Android smartphone. (Fortune)

If you can’t log into Skype this morning, you’re not alone. (Reuters)

MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS

Here’s why Tesla is wooing women—and will probably win them over by Valentina Zarya

Why voice assistants like Siri still aren’t cutting it by Sarah Silbert

Why Alibaba’s investors should still be wary by Shawn Tully

 

ONE MORE THING

So far at least, foreign-made robots rule Chinese factory floors. (Reuters)