PRG News Roundup, October 6, 2021

Russia is seeking a fine from Facebook totaling 5-10% of its annual turnover in the country. In 2020 Russia passed legislation that allows regulators to fine internet providers if they repeatedly fail to delete content when requested. While Russia said Facebook had complied with demands to delete some of the requested content, it announced it would seek the fine because Facebook had not taken down all of the content it had requested. It is estimated that the fine could be between 12 and 39 billion roubles, equal roughly to $165 million to $538 million. (Link)

The European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the committee’s recommendations on the Digital Services Act. While these are recommendations and not binding on the final outcome, the committee called for limiting liability exemptions for internet companies that perform basic functions of content moderation and content curation, the right to use and pay for digital services anonymously, a ban on behavioral tracking and advertising and a stricter time limit of 72 hours for deciding on reported content. The Digital Services Act regulates online internet intermediaries and digital platforms with the goal of better protecting consumers and establishing greater transparency. If adopted by the Internal Market Committee, the recommendations would be a notable change in the liability exception for internet platforms. The Internal Market Committee will meet on November 8th to vote on the recommendations. (Link) (Link)

In “Vaccine – Educated Decision Assoc.” v. City Kinds Inc., a case recently decided in Israel, an anti-vaccination group alleged that the requirement to show proof of vaccination at a kindergarten was an infringement of privacy. The lower court in Israel rejected their claims and held asking for proof of vaccination is not illegal. (Link)

A lower court has asked the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) to rule on whether the collection and retention of publicly available data by a credit agency violates the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) sections on lawfulness and storage limitation principles. The case comes as part of an increase of cases posed by national courts to the CJEU regarding how the GDPR should be interpreted and applied in practice. (Link)

Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen filed eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission. She accused the company of making material misstatements and omissions in statements to investor and prospective investors through past filings, testimony to Congress, online statements and media stories. She also accused Facebook of misrepresenting the scale and its awareness of problems with its products. (Link) (Link)

(Compiled by Student Fellow Caolinn Mejza)