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While the EU powers up its new online privacy regulations, Europe’s private sector is feeling disconnected

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is intended to protect the online data of all its citizens by harmonising and strengthening European laws on data protection, and is set to go into effect on 25 May 2018. On that date, the EU’s e-privacy regulation – a more binding law – will replace its 2002 e-privacy directive. The penalties for corporate non-compliance will be shockingly stiff: up to EUR 20 million or four percent of worldwide annual turnover for an offending company, whichever is higher. So where do things stand? Policymakers and IT executives gathered here on 30 November for the 8th Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference to assess the progress of corporate compliance. So far, the outlook is…

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Horizon 2020 programme throws cash at cybersecurity-related security projects, hoping something will stick to the Dark Web

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Among the measures included in European Commission’s cybersecurity package, adopted on 13 September 2017, is the goal of transforming the European Union Agency for Information Security (ENISA) into a new cybersecurity agency. The Commission is also pushing researchers to study new ways to tackle Europe’s burgeoning cybercrime threats. The need is great, to say the least. According to the EU, ransomware attacks increased by 300 per cent between 2015 and 2017, and may increase four-fold again by 2019. One of the workshops during the 6 December meeting of the Commission’s “Community of Users” (CoU) of security research stakeholders (see related article in this issue) focused on cybercrime, several related research projects and the eye-raising statistics that confront authorities in their efforts to combat it. As Michele Socco of the Commission’s home affairs directorate-generale (DG HOME) told the workshop, “65 percent of digital evidence is...