Recent reports from the EU potentially impact a number of Internet and IT industry issues of great import, including plans for new laws to protect consumers from IT security breaches, Microsoft’s strategy to defend antitrust claims regarding the Internet Explorer (IE) browser, and a ruling that Intel violates antitrust laws.

EU Notice for Loss of Data

The EU plans to pursue new laws that would create more stringent reporting of IT security breaches, more like the US and Japan. Of course IT breaches are not a new topic in the IT community nor on this blog. However the new California law in 2003 requiring notice to consumers was a model that many states of have adopted, and citizens are clearly better off that they are notified of possible loss of their personal information.

Microsoft Browser Strategy

Recent blogs that Google, joined Mozilla and Opera complaining about Microsoft’s anticompetitive distribution of the IE browser is taking an interesting turn. Apparently Microsoft plans to argue in defense that restrictions on distribution of its IE will strengthen Google’s search-advertising market in an anticompetitive way. Apparently the EU estimates that 85% of the browsers in the EU are Microsoft’s IE, but if Microsoft has its way IE will continue to be distributed with Windows Operating Systems as it has since 1995.

Intel to Get an Adverse Ruling

The EU is expected to rule this week that Intel’s marketing in the EU violates antitrust laws, and Intel’s 81.9% market share is not because it has superior products. Rather the EU will rule that Intel has illegally handed out rebates and paid computer makers to delay products with rival chips.

EU Impact on IT

It’s probably about time that the EU enacted IT security breach laws to protect consumers like many US states. The EU is taking IT very seriously, and not reacting well to US IT companies’ market strategies that may be acceptable in the US. As more countries provide high speed Internet access to all citizens, countries around world will need to be even more vigilant to protect their citizens, by informing them of IT security breaches to protect personal identity and from anticompetitive behavior.

Since I see the Internet as the greatest social change in the history of humans (since there are no boundaries of time and geography), it seems reasonable that governments will only have a higher responsibility to protect citizens since we are all more and more reliant on the Internet and IT.

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