Personal data management: Facebook, Google and Amazon in EU crosshairs

The European Union is reportedly preparing new rules that would require web giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook to share user data with smaller companies. To protect the freedom of the market

There are 20 large companies belonging to the technology sector that could soon end up in the blacklist of the European Union authorities. At the center of the crosshairs, the management of users' personal data carried out by companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet, the holding company headed by Google, and other major names in the industry.

Although no certain information has yet been leaked about the companies affected by the axe being prepared by the European Union, according to what the Financial Times reported, it seems rather inevitable at this point that web giants such as those already mentioned may soon find themselves having to deal with even more stringent laws than those already in place. New regulations, which instead will not insist on smaller companies in the sector, may soon require the network giants to share their data with their competitors in the name of greater transparency on the methodologies of information collection.

Authorities and personal data: what are the criteria chosen by the EU

To be included among the twenty of the list, but the number could still vary, companies will have to fall into some specific criteria still being defined by the Authority. We talk, at least for the moment, about the number of subscribers or users and market share, that is the percentage of turnover of the above-mentioned companies compared to the sector they belong to.

Another evaluation factor is the strength that such companies show on the net, so much to force rivals to use their platforms to be able to carry out commercial operations. What makes the difference, then, is also the excessive market power that network giants, such as Google and Facebook to name a couple, wield over smaller companies that, in some cases, are forced to bend to the rules of the game of stronger rivals to avoid remaining in the shadows.

EU/US personal data management: where were we?

The measure comes just a few months after Schrems II. With this ruling last July, the European Commission had made many star-studded companies tremble over the management and transfer of their members' personal data overseas.

Then the European Commission not only struck down the so-called Privacy Shield, the agreement for transatlantic trade in personal data for commercial purposes between the EU and the U.S., but also ruled that "standard clauses" used to transfer data to the U.S. may not be valid if the destination country has laws or practices that do not provide the same protection as the EU.