Using US-based services as a European Business

USA - EU Jigsaw pieces - © guess I don’t need to tell most of you that the internet is a global phenomenon.  Anyone who has used a web browser will more likely than not have visited a website that is hosted in a different country, possibly without even realising it.

And for most people using the web, that’s probably just fine.

But for businesses it is a different matter and there is a lot more to take into consideration when deciding where to host a website or which services to use.

There is a financial aspect to consider if you host your site in a country that uses a different currency.  In a worst case scenario, your hosting could because much more expensive just due to a bad exchange rate. [Read more…]

How to download your Facebook data

Facebook Logo - © has been criticised in some European countries recently for the amount of data that they collect about their users and how it gets used.  Some parts of Germany in particular have been very active on this issue, but it was a law student from Vienna that finally got things moving by officially requesting information on the data that was being stored about him.

EU Data protection legislation – and that of many member states – allows people to request companies about which data is being stored about them, and the companies are required to respond.  Often within a set time frame.

Facebook falls under this rule because of their European headquarters in Dublin, which makes them subject the Irish data protection commissioner.

Now at first Facebook allowed you to apply on-line for your data, but then you had to submit a scan of some form of ID and jump through a few hoops to get hold of your data, which apparently was sent out by post.

I guess in the end too many people were asking for this because now the whole things has become automated. [Read more…]

Have you read Google’s new privacy policy?

Google logo with magnifying glass - ©’s new privacy policy came into force at the beginning of this month, despite protests from the EU.  The chances are, that if you use any of Google’s services, you have accepted it.  Either you accepted it in advance by clicking on the button that appeared when you logged in, or you ignored it and have now silently accepted the new policy by continuing to use whatever services you may have accounts for.

But have you actually read it?

If you haven’t then you should because I think it is a good example of a clear and easy to understand policy.  Which makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. [Read more…]

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