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Google wants safe harbour to be preserved, remains non-committal over competition in submission to EU

Data related to Google’s digital services cannot be accessed by third parties under contractual conditions, or as reported, aggregated information, or under a request to port data to another service, Google said in its submission to European Union's public consultation on its Digital Services Act package. The aim of this consultation is to assess if existing European laws, such as the e-Commerce Directive, need to be amended to account for the challenges posed by the evolving global digital landscape about competition, combating online piracy and counterfeit goods, online content moderation, etc. The public consultation will end on September 8. However, in its blog post announcing the submission, Google said that allowing users to export their data helps users, and “providing access to aggregated datasets could benefit R&D in a range of industries while safeguarding user data privacy”. It submitted its support for data mobility and access but stressed that product quality or innovation incentives must not be “sacrificed”. Collaboration between digital platforms, European Commission, and member nations would be required to identify specific use cases where data access or interoperability would promote innovation, Google submitted. It said that sharing certain kinds of data, such as click data (data about how users point and click on different elements on a screen), would in fact give rivals data over how Google responds to search queries, thereby allowing them to clone Google’s search results. In April 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and announcement of nation-wide lockdowns across the world, Google…

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