› News for January 29.

News for January 29.

France fined Google for 50 million euros.

Google was informing users ‘not clear and understandable enough’ about how their data will be used.

National Commission for computer science and human rights in France (CNIL) fined Google for European regulations violation of personal data protection. As CNIL’s message noted, Google did not inform users in a clear and understandable way about how the company will use personal data. The Android operating system has a user agreement and step-by-step research of the agreement showed that the access for the necessary information is significantly difficult. Moreover, Google’s informative policy appeared under the regulator’s obstruction and critics regarding using the data for personized advertisement. The user’s agreement has a mark in the ‘I agree’ window previously set, while the European regulation requires users to set it by themselves. The company’s officials stated that Google will review CNIL decision and notify about next steps. The company has a right to protest the decision in a court. Google was also fined last year for unclear rules of political advertisement content.

The economic growth in China slowed down for 30-years lowest pace.

Chinese GDP grew by 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018. That’s three times faster than Russian growth though.

The economic growth in China slowed down to 6.4% in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, according to Reuters with a link to the National Statistics Bureau in China. That’s the slowest pace since 1990, as the agency noted. The Chinese economic growth is gradually slowing down since 2010, according to the World Bank’s data. Before the last crisis in 2007, Chinese GDP grew by record-high of 14.2% in the last three decades, but this year’s growth lowered its pace to 6 - 6.5%. That’s the target for the country’s government in 2019, Reuters wrote linking to local sources. The lack of internal demand growth prevents the Chinese overall development, Chinese citizens are not sure that their wages will grow as fast as before. Another reason halting the Chinese economic expansion is the trade war with the U.S. which started in 2018. Those tensions led to mutual import tariffs for a total amount of hundreds of billions dollars per year. China was providing a third of global growth recently. The slowdown of the Chinese economy, which volume concedes the U.S. only, threats to global growth as well. Russian GDP, for instance, growth three times slower than the Chinese, increasing by 2% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Minister of Economic development Oreshkin’s predictions. The official GDP data will be published by RosStat at the end of January.

Russian authorities threat Facebook and Twitter.

Both companies did not provide information about the compliance of local data law, sending just ‘formal’ answers, which could lead to fines up to five thousand roubles.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) started administrative cases against American companies Twitter and Facebook for noncompliance of the law about personal data storage, TASS agency stated on January 21. The statement says that Twitter and Facebook provided just ‘formal answers’ for the requirement to confirm personal data localization for Russian users. The authority also noted that both companies did not either confirm the law compliance nor informed about terms of executing the regulations in the future. Roskomnadzor sent letters to Facebook and Twitter about the need for compliance the law of localization and storage of Russian users’ data on December 17. Both companies had to reply till January 17. Roskomnadzor’s press secretary Vadim Ampelonskiy stated on January 18 that the authority received answers from Facebook and Twitter, and further steps regarding both companies will be announced later. According to Roskomnadzor Head Alexander Zharov, if Facebook and Twitter refuse the data localization or will not reply, then they should expect to be fined for five thousand roubles. The law about personal data localization was implemented in September 2015. According to the law, companies can store Russian users’ personal data only in databases which are physically located in the Russian Federation.

Facebook and Twitter

World Economic Forum experts named main threats for the global economy in 2019.

Every year, before the Davos Economic Forum, its experts create a list of global risks. This year’s list includes a threat of full-scale trade war, growing political tensions, cyber attacks and climate change.

Global Economic Forum (GEF) starts in Davos next week and its experts named two key risks for the global economy this year - the threat of full-scale trade war and growing political tensions between world’s states. That comes from the GEF report about global risks in 2019 which was prepared for the upcoming yearly forum. The important part of the global risks is also taken by cyber attacks and climate change. Those conclusions were based on questioning more than one thousand government officials, scientists, businessmen, who work on getting the forum ready in Davos. The report also says that global growth pace, obviously, reached the peak. The International Monetary Fund, referring to the global demand decline, lowered October’s forecast for the global economic growth by 0.2% in 2019, which was caused by the slowdown in the U.S. and China. ‘We simply lack powder to overcome the slowdown issue, to which could lead us the current momentum”, the Wall Street Journal quoted GEF President Borge Brende's words told in a press conference.

Moreover, GEF experts warned that the economic policy, which used to allow competitors getting mutual benefits of the trade relationship, is now ‘often considered as the strategic competition instruments’. “The trade used to be the progress driver”, Brende underlined. But now, according to his words, this tendency disappears, that’s why ‘the nearest months will have a decisive meaning for trust consolidation”. “The main risk is the lack of a wish to cooperate”, - he said.

The global risks report was published in the light of tightening geopolitical and global economic tensions in 2019. The past year was marked with the escalation of relationship tensions between Russia and Western countries in the light of Scripal’s and his daughter’s poisoning in Solsberry, which led to a new round of mutual sanctions. The U.S.-China trade war also started last year. Nine GEF experts of ten expect an escalation of economic and political confrontations between world’s leading states. Last year’s GEF report named such global risks as political populism, markets’ turning-point and overestimated expectations for technological impact.

ECB still cannot hike the interest rates in 2019.

The Eurozone economic growth is weaker than it was widely anticipated earlier, although its momentum forecast noted by the European Central Bank in December remains actual, and this year’s interest rates hike is still possible, ECB voting member Evald Novotny stated.

According to Novotny, the regulator will hardly make any decision to implement any changes in the monetary policy in the upcoming meeting in January. “We realized that risks remained but the basic scenario is still actual”, - he said. “The January meeting would not operate with a huge number of new data. And as far as we refer to the current data, I do not expect significant changes in the monetary policy in January”.

Answering the question, whether he thinks that this year’s rate hike is possible despite the market’s expectations for the loans cost increase till 2020, Novotny said: “I can imagine that”.

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