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The United States and the European Union have finally aired the details of their new post-Safe Harbor spying arrangements – which are designed to alleviate fears about the extent of America’s power over European data.

Although not officially part of the deal, perhaps the most significant development here is that for the first time, European citizens should be able to take the US government to court for data breaches following last week’s signing of the Judicial Redress Act.

Source:The Next Web

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Google is apparently paying Apple, by way of a revenue sharing agreement, a significant amount of money to remain the default search engine for the iPhone. The terms mean that in 2014, Apple received $1 billion from Google, according to a court transcript from the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit, in a report published by Bloomberg.

Source: Digital Trends

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Local search is going to be huge in 2016.

We saw last year how Google decreased its Local Pack (the group of featured business pages that show up in the SERPS). The switch from 7 local results to the new Google 3 Pack made serious waves in the SEO industry and small businesses everywhere. And that’s just the beginning.

Things are heating up, and they’re all set to boil over this year. A number of rising factors suggests that local search in 2016 should deserve your complete attention. Because now more than ever before, you have to meet the increasing demands of mobile users.

Trust us—this is something you do not want to miss.

Source: business2community.com

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Path to purchase typically involves multiple site categories and several devices.

What we widely call “local search” is only partly about search engines. Finding local content and making offline purchase decisions is a multifaceted process that involves several categories of information and devices. That’s according a new survey and report from IDC and YP.

The report is called “Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers” and based on a survey of 750 US adults (between 18 to 44). Roughly 80 percent said they own smartphones, matching overall US smartphone penetration of just under 80 percent according to comScore.

source: Search Engine Land

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EU negotiators wrapped up talks on a major data protection reform last night (15 December) that will tighten privacy laws and determine how companies handle consumers' personal data.

The data protection regulation was hit with thousands of amendments and branded one of the top lobbied draft bills during its four-year stint in the legislative pipeline.

Following the October European Court of Justice decision that knocked down the Safe Harbour data transfer agreement between the EU and US, Europe's tough privacy rules have been under the spotlight.

Technology companies and privacy lawyers are saying the new regulation will make Europe's data protection rules a lot stricter. Current EU privacy legislation stems from the 1995 data protection directive.

Source: Euractiv

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