The EU is currently not planning any big tech crackdown in the wake of a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the Commission has said. (EPA-EFE/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL MAXPPP OUT)


EU not planning ‘Big Tech’ crackdown despite European court tracking ruling


The European Commission is not planning any Big Tech crackdown despite a ruling by the Luxembourg Court of Justice (ECJ) banning tracking under certain circumstances.

MEPs had written to EC in the wake of the ruling, with the politicians asking whether coordinated action against such seemingly illegal actions would be taken by the bloc.

Internal market Commissioner Thierry Breton has now said that, while the EU would continue working to see existing rules enforced, there were presently no plans for a new crackdown.

“The Commission will monitor whether further steps in relation to practices by providers of online platforms for the tracking of users are necessary,” he wrote in a response published on September 11.

Breton was keen to insist that certain rules limiting the tracking of private individuals online were included in the bloc’s recently deployed Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA).

“The Commission will ensure effective compliance with these rules,” Breton said. “In this context, the Commission will also take into account relevant legal developments, such as the judgment referred to above.”

Breton’s lukewarm statement was in response to a query by 10 MEPs from a variety of left-leaning groups, including the Greens and S&D, as well as the centrist-leaning Renew Europe.

The parliamentarians were keen to know whether the bloc would be taking similar actions to that of Norway, which has cracked down on Big Tech operations.

Although not a member of the EU, the country’s place within the European single market has meant that the bloc’s laws are applicable.

As a result, Norway has taken punitive action against certain social-media sites it believes are illegally tracking Norwegian netizens, with a court in the country ruling that Facebook-owner Meta must pay around $100,000 a day in fines over its use of allegedly illegal tracking methods.

The fines will continue up to November 3 at the earliest, with the country having the option of asking the European Data Protection Board to extend the penalty.