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France’s regulator urges internet freedom in IoT devices

French communications regulator, Arcep, has urged Europe-wide action to force manufacturers to reverse policies on handsets, tablets and smart speakers perceived to be limiting internet freedom, reports Mobile World Live. “In the results of a consultation with stakeholders in France, the regulator criticised measures put in place by manufacturers and operating system (OS) companies to direct users to approved content at the expense of other suppliers. Under EU net neutrality regulations, internet service providers are banned from applying policies which offer preferential treatment to specific content suppliers at the detriment of others. However, Arcep said the same level of regulation is not imposed on devices themselves.” In a statement, Arcep adds: “While access to the internet is now mainly via a smartphone, sold with its operating system and application store, the freedom of choice of the user is gradually reduced by limitations imposed by this equipment. Some of these limitations may be justified for reasons of ergonomics, safety or innovation. Others artificially restrict access to the internet and its proliferation.” It cites examples of consumers being unable to delete pre-installed apps, smart speakers directing users towards partner services, and limitations in the functionality of app stores. Although it noted action must be taken on a Europe-wide scale, Arcep has put forward a series of proposals it believes would address issues limiting consumer choice such as comparison tools for app stores, in addition to transparent indexing and ranking criteria to increase choice. European regulator, BEREC, is also looking into the issue, Arcep said, with a report due to be released in the coming weeks. Read more and Arcep

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

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