Device neutrality coming to Europe?


Yay. Partially, that is.

Some good news for EU citizens, just in through the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE): the European Parliament just voted to introduce the principle of Device Neutrality, which is summarized by this figure:

Device neutrality coming to Europe? /img/device-neutrality.jpg

Why this is big, good news

Device Neutrality is good because it brings in “stricter consent rules for pre-installed apps, safeguards against vendor lock-in, and real-time data portability”. In plain English, once this rule is enforced, it should become much easier to stop using an app or digital product, withou losing data, when you don’t like them anymore.

Why this is incomplete good news

The EU Parliament, says FSFE, missed the chance to introduce strong requirements for interoperability based on Open Standards: “This is a lost chance to leverage competition with accessible and non-discriminatory technical specifications [that would allow] market actors to innovate on top of technical specification standards and build their own services”.

However, things look better than they did before for digital and consumer rights in EU, and let’s hope, as FSFE puts it, that getting Device Neutrality in european legislations does become the first step towards real digital interoperability of digital products and services. I mean, we have already endured too much idiocy like this around non-interoperabledigital products and services, haven’t we?

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