Updated Mar 20, 2018

Why Europeans are more skeptical of data-driven businesses

A European Union flag seen flying in Trafalgar Square. Photo: Brais G Rouco/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Europeans view privacy as a human rights issue, leading regulators there to be much more skeptical of data-driven businesses like social media. Americans are also beginning to worry about how data is used on some platforms like Facebook, particularly after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke this weekend.

The big picture: Europe's history and culture plays a large role in shaping its views toward privacy. Granted, this history has to do with government access to personal information, but it's since extended to businesses.

Last week at South by Southwest, Damien Levie, head of the E.U.'s trade and agriculture at its U.S. embassy, provided context on the upcoming data privacy law:

"I think where we’re coming from in Europe is that privacy is a constitutional issue, it's human rights issue. You have not only these European Communist regimes but also the Nazi dictatorships regimes…. People know very well what it means for the government to have access to your data.”

U.S. context: Julie Brill, currently deputy general counsel at Microsoft and a former FTC Commissioner, added:

The U.S. does have very robust privacy laws but they’re disaggregated and hard to understand. Privacy is a fundamental right but it is vis-a-vis government intrusion, under the 4th Amendment. But it is deeper and broader in Europe."

Cultural attitudes impact social media use: A Pew survey last year found that internet access doesn't necessarily lead to social media use, including in European countries like Germany, where only 37% of people use social media.

Go deeper: How U.S. and E.U. leaders differ on tech competition policy; The biggest anti-trust story you haven't heard about.

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.