The latest Eurobarometer survey assessing Europeans on data protection issues reveals that a staggering 85% of the Maltese trust private banks with ‘protecting’ their personal data, more than the 75% of Maltese who trust tax authorities with their personal data.
The level of trust enjoyed by banks in Malta is 30 points higher than in the rest of Europe.
Only 56% of Europeans trust banks and financial institutions with protecting personal information which they store.
In this aspect the Maltese are more in line with Nordic Europeans than fellow Southern Europeans. Less than four out of ten people trust banks and financial institutions to protect their personal information in Spain (33%), Greece (34%) and Italy (39%).
People in the Nordic countries are more likely to have a high level of trust in these institutions, with 93% of people in Finland, 89% in Denmark, and 84% in Sweden expressing trust in banks.
The Maltese are generally less worried than other Europeans about institutions and businesses storing their personal data. While 66% of European trust national tax authorities with their data, the percentage rises to 75% in Malta.
European institutions are also more trusted in Malta than in most other EU countries. In Malta 62% trust EU institutions with their data but the level of trust falls to 51% among all EU citizens. European institutions are least trusted with personal data in Greece (41%) Spain (42%) and the UK (44%) and are most trusted in Finland and Belgium (67%).
The least trusted in both Malta and the rest of Europe are online businesses. Only 27% of Europeans and 24% of Maltese trust them with on-line data.
Shops and stores are trusted by a higher percentage in both Malta (43%) and the whole of Europe (40%).
Mobile companies also enjoy a higher trust in Malta than in the EU. Only 33% of European citizens trust mobile companies with their data, but 48% of Maltese trust them. Only 18% of people in Spain and 25% in France trust these companies to protect their personal data.
Bye bye taxi…Google is launching a ridesharing app, skirting the legal minefields of Uber
Google is jumping into the ridesharing market with a new carpooling service, RideWith, launched this week by Israeli mapping company Waze. The mapping startup, which Google purchased for $1.1 billion in 2013, is doing a test launch of the ride-sharing service in Israel.
The news follows longstanding rumors that Google would at some point upend the transportation industry with a fleet of self-driving cars. RideWith takes a different tack, recruiting work commuters who want to earn some cash by picking up other commuters on their way to work. In theory, the emphasis on non-professional drivers distinguishes the project from ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, or Gett, since drivers and passengers are limited to commuters for a maximum of two rides a day. It should also benefit from more driving data than other car-sharing apps like France’s BlaBlaCar, which bought German carpooling app Carpooling and grew rapidly this year. Its driver intel will be used to pair up drivers and riders taking the same route, according to Reuters (via Arstechnica).
Riders will pay a suggested fee, suggested by Waze, based on the length of the trip and the automobile maintenance cost in Israel and calculated by Israeli information technology company Heshev. The carpoolers can use the suggested price to negotiate the fee of the ride, from which Google takes a 15% cut.
Should Google eventually decide to take the service to other countries, the model would potentially avoid the legal battles faced by near competitors like Uber, which is mired in disputes with taxi industries around the world. Uber’s director (paywall) of French operations and its director of Western Europe currently face charges for running UberPOP as an illegal taxi service, which could land them multiyear sentences and shut down the country’s UberPOP operations. The arrests follow massive, violent riots by French taxi drivers in June against Uber and other ride-sharing programs. South Korea’s government shut down the Uber app and charged its CEO and other Uber employees for running an illegal tax services, while a German court ruled in March that UberPOP was illegal.
RideWith’s launch in Israel may benefit from potentially lessening an intractable problem: terrible traffic, and sky high car and gas prices. Thanks to high taxes on new cars, high gas prices, and steep auto insurance costs, owning a car in Israel is far more expensive than in the US.