From geo-blocking to cloud computing: Parliament’s guide to the digital age 


Share this page: 

Cloud computing? Our glossary will tell you all about it ©BELGA_Zoonar_N_Menijes  

Every day 315 million Europeans use the internet, but challenges still remain for consumers and companies alike. The European Commission presents its strategy for a digital single market on Wednesday 6 May. On the same day the EP's industry and research committee will discuss it with Andrus Ansip, who is the commissioner responsible for the strategy. Read on to find out more about the terminology and the remaining challenges.

Big data

Large volumes of data that can, for instance, include purchase transaction records or GPS signals. The Commission believes there are a number of important issues to be resolved when it comes to big data, such as determining ownership and protecting people's personal data.

Cloud computing

Data that is used, stored and processed on remotely located computers accessed over the internet. While benefits include convenience and often lower costs for consumers, risks could include sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.



Trading goods over the internet. According to the Commission, only 15% of consumers shop online with a trader based in another EU country as delivery costs prove to be a challenge.



The practice by some companies to unnecessarily stop consumers from using their on-line service in another country, often without justification, and to redirect traffic to a local store with different prices and products than those in other countries.


Net neutrality

The principle that internet service providers should treat all online content, sites and platforms equally, for instance without blocking or slowing down on purpose competing websites or services. MEPs approved a proposal last year in support of net neutrality being included in the telecoms package proposed by the Commission in 2013.


The ability to stay connected with a mobile device to make phone calls and to send and receive data when outside your network, most commonly when in a foreign country. MEPs wants to remove the extra "roaming" fees. 

Click here for more news from the Parliament

Potential benefits 
  • Creating a fully functional digital single market could boost the EU's gross domestic product by up to €500 billion a year