Big Tech Compliance Tracker: EU Prepares To Propose New Big Tech Regulations; Turkey Fines Big Tech Platforms $1.18M

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Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny from governments and consumers.

Regulation

EU Gears Up To Propose New Big Tech Regulations

The European Commission will soon put forward a “revolutionary” revamp of digital rules that could negatively impact Big Tech’s business models, CNBC reported, citing experts.

The Digital Services Act is forecast to revamp content management on platforms such as Facebook and Google. It is due to be put forward early next month.

The bloc is seeking to have Big Tech firms take greater responsibility for what is posted on their platforms and to make sure rivals compete on a level playing field to succeed against them.

The European Commission has rolled out high-profile probes into firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon over worries that their market supremacy is negatively impacting competition.

Australian Regulator Looks Into Merger Law Changes

As governments in different parts of the globe clamp down on possible Big Tech antitrust contraventions, an Australian regulator is looking into ways to reshape Australian merger regulations in 2021, CRN, an Australian news outlet, reported.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chair Rod Sims said the watchdog was keeping a close eye on worldwide antitrust initiatives related to the significant digital platforms.

“The ACCC is focusing on the media bargaining code, our ad tech inquiry and our study examining app stores, and we have noted the Epic Games proceedings against Apple and Google in the US in regards to the latter,” the official said, as per the report.

Fines 

Turkey Hits Big Tech Platforms With $1.18M Penalty

Big Tech firms such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have been hit with a 10 million lira (approximately $1.18 million) penalty for not following a new social media law, Reuters reported, citing Omer Fatih Sayan, the deputy transport and infrastructure minister.

“Foreign companies operating in Turkey that reach more than 1 million people daily have been told about some of the rules they need to comply with,” Sayan said on social media.

“With the legal period ending, social network providers that did not report a representative, namely Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube and TikTok, have been fined 10 million lira,” the official noted.

The regulation enables authorities in Turkey to take content off of platforms instead of restricting access as they had done previously. It also mandates that social media platforms put a local representative in place to handle the concerns of the authorities.

News

California’s Proposition 24 Vote Could Bolster Digital Privacy Laws In Other States

A ballot measure ratified by a strong majority of California voters to increase protections for digital privacy could blaze a trail for similar measures throughout the nation.

Over half of voters in the state — or 56 percent — voted for Proposition 24, which was meant to strengthen a California consumer privacy rights bill passed in 2019.

The ballot measure’s passage puts the California Privacy Rights Act into place, which is meant to make it easier for consumers to not share their digital data with firms while also closing some possible loopholes in the original legislation. 

Facebook’s WhatsApp To Grow Payments Service Following NPCI Go-Ahead

WhatsApp has won an approval to grow its payment service in India following a two-year experimental effort by the Facebook-owned platform.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said in an announcement that it is providing permission for WhatsApp to grow its payment services in a “graded manner.”

The decision marks a landmark moment for WhatsApp, which first launched a test run of its new Indian payment service in 2018 with an initial user base of 1 million.

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