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Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Apple’s App Store Policies Face Scrutiny; Ireland Slams What’sApp with Record Fine

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

Australia Mulls Regulations For Apple Pay, Google Pay, Other Big Tech Players

The Australian government is weighing how to overhaul its financial infrastructure to enable stronger oversight of digital wallets and payments from Big Tech companies including Apple, Google and WeChat.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in a post on the government’s website Aug. 30 and in ​​the Australian Financial Review the country processes about $650 billion worth of transactions daily across about 55 million payments that rely on the network being safe, fast and efficient.

South Korea Bill Signals Changes for App Store Payments Beyond Google, Apple  

South Korea’s parliament has approved new mandates on Google and Apple that would open up payments optionality for app developers.

Under the new regulations, developers can avoid paying the commissions — which run as high as 15 to 30 percent per transaction — to Apple and Google. Developers paid as much as $1.7 billion to app store companies last year.

Ireland’s Data Watchdog Fines Facebook’s WhatsApp $267M

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) hit Facebook’s WhatsApp with a record fine of $267 million (225 million euros) by for violating the European Union’s (EU) data privacy regulations, CNBC and other news outlets reported on Thursday (Sept. 2).

WhatsApp failed to give enough information to its EU app users regarding how it handles their data and shares it with Facebook, the DPC said in doling out its punishment, ordering WhatsApp to make adjustments to its privacy policies and change how it connects with users to stay in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Indian Nonprofit Cites Apple Fees in Antitrust Complaint

Indian nonprofit group Together We Fight Society filed allegations against Apple to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) regarding anti-competitive App Store policies, saying Apple’s commissions of up to 30 percent are a barrier to both competition and the overall cost of app creation.

Apple is also facing similar allegations in the European Union over the tech giant’s in-app fee of up to 30 percent for the distribution of paid digital content and the enforcement of additional restrictions.

Apple Opens Payment Gates for Media Apps Like Spotify, Netflix

Apple might soon allow media apps including Netflix and Spotify the right to accept payments outside of the App Store and steer customers to their own websites instead, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets reported on Thursday (Sept. 2).

The new policy will allow some apps to sidestep Apple’s commission and collect payment from users themselves.

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