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Big Tech Compliance Tracker: EU Privacy Regulator Fines Amazon $887M; Musk Calls Apple’s App Store Fees A ‘Tax’

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

EU Privacy Regulator Fines Amazon $887M

A European privacy watchdog has fined Amazon 746 million euros ($887 million) for violating data protection laws. Amazon disclosed the fine Friday (July 30) in a security filing, according to CNBC, after it was issued two weeks ago by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNDP), which says the retail giant failed to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The commission has ordered Amazon to revise some of its business practices, while Amazon, whose European operations are based in Luxembourg, denies any sort of breach occurred. Amazon says it plans to appeal the fine, which it called disproportionate.

Musk Calls Apple’s App Store Fees A ‘Tax,’ Backs Epic Games

Elon Musk came out on the side of Epic Games, which makes “Fortnite,” amid its ongoing legal battle with Apple. “Apple app store fees are a de facto global tax on the Internet,” the Tesla chief executive tweeted Friday (July 30). “Epic is right.” The suit stems from Epic’s decision to go around Apple’s in-app payment system to release its own way for users to pay. Epic has accused Apple of possessing a “monopolistic” hold over its field, as the App Store is the primary way for many users to buy new apps.

Another Chinese Regulator Cracks Competition Whip At Big Tech

China has ordered Big Tech firms to reel in anti-competitive behaviors and threats to data security, among other issues, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported July 26, citing the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The MIIT is tasked with oversight of the country’s telecommunication standards and regulators said the goal of its rectification program targets a number of troubling problems — the disruption of “market order,” violation of users’ rights, abusing users’ data, and more, per the news outlet. No specific technology firms were mentioned.

Snapchat Debuts Personalized Snap Map

Snap has debuted a new map feature to help users discover new businesses, log favorite spots and get personalized recommendations, according to a company blog post. Called My Places, the new feature in Snap Map allows users to keep in touch with people they care about and connect in real life, the post stated.

There will be other new features debuting later in the year, with integrations with Layers from The Infatuation and Ticketmaster coming to the app, according to the post.

Facebook Begins Work On Metaverse For AR, VR

Facebook is creating a “metaverse,” which allows for digital worlds that several people can share simultaneously, and it is in the process of setting up a team for the project, CNBC reported.

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