Weekly Anti-trust and Privacy Updates

This week’s anti-trust and privacy updates are as follows:

The UK ICO will fine TikTok £27 million for failing to protect children’s privacy

TikTok, the viral video sharing app that is especially popular among young people, was found to have failed to safeguard children’s privacy from 2018 to 2020, according to a UK ICO inquiry. Given the prolonged term and the seriousness of the crimes, TikTok may be liable for a £27 million punishment if this conclusion holds up. The anticipated lawsuit from the UK ICO is not the first legal issue TikTok has encountered in this regard. Since it launched as “Musical.ly” in 2014, the video sharing app has been plagued by concerns over children’s privacy.


Uber CSO covered up 2016 data breach; Found guilty: Department of Justice, USA

Joe Sullivan, the former head of security at Uber was discovered to have covered up a security breach in 2016. The breach of data allegedly led to the theft of records of around fifty-seven million people, including recorded data of the drivers associated with the company. The CSO was convicted on October 5th, 2022, for obstructing the investigation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in March 2016 wherein Uber was required to submit information of events where any “unauthorized parties had gained access to the confidential user information”. Sullivan kept the information about the data leak away from the FTC, and allegedly paid the hackers a hefty sum in Bitcoin, while signing confidentiality agreement with them to keep the data breach under wraps.

NBDA approaches CCI alleging anti-competitive practices from Google

The News Broadcaster’s Digital Association (NBDA) approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) alleging anti-competitive practices on part of Alphabet, Inc. and Google. The NBDA complaint alleges that Google shares a disproportionate amount of revenue generated with the news publishers, from the actual revenue generated by the platform. The NBDA also alleged that Google freeloads from the content provided by the publishers to develop its services, such as Google News, Discover, etc., and earns profit from that as well. This is the 2nd probe into Google from the CCI since the beginning of this year, alleging abuse of dominant position.


French antitrust penalties reduced, Apple still challenges

Apple announced that, despite the Paris appeals court significantly reducing the amount earlier, it will still challenge the judgement levied on it for anti-competitive behavior by the French antitrust agency in 2020. While the court properly overturned a portion of the French Competition Authority’s ruling, Apple said in a statement that it believes the ruling should be completely overturned and that it will appeal.

Authored by Ipshita Bhattacharyya (Associate, BananaIP Counsels), Rohan Koshy Cherian (Intern, BananaIP Counsels) and Tanmaya Purohit (Intern, BananaIP Counsels).

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