Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Biden Plans To Nominate Lina Khan To FTC Commissioner Post; Apple Faces $2 Million Penalty In Brazil

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

President Joe Biden Plans To Nominate Lina Khan To FTC Commissioner Post

President Joe Biden recently announced his intent to nominate Columbia Law School Associate Professor of Law Lina Khan to the position of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commissioner. Khan “teaches and writes about antitrust law, infrastructure industries law, and the antimonopoly tradition,” according to a press release from the White House. The professor’s antitrust scholarship has garnered a number of awards and has been published by numerous law journals. Khan has also been counsel for the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. 

Apple Faces $2 Million Penalty In Brazil

Apple is facing a $2 million financial penalty in Brazil for reportedly not including a charger with the sale of iPhones, PC Magazine reported. Procon, the Brazilian consumer protection foundation, also accused the tech company of selling defective items and misleading advertising, among other claims. “Apple needs to understand that in Brazil there are solid laws and institutions for consumer protection,” Procon Executive Director Fernando Capez said in a release, as per PC Magazine. “It needs to respect these laws and these institutions.”

German Court Seeks European Union Court’s Opinion On Facebook’s Data Collection Practices

The Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf recently said it would seek an opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) as to whether the German competition watchdog, Bundeskartellamt, was correct to find that Facebook was in contravention of the European Union (EU)’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Marketwatch reported.

The Düsseldorf court said it could only provide a decision on the future of the social media firm’s wide collection of user information once the European court provides its opinion.

Bundeskartellamt ordered Facebook to curb its data collection back in February 2019, but Facebook appealed and the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf paused the regulator’s order. Bundeskartellamtappealed to the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, which put the order back into place until the matter was settled.

“Today, the Düsseldorf Court has expressed doubts as to the legality of the Bundeskartellamt’s order and decided to refer questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union,” Facebook said in a statement provided to MarketWatch. “We believe that the Bundeskartellamt’s order also violates European law.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Outlines Approach To Internet Regulation

Facebook, Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined steps to reform a long-standing regulation that relates to the web in written testimony prior to a Thursday (March 25) hearing before a U.S. House of Representatives committee.

“We believe Congress should consider making platforms’ intermediary liability protection for certain types of unlawful content conditional on companies’ ability to meet best practices to combat the spread of this content. Instead of being granted immunity, platforms should be required to demonstrate that they have systems in place for identifying unlawful content and removing it,” Zuckerberg wrote in the testimony.

However, Zuckerberg said that platforms shouldn’t be liable if some material eludes detection, writing that it “would be impractical for platforms with billions of posts per day.”

Congressional Democrats Could Introduce 10-Plus Bills Regarding Antitrust Concerns

Democrats in the U.S. Congress could bring forward 10-plus bills regarding antitrust concerns. That could be an alternative to a single, huge all-encompassing bill. U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said per published reports that the bills might make it more difficult for Big Tech to lobby against reforms. The congressman said he didn’t want to give a large target for the tech companies to fight against. Instead, his aim will be to create many smaller bills to be ready by May.

Amazon Plans To Bring Amazon Care To Staffers In All States, Other Employers

Amazon has revealed its newest push into healthcare, announcing that it will grow its Amazon Care telehealth platform to staffers in every U.S. state beginning in the summer. Moreover, the company intends to make the service available to other employers later in 2021. Amazon Care, which was rolled out two years ago, was created for the care and management of chronic conditions at first, although it has expanded into more primary care services for users.

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