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EU may force tech giants to remove and report child sex abuse images

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The European Commission's draft law could force companies to detect, remove and report CSAM.
The European Commission's draft law could force companies to detect, remove and report CSAM.
Photo: European Commission

According to a new report, the European Commission could release a draft law this week requiring tech companies like Apple and Google to better police their platforms for illegal images of child sexual abuse, known as CSAM.

The law would require tech companies to detect, remove and report images to law enforcement.

EU proposes forcing iPhone to switch to USB-C

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Anker PowerLine II USB-C Cable with Lightning Connector
If the European Commission has its way, the iPhone Lightning port will be replaced by a USB-C one.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The European Commission put forward legislation Thursday that would make USB-C the standard port for all smartphones and tablets. The move seems aimed directly at Apple and the Lightning port used in iPhone and the budget iPad. But it also would affect super-cheap Android handsets that still use micro-USB.

The proposal also would unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices.

Germany wants Apple to repair and update iPhone for 7 years

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Right to Repair
It is calling on the European Commission to enforce stricter rules.
Photo: iFixit

Germany is calling on the European Union to force smartphone makers like Apple and Samsung to repair and update their devices for at least seven years. It also wants manufacturers to offer spare parts at reasonable prices.

The European Commission has already proposed stricter rules for mobile device vendors. It’s all part of an effort to reduce waste by ensuring smartphones and tablets can remain in use for longer.

Apple’s Lightning connector should ride off into the sunset

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USB-C Lightning
Lightning was great but it’s time has passed. USB-C is now a better option.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The European Commission is reportedly moving ahead with legislation that’s expected to make USB-C the common charger standard in the EU. We users should be encouraging Apple to embrace the change. It’s time for the Lightning port to go.

Lightning was fine in its day… but there are multiple reasons why USB-C has become a better option.

European Commission worries Apple could be future smart home ‘gatekeeper’

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Siri on HomePod mini
Siri is taking over our lives.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Smart home technology isn’t a massive focus of Apple’s. But the European Commission is nonetheless concerned that Apple could be one of the companies potentially able to engage in anticompetitive behavior in this area due to its outsized influence on the tech industry.

In preliminary investigation results published Wednesday, the EC raises concerns about the potential of “gatekeepers emerging” in this sector. The inquiry into Internet of Things (IoT) devices was launched in July 2020. It’s based on feedback from more than 200 different companies. Along with Apple, Amazon and Google are both mentioned as big players.

Europe says Apple Music wields unfair advantage over the competition

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Streaming services like Apple Music dominate the US music market
Does Apple's App Store control give it an unfair leg up?
Photo: Apple

The European Commission accused Apple on Friday of wielding an unfair advantage over Apple Music rivals because of Cupertino’s tight control of the App Store’s commission system.

“By setting strict rules on the App Store that disadvantage competing music streaming services, Apple deprives users of cheaper music streaming choices and distorts competition,” said Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager in a statement. “This is done by charging high commission fees on each transaction in the App Store for rivals and by forbidding them from informing their customers of alternative subscription options.”

App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges in Europe

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Government agencies in the EU and UK are looking into whether the iPhone App Store violates their antitrust laws.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

Spotify’s accusation to the European Union that Apple uses its control of the App Store to squeeze out competition reportedly will soon result in antitrust charges being filed against the iPhone-maker. This comes on the same day the UK begins an investigation of the App Store.

The two antitrust agencies could force Apple to lower the commissions it charges software developers. Or even require rival iPhone app stores.

European Commission will keep fighting in $14.8 billion Apple tax battle

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iPhone with gavel.
Europe isn't throwing in the towel.
Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Cult of Mac

Contrary to reports suggesting otherwise, the European Commission has revealed that it will appeal a recent court decision that went in Apple’s favor concerning a massive $14.8 billion tax bill.

The EC made the tax demand to Apple in 2016, accusing it of benefitting from illegal state aid from Ireland. However, Apple appealed the decision and, in a July hearing, had its objections upheld. Now the EC is asking another court to overturn that verdict.

European Commission may not appeal Apple’s tax verdict victory after all

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iPhone with gavel.
Court case concerned Apple's $14.8 billion tax bill.
Photo: Tingey Injury Law Firm/Cult of Mac

The European Commission has yet to appeal its loss to Apple in the landmark multi-billion dollar tax bill case. And it may not do so at all.

The EC lost lost its court case about Apple’s $14.8 billion tax bill in July. At the time, it was widely assumed that the EC would appeal the case. However, with the deadline looming on Friday it has yet to do so.

European Commission trustbusters eye Siri and other voice assistants

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European Commission trustbuster Margrethe Vestager has Siri in her sights.
Do voice assistants like Siri give companies an unfair advantage?
Photo: ECR Group/Flickr CC

Does the voice data harvested by voice assistants like Siri give tech giants an unfair marketplace advantage? Lawmakers in Europe are currently pondering that exact question.

A European Commission investigation into the matter will look at whether this data is being used to stifle competition and maintain the position of companies like Apple and Amazon in the marketplace. This most notably relates to the rapidly expanding constellation of smart, connected devices.