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.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.