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Policy Wrap: Meta gets record fine of €1.2B over EU users’ Facebook data transfer to US, Google and Washington state reach $39.9M privacy settlement over Google’s location tracking practices, and more
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Meta handed record EU privacy fine of €1.2 billion over EU users’ Facebook data transfer to US servers
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Meta Platforms Inc was handed a record European Union privacy fine of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion). This penalty is due to Meta Platforms Inc.'s failure to heed a top EU court's warning about the transfer of Facebook users' EU data to US servers. The company has also been given a deadline of 5 months to “suspend any future transfer of personal data to the US” and 6 months to stop “the unlawful processing, including storage, in the US” of transferred personal EU data.
There were concerns that the American spy agencies would gain access to the data, which is why EU regulators under the direction of Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon have been working to finalise a prohibition on the legal mechanism used by Facebook to transfer European user data. The Commission also said on Monday that continued shipping of data to the US put the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people involved at risk.
A data transfer agreement between the EU and the US was declared unconstitutional in 2020 by the highest court in Europe, citing privacy concerns.
Meta had said last year that a prohibition on the method Meta employs to send data from Europe to the US could compel it to suspend Facebook services in Europe.
Google and Washington state reach $39.9 million privacy settlement over allegations against the former with regards to its location tracking practices
Google will pay the Washington state $39.9 million as a settlement to a lawsuit alleging that the Alphabet Inc. division misled consumers about its location monitoring practises.
In accordance with the settlement, it resolves claims that Google misled users into thinking they had choice over how the search and advertising company gathered and exploited their personal data.
In fact, the state claimed that Google violated consumer privacy by collecting and profiting from that data even when users turned off its monitoring technology on their smartphones and laptops.
Google agreed to pay $391.5 million in November to settle claims made by 40 US states with similar allegations.
Some states, including Washington, made the independent decision to sue Google over its tracking practises. Arizona and Google settled one of those disputes for $85 million last October.
Google to pay $8 million as settlement claims for deceptive ads for Pixel 4 smartphone
In order to resolve allegations that it used misleading marketing to promote the Pixel 4 smartphone, Google, has agreed to pay $8 million.
Both the federal government and state attorneys general of Texas have investigated the search and advertising giant for violations of antitrust and consumer protection laws. Two antitrust cases have been filed by the federal government.
The Texas Attorney General's office claimed that Google paid radio hosts to promote the Pixel 4 by giving testimonials about the device, despite denying them access to use one of the devices.
The firm made plainly misleading claims, and the settlement holds Google responsible for deceiving Texans for financial gain, they added.
Government of India looking at developing a legal framework for AI platforms like ChatGPT
The government stated that it is considering a legal framework for AI-enabled smart tech platforms, such as ChatGPT, covering issues linked to copyrights and bias of algorithms. Any laws that are created will be done so in collaboration with other countries that share the same views, the statement added.
Various nations are investigating the growing influence of AI platforms, thus a framework must be formed after discussions at the international level.
Communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated that there are concerns regarding IPR, copyright, and algorithmic bias with regard to platforms like ChatGPT that use 'Generative AI' techniques and provide human-like intelligent responses in a matter of seconds. The government sees numerous concerns as it is a very broad field.
Regulators are worried about these technologies' rising acceptability, use, and popularity because they have the potential to mislead the public, distribute fake news, break copyright rules, and even eliminate millions of jobs.
Regulators in the US and Europe are already working towards legislations to govern smart technology.
MeitY likely to lead proposed body to fact-check news regarding the government on social media and internet intermediaries
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will likely head up a fact-checking team that the Centre will use to validate any information about the government that is posted on social media and internet intermediaries.
The three-member body will have two representatives from the IT ministry and a third independent member with knowledge of law, social media, or public policy.
This is a change from the government's previous position, which stated that the Press Information Bureau (PIB) was the preferred organisation to conduct this type of fact-checking.
The planned MeitY-led fact-checking group won't have the authority to censor or evaluate opinions given by newspapers. Instead, it will simply verify news and factual information.
Additionally, the three-person team will have to explain publicly the rationale for any take-down orders it issues. This will make sure that everyone can see the justifications for removing or disputing a particular post on the grounds that it is false or wrong.
Startup and MSME mergers & acquisitions need to be mandatorily cleared within 15-60 days
India updated its regulations on Tuesday to streamline and speed up the approval process for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the startup sector.
A corporate affairs ministry (MCA) notice stated that M&As in startup and MSME sectors will now be able to get approval within 15 days. The maximum amount of time allowed has been capped at 60 days.
The decision is viewed as a major boost for the startup industry, which has recently experienced an increase in corporate restructuring.
The MCA has established a 60-day maximum for either sanctioning the merger/amalgamation or presenting its opinions to the adjudicating body in response to any received objections. If this isn't done within the allotted period, it will be regarded as an approval.
Currently, there is no deadline for the Registrar of Companies’ (RoC) or the formal liquidators' approval.
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