Policy Wrap: Twitter quits EU disinformation code, Google to pay Sonos $32.5 million in smart-speaker patent case, Meta offers to limit ad data use to address UK regulator’s concerns, and more
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Twitter quits EU disinformation code, but EU maintains that the bigtech cannot hide from rules even after exit
Twitter has chosen to withdraw from the EU's voluntary disinformation guideline, which unites the major social media companies.
On Saturday, Thierry Breton, the EU's commissioner for industry, stated that responsibilities still exist and that they will have teams prepared for enforcement. Beyond purely voluntary obligations, DSA's obligation to combat misinformation will take effect on August 25.
Nearly 30 organisations have signed the EU's misinformation code of conduct since its launch in 2018, including industry heavyweights including Meta, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and TikTok. Smaller platforms are included, along with marketers, fact-checkers, and non-governmental organisations.
Over 35 pledges are included in the code, which was drafted by the participants themselves. These include better cooperation with fact-checkers and refraining from endorsing actors distributing disinformation.
Companies that have endorsed the code are expected to submit recurring progress reports that include information on the amount of advertising revenue they had averted from disinformation actors.
Additionally, they must disclose the quantity or value of political advertisements that were approved or disapproved as well as any examples of manipulative behaviour that were found.
Elon Musk has reduced the monitoring of problematic content since purchasing the social network six months ago, which appears to have amplified the voices of infamous disinformation propagandists on the platform.
Google to pay Sonos $32.5 million in smart-speaker patent case as per US jury
A San Francisco federal jury determined on Friday that Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., must pay $32.5 million in damages for infringing one of Sonos Inc.'s patents in its wireless audio products.
The action is a piece of a much larger intellectual property dispute between the former collaborators that also spans the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The businesses previously collaborated to include Google's streaming music service into Sonos products. In 2020, Sonos filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google in Los Angeles and before the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging that the tech giant had stolen its technology while working with them on products like Google Home and Chromecast Audio.
Google has appealed on a limited import ban that Sonos obtained from the ITC last year on several of its products.
Following a reduction in its sales projection earlier this month, California-based Sonos saw a loss of close to one-fifth of its market worth.
The jury determined that one of the two Sonos patents at issue in the trial was violated by Google.
Meta offers to limit use of ad data to address UK competition regulator’s concerns
The social media behemoth Meta reportedly proposed to limit its use of third-party advertising data for its Facebook Marketplace service on Friday, addressing the competition watchdog's concerns.
The pledges include giving advertisers the option to refuse the use of their data to enhance the Facebook Marketplace classified ads platform. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that it was inclined to approve the undertakings.
The CMA provided an example of how otherwise, Meta may use information obtained from a user's interaction with Facebook advertisements to determine their interest in a certain product, which could subsequently affect listings for that particular product for that user on Facebook Marketplace.
Many UK firms that advertise there would benefit if the possibility of Meta improperly using the data of those businesses for its own competitive advantage is reduced.
EU seeks help of top court in $14.3 billion tax dispute against Apple
The EU's competition watchdogs made an appeal to the EU's top court on Tuesday to overrule a lower court hearing and to order Apple to pay a record amount of Irish back taxes amounting to $14.3 billion (€13 billion).
In a 2016 verdict, the European Commission stated that two Irish tax rulings had unduly decreased Apple's tax burden for more than 20 years, which was as low as 0.005% in 2014.
In 2020, the General Court ruled that regulators meet the legal standard of proofs necessary to establish that Apple had benefited unfairly.
Paul-John Loewenthal, a commission attorney, however, informed the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judges that the judgement was "legally flawed" and should be overturned.
The last word would be the Court of Justice's decision, which is anticipated in the upcoming months.
India-EU to join hands and work on rules, regulations, and standards for tech industry
India and the EU have made the decision to unify technology legislation and work together to develop rules and standards for the larger industry, including Big Tech and the biggest social media platforms. According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, state minister for IT & electronics, the action was taken shortly after the nation agreed to a strategic collaboration with the US on important and emerging technology.
The EU and India have decided to collaborate on building reliable supply chains for electronics, semiconductors, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other new technologies. Additionally, the plan is to collaborate and establish future internet rules in regard to user safety and privacy.
The minister claimed that with the relationships between the EU and the US in place, India will now play a crucial position in defining the future of both trade and technology.
With the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2016, the EU has taken the lead in creating international legislation regarding the internet and user privacy. The bloc is also working on a regulatory framework and rules for platforms with heavy-AI usage, including ChatGTP, as well as regulations in the areas of copyright and prejudice in algorithms.
Startup ecosystem in India have universe of opportunities, is “in the most exciting time ever”: Rajeev Chandrasekhar
The government is developing policy and legal frameworks that will act as an enabler for every young Indian to translate their ideas and vision into a successful global venture, said Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Wednesday. Startups and entrepreneurs in India have a universe of opportunities today ranging from space to AI and quantum to semiconductors.
The Minister of State for IT and Electronics, Chandrasekhar, asserted that the technological world would continue to develop and disrupt, and that continuous innovation is the only practical way to ensure the survival of businesses in a setting marked by ongoing disruption and change.
The Minister remarked that India, with its technological capability, policy, and startup environment, is at a turning point and "in the most exciting time ever" as millions of young Indians focus their energies on the numerous options the country currently offers.
He referred to the corporate-startup collaboration model as a "wonderful idea and a powerful model," one that will not only broaden the innovation ecosystem in general but also provide larger corporations with a win-win situation by enabling them to broaden and accelerate their own horizon of capabilities.
Changes proposed to Angel Tax rules with more valuation flexibility
The so-called "angel tax" was suggested to be exempted from application to a wide range of foreign investors on Friday by India, providing the startup industry with the much-needed relief as it faces a funding crunch. These investors would include sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has released draught guidelines that will provide those firms that must pay this tax with more flexibility in how it is calculated.
The angel tax will not apply to investments made by non-resident investors such as central banks, multilateral organisations, foreign pension and endowment funds, banks, insurers, foreign portfolio investors, and businesses registered with the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India.
This tax will also not apply to international investments made into startups recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Venture capital (VC) investors applauded the government's amendments to the angel tax provisions that were initially presented in the Union budget for 2023–2024, claiming that they give the tax's incidence the much-needed clarity it needs while preventing its arbitrary application.
For businesses that aren't institutionally backed, which is obviously the great majority of early-stage entrepreneurs, angel tax continues to be a problem.
G7 countries to discuss AI issues and regulations next week
Officials from the Group of Seven (G7) countries will gather this week to discuss issues brought on by generative artificial intelligence (AI) techniques including ChatGPT.
Leaders of the G7, which consists of the US, EU, and Japan, decided last week to establish an intergovernmental conference called the "Hiroshima AI process" to discuss challenges relating to rapidly expanding AI tools.
On May 30, G7 government representatives will host the first working-level AI summit to discuss concerns like protecting intellectual property, countering fake news, and how the technology should be managed.
The discussion is taking place as tech regulators from around the world assess the impact of well-known AI services like ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI.
The EU is getting close to passing the first significant AI regulation in the world, spurring other governments to think about what regulations should be put in place for AI technologies.
Canada to probe into OpenAI practices over data and privacy concerns
Joining the list of major governments to examine the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools more closely, Canadian privacy regulators are starting a combined inquiry into the data collecting and usage practises of ChatGPT parent company OpenAI.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada announced on Thursday that the federal privacy regulator, along with counterparts in Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, will look into whether OpenAI acquired consent for the collection, use, and sharing of Canadians' personal information via ChatGPT.
The Canadian investigation will also examine whether the business has complied with its obligations with respect to openness and transparency, access, accuracy, and accountability.
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