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Apple's App Store Broke Competition Laws, Says Dutch Watchdog – Gadgets 360

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The Netherlands’ top competition regulator on Friday said Apple broke the country’s competition laws and ordered changes to the iPhone maker’s App Store payment policies.

Apple’s practice of requiring app developers to use its in-app payment system and pay commissions of 15 percent to 30 percent on digital goods purchases has come under scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world.

An investigation by the Netherlands’ Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on whether Apple’s practises amounted to an abuse of a dominant market position was launched in 2019. But it was later reduced in scope to focus primarily on dating market apps, including Tinder owner Match Group.

“We disagree with the order issued by the ACM and have filed an appeal,” Apple said in a statement. It added that “Apple does not have a dominant position in the market for software distribution in the Netherlands, has invested tremendous resources helping developers of dating apps reach customers and thrive on the App Store.”

Reuters reported in October that the ACM had found Apple’s practices anti-competitive and ordered changes, but the decision was not published until Friday.

The regulator’s decision said Apple violated competition laws. It has ordered Apple to adjust the unreasonable conditions in its App Store that apply to dating-app providers.

The decision orders Apple to allow dating-apps providers to use alternative payment systems. The company faces a fine of up to EUR 50 million (roughly Rs. 425 crore) if it fails to comply.

Apple was given until January 15 to implement changes, a statement said.

“We applaud the ruling issued today by a Rotterdam Court affirming the ACM’s decision that Apple’s forced use of its in-app payment systems and other practices violate Dutch and EU competition law, and must be eliminated by January 15th,” Match group said in an email statement.

The disclosure of Apple’s regulatory setback in the Netherlands comes after the iPhone maker lost a fight in South Korea to stop a law that requires major app platform providers like Apple and Alphabet’s Google to allow developers to use third-party payment services.

Google has indicated it will allow such payments, though it will still charge a commission on them. Apple has not commented on its plans for compliance in Korea.

Apple is facing proposed legislation in the European Union and United States that would force it to change its in-app payment policies and other business practices objected to by developers.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss iPhone 13, new iPad and iPad mini, and Apple Watch Series 7 — and what they mean to the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Safari exploit can leak browser histories and Google account info – Yahoo Movies Canada

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Apple device users appear to be vulnerable to a significant browser privacy flaw. According to 9to5Mac, FingerprintJS has disclosed an exploit that lets attackers obtain your recent browser history, and even some Google account info, from Safari 15 across all supported platforms as well as third-party browsers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. The IndexedDB framework (used to store data on many browsers) is violating the “same-origin” policy that prevents documents and scripts from one location (such as a domain or protocol) from interacting with content from another, letting appropriately coded websites deduce Google info from signed-in users as well as histories from open tabs and windows.

The flaw only compromises the names of the databases rather than the content itself. However, this would still be enough for a malicious site owner to grab your Google username, discover your profile picture and otherwise learn more about you. The history could also be used to piece together a rudimentary profile of the sites you like. Private browsing won’t defeat the exploit, FingerprintJS said.

We’ve asked Apple for comment. FingerprintJS said it reported the issue on November 28th, however, and that Apple hadn’t yet addressed it with security patches honoring same-origin policy. Until then, the only solution may be to either use a third-party browser on Macs or block all JavaScript, neither of which is necessarily an option.

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Apple Will Reportedly Be Requiring Covid-19 Boosters for Its Store and Corporate Workers – Gizmodo

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A health worker prepares to administer a dose of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the Bang Sue Grand Station, Bangkok.
Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket (Getty Images)

Apple now considers covid-19 booster shots to be an important element in protecting its workers and will be purportedly requiring employees to show proof that they’ve gotten the additional dose to access its premises, according to an internal email seen by the Verge.

On Saturday, the Verge reported that Apple would be requiring its retail and corporate employees to get a covid-19 booster shot once they are eligible for one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who received Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can get a booster five months after their first two shots. Those who receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are eligible to get boosted two months after vaccination.

As told by the Verge, Apple workers will have four weeks to comply with the company’s booster requirement once they become eligible. If employees don’t get a booster within that time frame, they will be required to take frequent covid-19 tests to enter an Apple Store, partner store, or Apple office beginning on Feb. 15.

“Due to waning efficacy of the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible variants such as Omicron, a booster shot is now part of staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination to protect against severe disease,” Apple stated in the internal email, according to the Verge.

The memo also contained information for unvaccinated employees, which will be required to provide a negative covid-19 rapid antigen test before entering the workplace beginning on Jan. 24. Workers who have not provided proof of vaccination will also have to abide by this testing policy.

Gizmodo reached out to Apple on Sunday to confirm the Verge’s report, but we didn’t hear back by the time of publication. We’ll update this article if someone from the company gets back to us.

If the internal email is accurate, Apple would join Meta, owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, in requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees. On Monday, Meta said that employees who are eligible to receive booster shots would need to provide proof of vaccination beginning on March 28 to enter its offices.

“Boosters provide increased protection,” a Meta spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. “Given the evidence of booster effectiveness, we are expanding our vaccination requirement to include boosters.”

Google hasn’t disclosed whether it will require its employees to get covid-19 booster shots but did say on Thursday it would require employees and contractors to have a negative covid-19 molecular test—which are generally more accurate and detect the presence of the coronavirus’ genetic material—such as a PCR test to access its offices or facilities. We reached out to Google to ask whether it would be requiring covid-19 booster shots for its employees on Sunday but haven’t heard back yet.

Amazon, meanwhile, purportedly isn’t using mandates to get people to get boosted, it’s using what it knows best: money. This past Thursday, the Information reported that Amazon was paying its hourly workers, including its 750,000 U.S. warehouse workers, $40 and offering them an extra (unpaid) day off to get a booster shot.

Gizmodo reached out to Amazon on Sunday to confirm whether this was indeed the case and ask if it planned to require boosters for all employees. We’ll update this article if someone from Amazon gets back to us.

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2022 Raises Over $3.4 Million For Prevent Cancer Foundation – GameSpot

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2022, the first of multiple charity speedrunning events run by the Games Done Quick Foundation, has ended with over $3.4 million raised for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

139 speedruns made up this year’s marathon, which began January 9 at 12 PM ET and ended at approximately 2 AM ET January 16. The exact amount raised by the event was $3,416,729, with all donations taken during that same time period.

Highlights of this year’s event included a Pokemon race with one player running Omega Ruby and the other Alpha Sapphire, runs in multiple 2021 releases including Resident Evil Village and It Takes Two, and a blindfolded run of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice completed in exactly two hours. Multiple world records were also set during the event, including:

Awesome Games Done Quick is an annual charity speedrunning marathon run in early January by the Games Done Quick Foundation. The foundation runs multiple marathons throughout the year, including Summer Games Done Quick and Flame Fatales. Each event raises money for a different charity, including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Doctors Without Borders, and the Malala Fund.

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