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Week Ending: 3rd September - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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WEEK ENDING: 3rd September – A ROUNDUP IN I.T. & TECH NEWS

Welcome to autumn, can you believe it’s already the first Weekly Roundup of September? Don’t worry if the four day week has thrown you out of loop with I.T. and Technology news this week, we’ll get you all caught up.

This week’s round-up covers WhatsApp being issued the second largest GDPR fine, a fake Banksy NFT sold through his website for £244K and Apple allowing Netflix-type apps a sign-up link.

Let’s get you up to speed.

WhatsApp issued second-largest GDPR fine of €225m

WhatsApp has been given the largest ever fine issued by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). Messenger giant, WhatsApp, is required to pay $225m (£193m) for breaches to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The decision relates to an investigation that began nearly three years ago which looked at possible breaches in data and transparency regulations. The investigation examined whether WhatsApp complied with the GDPR’s transparency obligations and resulted in WhatsApp being formally reprimanded and ordered to “bring its processing into compliance.”

The issues involved were highly technical, including whether WhatsApp supplied enough information to users about how their data was processed and if its privacy policies were transparent enough.

A WhatsApp spokesperson commented,

“WhatsApp is committed to providing a secure and private service. We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so. We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate.”

GDPR rules allow for hefty fines of up to 4% of the offending company’s global turnover. Only Amazon has been fined more for not complying to GDPR rules, in a case the company is also strongly defending.

Read more here.

Fake Banksy NFT sold through artist’s website for £244k

A collector was scammed out of £244,000 after being sold a fake Banksy artwork that was advertised through the artist’s official website. A link to an online auction for a non-fungible token (NFT) was posted on a now-deleted page on banksy.co.uk.

The bidding ended early after the British buyer offered 90% more than other bidders as he was tricked into believing he was buying Banksy’s first ever NFT by hackers.

Surprisingly, the hacker has returned all the money apart from the £5,000 transaction fee. The ‘buyer’, who wished to remain anonymous, commented

“The refund was totally unexpected, I think the press coverage of the hack, plus the fact that I had found the hacker and followed him on Twitter, may have pushed him into a refund. I feel very lucky when a lot of others in a similar situation with less reach would not have had the same outcome.”

Banksy’s team released a statement claiming that he has never created any NFTs and that “any Banksy NFT auctions are not affiliated with the artist in any shape or form.” Unfortunately, this is a rapidly expanding marketplace that is being increasing exploited by scammers.

Discover more here.

Apple to allow Netflix-type apps a sign-up link

Technology giant, Apple, has announced that it will, for the first time, allow apps, such as Netflix and Spotify, to link directly to payment websites where users can sign up and manage their accounts. The rule change is a result of action taken by the fair trade regulator in Japan and will come into force next year.

The rules enforced by both Apple and Google over companies that make apps for use on iOS and Android have come under greater scrutiny in the last few years. The rule most often opposed by makers of apps is that in-app payments must be made through Apple or Google’s transaction platforms, which charge a commission. One of the biggest issues for Spotify and Netflix has often been that, not only are they obliged to take in-app payments via Apple’s platform, but they cannot signpost alternative payment options outside of the app, such as on their websites.

However, from 2022, Spotify and Netflix will be able to add a link within their apps to alternative payment options of that kind. The rule change will only apply to ‘reader apps,’ which are apps that allow people to access digital content such as books, podcasts, music and videos that have either been previously purchased or which are accessed via subscription.

Apple commented,

“To ensure a safe and seamless user experience, the App Store’s guidelines require developers to sell digital services and subscriptions using Apple’s in-app payment system. Because developers of reader apps do not offer in-app digital goods and services for purchase. Apple agreed with the JFTC to let developers of these apps share a single link to their website to help users set up and manage their account.”

This is the second change to Apple’s App Store rules announced in the past few weeks. Apple confirmed last week that it would amend rules to explicitly confirm that app-makers can directly email their users and signpost them to alternative payment options.

Explore more here.


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