EU could force Apple to share user data with competitors

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Major tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon may be required to share customer data with smaller rivals, should the European Union's Digital Services Act pass.

EU could force Apple to share user data with competitors


The Digital Services Act is designed to curb anticompetitive behavior by major tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. It would mark the first significant overhaul to the EU's standards for regulating the internet in two decades.

One proposed measure would be to force larger companies to share customer data with their smaller competitors.

According to the Financial Times, the draft features a line that states tech giants "shall not use data collected on the platform... for [their] own commercial activities... unless they [make it] accessible to business users active in the same commercial activities."

It's anticipated that many of the large companies will push back against the Digital Services Act. Google has gone on record stating that it believes the existing regulatory rules should be modernized, instead of providing entirely new frameworks.

They also claim that regulators are overestimating the power companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple have in the digital market. According to Google, the digital ecosystem is "extremely diverse and evolving rapidly."

Regulators in Europe are drawing up a "blacklist" of activities that technology companies would be required to stop, as well as a "sliding scale" of penalties for non-compliance. Some of the antitrust rules include policies that prevent users from switching platforms or systems that force users to rely on a single service.

The Digital Services Act may also require companies to actively curb users and advertisers from spreading false information and hate speech on services like Facebook and Twitter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Given Apple doesn't collect user data other than what Apple equipment they own and the like what am I missing?
    rob53SpamSandwichchiaGG1tmaysvanstromwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Once again, the EU sticking its nose into something it doesn't have a clue about.

    What if I don't want my data shared with 'smaller competitors'?

    rob53williamlondonleavingthebiggplanetary paulchiaDogpersonGG1tmayentropysgeorgie01
  • Reply 3 of 32
    MacPro said:
    Given Apple doesn't collect user data other than what Apple equipment they own and the like what am I missing?
    I wonder how that is supposed to work I f the data is anonymized and automatically deleted.  I’m also curious to know if that means something like location data is expected to be shared. Will I, as a user, be able to opt out of this data sharing with third parties?

    This is light on details but I’m not sure how this benefits or protects users. 
    planetary paulchiaforegoneconclusionGG1watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,645member
    I wonder if the EU will share all the customer data they already have with Apple and others. It goes both ways. 
    planetary paulwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Rayz2016 said:
    Once again, the EU sticking its nose into something it doesn't have a clue about.

    What if I don't want my data shared with 'smaller competitors'?

    GDRP gives users the right to determine what happens with their data.
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 6 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,739member
    I can kind of see what they're trying to do, but it seems to somewhat conflict with other measures to ensure privacy.  Maybe the real aim is to force Apple, Google and the like to collect less data in the first place?  Not sure that Apple is a big offender there, so maybe they won't actually be affected much, if this rule ever even comes to pass.

  • Reply 7 of 32
    amar99amar99 Posts: 87member
    Talk about a double standard. "GDPR" but also "ALL YOUR DATA BELONG TO EVERYONE"
    edited October 2020 GG1entropysaderutterseanjsvanstromchristophbsgs46watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    MacPro said:
    Given Apple doesn't collect user data other than what Apple equipment they own and the like what am I missing?
    You're missing a lot actually.  Apple collects a ton of user information.  Not sure how this is not a known thing.  They tell you in multiple places they collect this information.  They even give you the ability to see some of the data they collect.  Perhaps a perusal of Apple's documents would help clear up any misinformation you might have.
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208650 Info about your Apple ID
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205223 Info about your Apple Advertising ID

    That's a good starting point.  Don't want to overwhelm you.  All of the above is governed by Apple's Privacy Policy, which goes into greater detail about the data they collect. 
    https://www.apple.com/legal/privacy/en-ww/ Apple Privacy Policy.

    So that I'm abundantly clear, my post is not a criticism of Apple or any of it's data collection practices.  It is a refutation of your incorrect assumption about what Apple doesn't collect.  They collect a ton of data.  They tell you they collect a ton of data. 

    On topic: Considering the amount and types of user data collected by these companies, I'd be concerned about what specifically has to be shared (if this passes) with these smaller companies.  Who's vetting what the smaller companies do with that information?  How often?  Consequences?  All kinds of questions.

    planetary paulmuthuk_vanalingamchiagc_uk
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Once again the EU proves it has no big tech companies and wants to poison the ground under them.

    "We don't have these industries, so it's okay to beat up on them."

    These commissioners are waaayyy too busy trying to regulate businesses they don't have - maybe they ought to concentrate on stuff they can do within their own borders - like a unified response to China.
    Dogpersonseanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,171member
    MacPro said:
    Given Apple doesn't collect user data other than what Apple equipment they own and the like what am I missing?
    You are mistaken that the only data Apple sources from users of its platform extends only to "what Apple equipment they own and the like", but do your own search to discover why.  It's any easy and informative one, well worthwhile.

    But outside of that you're missing what the EU is saying about the App Store and other Apple services without specifically calling it out. One likely outcome would be that first-party Apple apps such as Apple Maps, Mail, Pages, Photos, Safari and three dozen others would be banned from pre-installation on EU iPhones so that buyers can make their own choices from a wider selection that includes 3rd party services.
    edited October 2020
  • Reply 11 of 32
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Sounds like data Communism.
    lkruppGG1entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    It’s like business for socialist. Big tech companies = rich people, give to smaller tech companies = poor people. 

    This a way to rip the benefit from big tech companies hardwork with no cost to big EU tech companies—makes lots of sense, if you can’t compete run to mommy and cry.  Shouldn’t the smaller tech companies share their data too?

    I believe the EU regulator knows exactly what they’re doing=squeeze US big tech they can’t compete with. 

    Gabyentropysseanjsgs46watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 32
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 910member
    Ain’t gonna happen. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 32
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 620member
    I wonder how long these companies would have to boycott the EU before they changed their minds? I still see people complaining that US media companies that didn’t want to try and figure out how to comply with the GDRP have simply blocked EU countries. Can you imagine the outcry if EU citizens woke up one morning to find that Google.com was blocked along with GMail. It would be fun anyway.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 32
    GG1GG1 Posts: 452member
    Sounds like data Communism.
    Hmmm, under the GDPR, you are considered a data subject...
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    amar99 said:
    Talk about a double standard. "GDPR" but also "ALL YOUR DATA BELONG TO EVERYONE"
    Indeed. This strikes me as very weird. 
    seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,109member
    The little red hen story again, but the Ronald Reagan version of it.

    Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. 
    She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”
    “Not I”, said the cow.
    “Not I”, said the duck.
    “Not I”, said the pig.
    “Not I”, said the goose.
    “Then I will”, said the little red hen and she did.

    The wheat grew tall and rippened into golden grain.
    “Who will help me reap my wheat?’, asked the little red hen.
    “Not I”, said the duck. 
    “Out of my classification”, said the pig.
    “I’d lose my seniority”, said the cow.
    “I’d lose my unemployment compensation”, said the goose. 
    “Then I will”, said the little red hen, and she did.

    At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?”, asked the little red hen. “Oh that would be overtime for me.”, said the cow.
    “I’d lose my welfare benefits.”, said the duck.
    “I’m a dropout and never learned how.”, said the pig.
    “Well, if I’m to be the only helper that’s discrimination.” said the goose.
    “Then I will .” said the little red hen.

    She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They all wanted some. And in fact demanded a share. But the little red hen said “No. I can eat the five loaves myself.”
    “Excess profits!” cried the cow.
    “Capitalist leech!”, screamed the duck.
    “I demand equal rights!”, yelled the goose. 
    And the pig just grunted.

    And they painted “Unfair” picket signs and marched round and round the little red hen shouting obscenities.

    When the government agent came he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”
    “But I earned the bread!” said the little red hen.
    “Exactly!” said the agent, “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants, but under our modern government regulations the productive workers must divide their product with the idle.”

    And they lived happily ever after. Including the little red hen. Who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked anymore bread.
    sgs46
  • Reply 18 of 32
    stukestuke Posts: 110member
    This, from the union that forced strict data protection laws on its citizens and any business operating in the union a few years ago. Hippo-critical at the least.  
    seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 32
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,391member
    stuke said:
    This, from the union that forced strict data protection laws on its citizens and any business operating in the union a few years ago. Hippo-critical at the least.  
    This is why I wouldn't be surprised if Apple was OK with this proposal (although presently it is so vague as to be difficult to judge, but details will eventually appear).

    EU: "you must share the data you collect with smaller rivals [meaning EU-based competitors]"

    Apple: "Okay, here you go." [hands EU small thumb drive of general trends and anonymized stats that is mostly very obvious stuff, like that the average person spends a lot of time on their iPhone every week]

    IOW, this proposal may not be as it might seem (i.e. contradictory to the GDPR), but rather a move to force the rest of the industry to further adopt privacy-invading collection practices. Perhaps. Don't know yet, but it certainly could be a move like that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 32
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    MacPro said:
    Given Apple doesn't collect user data other than what Apple equipment they own and the like what am I missing?
    Apple collects user data. Where do you think your name, address, and credit card info come from? 
    watto_cobra
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