Italy fines Apple, Google, $11 million over use of customer data

Posted:
in General Discussion
Italy claims that Apple and Google are together profiting from the use of user data, without telling those users what the purposes are. Its regulator has now fined the companies 10 million euros ($11.2 million).

Apple Euroma2 in Rome
Apple Euroma2 in Rome


Days after it fined Apple and Amazon a total of $230 million over alleged price fixing, Italy has imposed a new fine jointly on Apple and Google. This new move by the country's Competition and Market Authority, claims that the companies violate the Consumer Code.

"The Antitrust Authority has ascertained for each company two violations of the Consumer Code," said the regulator in a statement (in translation), "one for informative deficiencies and another for aggressive practises related to the acquisition and use of consumer data for commercial purposes."

"Google bases its economic activity on offering a wide range of products and services connected to the Internet... also based on user profiling and carried out thanks to their data," it continues. "Apple collects, profiles and uses user data for commercial purposes through the use of its devices and services."

"Therefore, even without proceeding with any transfer of data to third parties," it concludes, "Apple directly exploits its economic value through a promotional activity to increase the sale of its products and/or those of third parties through its App Store, iTunes Store and Apple Books commercial platforms."

The $11.2 million fine is the maximum allowable under Italy's consumer laws for these actions.

It also follows Apple being fined the same sum in 2020, that time over claims it misled consumers in marketing the water-resistance of its iPhones.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Wow ... Italy seems determined to drive tech companies out of its borders.

    What practices is it claiming Apple is engaging in? ... that it keeps the names of its customers and promotes new products to those customers?

    How is that any different from any company that exists within Italy?

    It almost seems like they're using tech companies as an income stream.
    baconstangmagman1979williamlondonviclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 15

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    baconstangmagman1979viclauyycbyronlwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 15
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,318member
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    It's more like a shopping mall owner also running a store within the mall, and using its knowledge of how people move through the mall to the benefit of their store and the detriment of the other stores.  Or even changing the way the mall works to push people into its own store.

    The problem is the platform owner, or company in a position of power, that is able to steer traffic and customer behaviour, and also being privy to a large amount of customer data, is able to use that to a competitive advantage in other, unrelated, or largely unrelated commercial activity.  Google uses its power in search to push its web browser, web applications, shopping, and other services.  Apple uses its power in operating systems and app stores to push its associated applications and services.  This kind of use of power is what antitrust is all about.

    It's not much different from Microsoft pushing Internet Explorer in the 1990s, which they were convicted over, in the USA.
    muthuk_vanalingamxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 4 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,995member
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    xyzzy-xxxmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 5 of 15
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    In Europe customer consent must be opt in, Italy accuses Apple that some checkboxes are checked by default.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 15
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,416member
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    In Europe customer consent must be opt in, Italy accuses Apple that some checkboxes are checked by default.
    I remember that being a Google strategy for the longest time (back when I actually used their services).  Checkboxes on by default, or even when you'd opted out of everything, new checkboxes would be added regularly and on by default.  So you'd have to keep revisiting the privacy options regularly.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 15
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,504member
    crowley said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    It's more like a shopping mall owner also running a store within the mall, and using its knowledge of how people move through the mall to the benefit of their store and the detriment of the other stores.  Or even changing the way the mall works to push people into its own store.

    The problem is the platform owner, or company in a position of power, that is able to steer traffic and customer behaviour, and also being privy to a large amount of customer data, is able to use that to a competitive advantage in other, unrelated, or largely unrelated commercial activity.  Google uses its power in search to push its web browser, web applications, shopping, and other services.  Apple uses its power in operating systems and app stores to push its associated applications and services.  This kind of use of power is what antitrust is all about.

    It's not much different from Microsoft pushing Internet Explorer in the 1990s, which they were convicted over, in the USA.

    Yeah, the dynamic is a bit different than what you're trying to portray here.  Apple doesn't license platforms, operating systems, or eCommerce "stores", whereby a 3rd party can make use of those to deal directly with their own set of customers. Apple sells devices/services/products to people, so they have what is known as a direct relationship with their customers. A mall owner definitely does not have a direct relationship with every person that walks into the mall. So Apple is more like a shop owner - who owns their own building on their own land. They sell their own stuff along with goods from other 3rd parties.
    viclauyyclorca2770williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    Do YOU get informed when visiting your local shop?????
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 15
    lorca2770 said:
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    Do YOU get informed when visiting your local shop?????
    One of my local mall management company setup a mall directory machine with a hidden facial recognization camera without telling people. It created a shit storm and nothing happened to them. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 15
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,318member
    mjtomlin said:
    crowley said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    It's more like a shopping mall owner also running a store within the mall, and using its knowledge of how people move through the mall to the benefit of their store and the detriment of the other stores.  Or even changing the way the mall works to push people into its own store.

    The problem is the platform owner, or company in a position of power, that is able to steer traffic and customer behaviour, and also being privy to a large amount of customer data, is able to use that to a competitive advantage in other, unrelated, or largely unrelated commercial activity.  Google uses its power in search to push its web browser, web applications, shopping, and other services.  Apple uses its power in operating systems and app stores to push its associated applications and services.  This kind of use of power is what antitrust is all about.

    It's not much different from Microsoft pushing Internet Explorer in the 1990s, which they were convicted over, in the USA.

    Yeah, the dynamic is a bit different than what you're trying to portray here.  Apple doesn't license platforms, operating systems, or eCommerce "stores", whereby a 3rd party can make use of those to deal directly with their own set of customers. Apple sells devices/services/products to people, so they have what is known as a direct relationship with their customers. A mall owner definitely does not have a direct relationship with every person that walks into the mall. So Apple is more like a shop owner - who owns their own building on their own land. They sell their own stuff along with goods from other 3rd parties.
    Quibble about the analogy if you want, it makes little difference to the substance, and the main point still stands. Apple has, and uses, the power of being the platform owner to push their own services ahead of others that exist on their platform.  They use a competitive advantage that some jurisdictions might call an abuse of position and an antitrust violation.
    lorca2770
  • Reply 11 of 15
    lorca2770 said:
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    Do YOU get informed when visiting your local shop?????
    None of my local shops dare to make the claim they are relentlessly guarding my privacy.
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    crowley said:
    mjtomlin said:
    crowley said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    It's more like a shopping mall owner also running a store within the mall, and using its knowledge of how people move through the mall to the benefit of their store and the detriment of the other stores.  Or even changing the way the mall works to push people into its own store.

    The problem is the platform owner, or company in a position of power, that is able to steer traffic and customer behaviour, and also being privy to a large amount of customer data, is able to use that to a competitive advantage in other, unrelated, or largely unrelated commercial activity.  Google uses its power in search to push its web browser, web applications, shopping, and other services.  Apple uses its power in operating systems and app stores to push its associated applications and services.  This kind of use of power is what antitrust is all about.

    It's not much different from Microsoft pushing Internet Explorer in the 1990s, which they were convicted over, in the USA.

    Yeah, the dynamic is a bit different than what you're trying to portray here.  Apple doesn't license platforms, operating systems, or eCommerce "stores", whereby a 3rd party can make use of those to deal directly with their own set of customers. Apple sells devices/services/products to people, so they have what is known as a direct relationship with their customers. A mall owner definitely does not have a direct relationship with every person that walks into the mall. So Apple is more like a shop owner - who owns their own building on their own land. They sell their own stuff along with goods from other 3rd parties.
    Quibble about the analogy if you want, it makes little difference to the substance, and the main point still stands. Apple has, and uses, the power of being the platform owner to push their own services ahead of others that exist on their platform.  They use a competitive advantage that some jurisdictions might call an abuse of position and an antitrust violation.
    Like Ferrari, GM, H&M and the rest of the gang
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 15
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,995member
    lorca2770 said:
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    Do YOU get informed when visiting your local shop?????
    This is the digital realm. Not the physical realm. The implications and therefore, the rules are different.

    Now, if your local shop was using digital means to do the same thing they may well find themselves in hot water if they did not comply with the law. 
    MplsP
  • Reply 14 of 15
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,322member
    auxio said:
    xyzzy-xxx said:
    avon b7 said:
    lorca2770 said:

    Let me see if I understand. If my fashion boutique categorizes all the people entering the store, passing by the racks of clothing, by age, look, style, by the location of where the trendy stuff is, by the lighting of the store, and how it influences the purchases, and on, and on. Then, make the proper arrangements and division of the potential of the clients browsing, purchasing, abandoning the stuff that they don’t like, what colours are more popular…, and I keep track of all the variations. Make a successful shop; and I refuse to share the information with the lazy guy across the hall. And, I grow because of my ingenuity, solutions, innovation, and as a result I leave the competition on the dust…, then, I am forced to share my data…?

    Jayzzzuuuzzzzzz.

    Perhaps you missed the part about failing to adequately inform customers of how their data was being used and how they were using aggressive means to accumulate that data in the first place. 
    In Europe customer consent must be opt in, Italy accuses Apple that some checkboxes are checked by default.
    I remember that being a Google strategy for the longest time (back when I actually used their services).  Checkboxes on by default, or even when you'd opted out of everything, new checkboxes would be added regularly and on by default.  So you'd have to keep revisiting the privacy options regularly.
    So if I give my information to a company they are required to delete it immediately and ask me over and over to keep it even though I chose to share my info with them. That is the stupidest shit I have ever heard and why their technology companies can’t compete worldwide. They can’t get going at home and call it quits before they can get any momentum 
  • Reply 15 of 15
    I'm all for consumer protections.
    However if a law is not applied evenly across all industries, then it's merely a vehicle of extortion.
    watto_cobra
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