Apple & Google Fined $11 Million in Italy for Violating user Privacy

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Apple & Google

Apple and Google were fined 10 million euros ($11 million) by Italy’s Competition Authority on November 26th for allegedly using user data for commercial purposes without their explicit consent, a violation of Italy’s Consumer Code.

According to MacRumors, Italy’s Competition authority claims that both Apple and Google “directly exploits the economic value” of user data it collects to “increase the sale of its products and/or those of third parties through its commercial platforms (App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple Books).

According to the Italian authority, Apple and Google do not inform users that their information will be used for commercial purposes. There are also claims that Apple does not give users the option to opt out of having their data used for commercial purposes.

The Italian authority further explained that Apple only informs users that their data will be used to improve and personalize their experience, enable features and secure their services. This information appears when you create an Apple ID or use the App Store. Apple, on the other hand, makes no mention of using user data for commercial purposes.

This fine is centred on the fact that Apple’s privacy policy Clearly states that personal data will only be used by the company to power its services, comply with local laws, prevent fraud, and for communication purposes. According to the policy, the use of personal data for other purposes is only permitted with the user’s consent.

According to MacRumors, Apple has decided to appeal the decision. This was confirmed by Apple in a statement to MacRumors. Apple stated that it has a long-standing commitment to the privacy of its users and does not personalize any of its services, including its digital Stores.  Apple further explained that it only sends marketing emails to customers after receiving their explicit consent, and allows users to disable personalization at any time.

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