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Facebook, Apple, Twitter Face EU Probes For Violating GDPR

"The Irish DPC will be very closely scrutinising Facebook's plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies."

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Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook is facing 10 probes for violating the European Union’s (EU) new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) over data breaches and users’ privacy across its platforms.

In its first annual report after GDPR came into practice on May 25, 2018, the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) opened 15 statutory inquiries (investigations) in relation to multinational technology companies’ compliance with the GDPR.

Facebook faces seven inquiries while its WhatsApp platform two and Instagram one. Other US tech giants like Apple and Twitter face two statutory inquiries each and Microsoft-owned LinkedIn faces one.

“All these inquiries should reach the decision and adjudication stage later this year.

“It’s our intention that the analysis and conclusions in the context of those inquiries will provide precedents for better implementation of the principles of the GDPR across key aspects of internet and ad tech services,” said the DPC report.

TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. VOA

“There are undoubtedly areas of risk to be examined in sectors beyond the free internet services but initial complaints and breaches have focused the DPC in this area and warrant attention in light of the hundreds of millions of users implicated,” it added.

Ireland’s DPC is the lead regulator for the EU.

Since the application of the GDPR, the DPC has seen a significant increase in the number of complaints received. Between May 25 and December 31, 2018, 2,864 complaints were received by the DPC.

While Facebook is being probed over breach of user data, WhatsApp is under the lens for how it handles user privacy and shares information with Facebook.

While one of the probes against Twitter comes after it self-reported a “large number of breaches”, the micro-blogging platform is also being probed for how much access users have to their own data, reported ABC News.

Apple, smartphone
Customers walk past an Apple logo inside of an Apple store at Grand Central Station in New York, Aug. 1, 2018. VOA

Apple is being investigated for transparency issues while LinkedIn is being probed for profiling its users and targeted ads.

The Irish DPC last month warned Facebook over its planned integration of its chat services –WhatsApp, Messenger and photo-sharing app Instagram — asking the social media giant to provide it with an “urgent briefing” on the proposals.

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In a statement, the Dublin-headquartered watchdog said it understood the plan was at a “very early conceptual stage”.

“While we understand that Facebook’s proposal to integrate the Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram platforms is at a very early conceptual stage of development, the Irish DPC has asked Facebook Ireland for an urgent briefing on what is being proposed,” the watchdog said.

“The Irish DPC will be very closely scrutinising Facebook’s plans as they develop, particularly insofar as they involve the sharing and merging of personal data between different Facebook companies.” (IANS)

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Apple Needs to Sell More Devices and Create More Desi Content to Bring More People into Its Ecosystem

In order to make deeper inroads into the Indian living rooms, Apple needs to sells more devices and create more desi content to bring in more people

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Time, Box, Indians
Although Indians still spend nearly four hours a day watching TV, the shift to alternate screens is happening fast. Pixabay

The announcement of a cheaper Apple TV+ subscription — Rs 99 per month in India — has left the over-the-top (OTT) players a bit concerned but unless Apple strengthens its device ecosystem in the country, the real threat to players like Netflix, Amazon Prime or even the domestic players is still not there.

The original content streaming from Apple TV+ currently offers nine originals from the world’s most celebrated creative artists that will debut on the Apple TV app on November 1.

Apart from its own devices like iPhones, iPads and Macs, Apple will make the TV+ streaming available (via Apple TV app) on select Samsung smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV, LG and Sony platforms soon.

In order to make deeper inroads into the Indian living rooms, Apple needs to sells more devices and create more desi content to bring in more people into its ecosystem so that they can enjoy Apple TV+.

Apple, Sells, Device
The announcement of a cheaper Apple TV+ subscription — Rs 99 per month in India — has left the over-the-top (OTT) players a bit concerned but unless Apple strengthens its device ecosystem. Pixabay

The Indian entertainment scene is witnessing a seismic change with 30 over-the-top (OTT) platforms vying for space as players look to differentiate themselves, says a new KPMG report, adding that players like Netflix and Amazon Prime are aiming to create more desi content to bring more users to their platforms.

Massive capital commitments have been made by OTT platforms for building libraries of diverse original content over the last couple of years for the Indian audience.

Indian language internet users are expected to grow to 536 million by 2021 from 234 million in 2016.

As nine out of 10 new Internet users in India are likely to be Indian language users, it is vital for OTT players to cater to this audience in their native language, says the KPMG report, titled “India’s Digital Future: Mass of niches”.

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Many OTT players are also investing in building their regional content libraries to match the demand.

For example, Prime Video has dubbed popular Hindi originals like “Inside Edge” and “Breathe” to Tamil and Telugu.

In addition to originals, Prime Video has also tried to increase depth in their regional library by dubbing English movies like “Alpa”, “Rampage”, etc. to Tamil and Telugu.

Similarly, Hotstar has used dubbing to launch the Hindi web-series “Criminal Justice” in six regional languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bangla, Malayalam and Marathi.

Apple, Sells, Device
The original content streaming from Apple TV+ currently offers nine originals from the world’s most celebrated creative artists that will debut on the Apple TV app on November 1. Pixabay

“OTT players like Netflix and Amazon prime have started hiring writers to add contextual flavour to dialogues in English in addition to launching regional web series,” said the report.

Much of the video viewing in India is happening in a local language and YouTube, which has 265 million unique, active users has reported that over 95 per cent of its users watched videos in a regional language.

In India, the over-the-top (OTT) leader Netflix plans to invest Rs 600 crore per year in originals whereas Amazon Prime had committed Rs 223 crore in 2017 for the next 2-3 years in the country.

For some original series, Amazon and Netflix are spending in the range of Rs 1-2 crore per episode.

Also Read- Facebook Reportedly Working On A TV Streaming Device

For example, per episode cost of original series, including ‘Made in Heaven’ and ‘Mirzapur’ on Amazon Prime was between Rs 1 crore-Rs 2 crore.

Apple, on the other hand, has reportedly planned to spend $6 billion on creating original content but mostly in English as of now as its fight is more domestic — like taking on Disney that is likely to unveil Disney+ service on November 12.

Apple TV+ will be available from November 1 in over 100 countries, including in India.

It will be available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com.

Customers who purchase new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. (IANS)