Industry News 24/12/18

20 December 2018

Reading time 3 minutes

Each week at Rokk we will be looking at the news stories from the world of software and app development in the digital marketplace. From technology developments to new market insights and trends; you can find the news in brief here.

Facebook under fire for letting tech partners access users’ data for years

Data privacy scandals have dogged Facebook for the past 12 months and last week brought new accusations from The New York Times, stating that this data sharing with business partners has been ongoing for years. The investigation found internal documents indicating that Facebook has been giving over 150 tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple and Spotify, access to users’ private data such as email addresses and personal messages for several years. Facebook has promptly clarified that this access was never without user permission and that access to people’s information was to improve the user experience on devices from these “integration partners”.

2019 will see new Digital Tax in France

Proposals for a 3% Digital Tax have been subject to much debate in 2018 with EU countries struggling to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions. Now France has announced it will tax the major tech players, by itself, from the 1st January. The call for taxes on firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google will compensate for the lack of corporate tax they pay and aims to reduce the monopoly of big tech players. Still critics say the tax is targeting US companies and will actually sting smaller companies more. The French tax is expected to generate around €500 million. The UK is planning to introduce a 2% digital services tax in 2020.

Apple uses software update as loophole in China iPhone ban

In November China banned the import and sales of some of the recent iPhone releases, from the iPhone 6s to the 2017 iPhone X, as US chipmaker Qualcomm accused Apple of violating certain software patents relating to image manipulation and app management. Apple is now rolling out iOS software updates on these particular models in China which it states will resolve the compliance issues with Qualcomm. This is the latest in an ongoing legal dispute between the two tech companies over intellectual property and Qualcomm has said Apple’s software update response is still in violation, and the company should be abiding by the court order.