The new GDPR rules have barely been in effect for more than a few hours, but Google and Facebook are already being hit with a complaint for failing to comply with the regulation's requirements. According to privacy group noyb.eu, both companies are engaging in so-called "forced consent," which is the practice of bundling consent into an all-or-nothing package instead of the granular approach to consent required by the GDPR. Read More
Last night, we received a tip that the Play Store listing for AirDroid, a popular app that allows users to see notifications, respond to messages, and manage content from their Android devices on a desktop, had been removed from the Play Store. The listing was directing to Google's infamous "Not Found" page.
We reached out to the AirDroid team who, at the time, were still trying to figure out what had happened. As it turns out, Google had removed the listing after a mass-complaint from Facebook. The sweeping set of complaints picked up tons of apps with "WhatsApp" in their names, but also apps - like AirDroid - that simply mentioned WhatsApp in the description. Read More
FairSearch Europe—a coalition of Google competitors or legal adversaries including, among others, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle—has filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Google is abusing its dominant OS position in the mobile market to push its own set of apps.
The group claims that Android is used "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today," pointing out that manufacturers have to agree to a certain set of rules requiring inclusion or placement of certain apps. If they want to use Google apps, of course. Manufacturers are free to use Android for whatever purpose they choose without them, if they think that will be a greater benefit. Read More
When you try to think of companies that have a motivation to sue over smartphone patents involving Android, Fujifilm may very well be close to the bottom of the list, but you'd be wrong. The company has recently filed a lawsuit against Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility for infringing four of its patents.
The brouhaha began back in April 2011 (for those counting, that's a solid four months before Google even announced its acquisition of the company). Fujifilm claims that several Motorola phones infringe on one or all of the following patents which include, in dramatically oversimplified terms for the layman:
In the ongoing saga that is the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, yet another bump in the road has surfaced. This time it's directly from the United States government, who says that if the AT&T/T-Mobile merger were to go through, it would "remove a significant competitive force from the market." As a result, the U.S. has filed an antitrust complaint looking to block the proposed deal.
While this doesn't mean a guaranteed rejection, it is most definitely going to make progress much harder for Ma Bell. If the estimated $39 billion deal does get rejected, however, AT&T will still have to pay $3 billion to Deutsche Telekom, the owner of T-Mobile USA, as well as provide T-Mo with wireless spectrum in some areas and reduced charges for use of AT&T's network. Read More
If you've been watching the blogosphere over the last few days, you might have seen an article or two about a "complaint" filed with the FCC over Verizon's block on tethering applications in the Android Market.
The complainant's argument goes something like this: Verizon purchased the 700MHz spectrum ("block C" of the spectrum) back in 2007, and that spectrum is now used by Verizon for its 4G LTE service. That purchase, ala Google and other net neutrality lobbyists, came with one seemingly large caveat: Verizon (or AT&T, or anyone who bought in that spectrum) could not "deny, limit, or restrict" the phones using that spectrum in particular ways: phones must be carrier unlocked, able to access all parts of the web, and run any software. Read More
Up until some recent events, it was quite hard to get through to Google regarding anything going on in the Android Market, be it stolen apps, copyrighted material, or getting any feedback regarding why your own app was removed. Sure, they still listened to DMCA requests and malware reports, but it seems that complaints by mostly large copyright owners saw any action, while reports by small-time developers getting ignored were getting abundant around the web.
The Android Market really doesn't need more bad publicity at this point, and Google knows that. Whether they will be beefing up their service personnel to handle complaints in an appropriate manner or not remains to be seen, but they are already quite a bit more sensitive to Market complaints, at least thrown by us into the atmosphere on Twitter. Read More