Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.
Just when you think the post-Brexit situation can't get any worse for us poor sods in the UK, another depressing tidbit rears its ugly head. This time, it's news that Google users in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will no longer be protected by GDPR and will instead be at the mercy of the privacy regulations of the United States.
The European Union will soon hold a vote to decide if it will enforce a mandatory, universal charging connector for all smartphones and other similar, small electronic devices. Arguments in favor of the new legislation include a reduction of e-waste and easy, interoperable charging for end-users. The introduction of USB Type-C has energized standardization talks as it incorporates many of the advantages (reversibility of connection, data transmission rates, and charging speeds) used to justify the existence of proprietary charging connectors.
According to a report by Reuters, the European Union Commission is considering a ban on facial recognition technology in public areas for up to five years. The measure is intended to curb privacy violations, give lawmakers time to protect citizens from being cataloged illegally, and oppose the recent push by companies to enhance and improve-upon recognition tech.
If there's one aspect of Android that could use improvement, it's the software updates. As OEMs and carriers set their sights on rolling out Android 10, there are still plenty of older devices haven't even tasted a slice of Android 9 Pie. That's why this week's scheduled release of Pie for Verizon and European Union users rocking the LG G6 from 2017 is something of a minor miracle. That LG Software Upgrade Center is finally coming through!
In the wake of the $5 billion antitrust fine it received from the European Commission last year, Google laid out plans to prompt Android users in Europe to choose a different default search or browser app. In a new blog post, Product Management Director Paul Gennai introduces the changes that will come as part of an imminent Google Play Store update.
Google just can't catch a break in Europe. The US company has been fined $7.6 billion in the last few years over Android and Search practices, and now the EU is preparing a new penalty regarding what it views as anticompetitive AdSense contracts.
It's been a tough year for Google in Europe, and it doesn't look to be getting any better. The Mountain View company was slapped with a record $5 billion antitrust fine by the EU Commission this summer, and now it could be in hot water once again due to its location and online activity tracking practices.
Two days ago, Google unveiled new licensing terms for Android phones and tablets in the European Union, following the EU's record $5 billion fine. Device manufacturers can now sell phones with heavily-modified builds of Android while also producing normal Android devices with the Play Store, and some apps (like Chrome and Google Search) are now separate licenses. According to a report from The Verge, device makers are still strongly incentivized to ship Search and Chrome, or they could pay as much as $40 per device for access to the Play Store.
Google Search has been a key component of Android since the OS was first released, and Chrome has become increasingly important in recent years. All three products are now intertwined, but the European Union wants them to be separate. Google recently was hit with a $5 billion fine from the EU, and to avoid more fines while the company challenges the EU in court, it is now complying with new regulatory rules.