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12 April 2013 0 Comments
Posted in Opinion, Technology & media

Tech update

Author headshot image Posted by , Partner

This week has seen a flurry of activity in respect of regulation in the tech industry:

Google privacy policy saga continues

You may recall that we reported back in October that Google had been given a four month period to make changes to its privacy policy which French data privacy regulator CNIL identified after Google consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one single agreement.

This period has now expired and no significant compliance measures have been taken by Google. Google maintains that its privacy policy complies with European laws.

As a consequence six data protection bodies  including  France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK  are  said to be  opening new investigations into Google and its privacy policies.

FCA to investigate RBS IT meltdown

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which took over regulation of financial services companies at the start of April is to investigate the  IT glitch which locked many RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers out of their accounts last summer.

Some £175m has been said to be set aside by the bank for compensation payments. The investigation could lead to an unlimited fine if the regulator finds evidence of wrongdoing.

The regulator does not usually announce enforcement investigations until they are finished, however it is allowed to make such announcements where there are exceptional circumstances. The FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority has fined companies for IT failures in the past where it found that rules had been broken.

Concern over Game “extras”

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has launched an investigation into whether free games are putting undue pressure on children to pay for additional content. It has been reported that eight out of ten of the most popular games are free to install but have paid-for extras. The concern is that children are particularly vulnerable to this trend.

Makers of games that strongly encourage children to buy or pressure them to ask parents to buy on their behalf could be breaking laws on fair trading, said the OFT.

According to reports, the OFT will investigate how companies providing free web or app-based games are marketing their products to children.

Parents and consumer groups will be asked to contact the watchdog with information about “potentially misleading or commercially aggressive practices” in relation to these games.

If you have any queries in relation to this blog or any issues covered by it please contact John North, Head of Corporate and Commercial on 020 7583 2222 or Sonia Mohammed.


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