Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Shenzhen Proceeds With Proposed Personal Data Regulation; US Reveals And Suspends Tariffs In Digital Services Ta

Big Tech Compliance Tracker: Shenzhen Proceeds With Proposed Personal Data Regulation; US Reveals And Suspends Tariffs In Digital Services Tax Probes

June 08, 2021 at 08:28PM

Here’s the latest news from the technology industry, which is coming under increasing global scrutiny.

Shenzhen Proceeds With Proposed Personal Data Regulation

Shenzhen is proceeding with a proposed rule designed for safeguarding personal information, the South China Morning Post reported. The Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Data Regulation is said to be China’s inaugural local data mandate. The draft institutes new limitations as to the way in which large tech companies are able to collect and harness user information with “enhanced punishment” for contraventions in the words of the newspaper. The news comes as municipal governmental bodies in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen are all creating their own local data laws, while two significant national regulations are anticipated to be launched in 2021. 

US Reveals And Suspends Tariffs In Digital Services Tax Probes 

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that Section 301 probes into Digital Service Taxes (DSTs) adopted by the U.K., Turkey, Spain, Italy, India and the Austria have wrapped up, according to an announcement.

The final outcome of the probes is to put further tariffs into place on some products from these nations, while halting tariffs for as many as 180 days to allow for more time to finish multilateral talks on global taxation at the OECD and in the G20 process.

“The United States remains committed to reaching a consensus on international tax issues through the OECD and G20 processes. Today’s actions provide time for those negotiations to continue to make progress while maintaining the option of imposing tariffs under Section 301 if warranted in the future,” Tai said in the announcement.

FTC Would Get 11 Pct Rise In Funding Under Biden Plan

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would receive an 11 percent rise in funding, while the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department would get a significant increase, under the potential budget that President Joe Biden put forward, Reuters reported.

The budget of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department would climb to $201 million, marking a rise of 8.6 percent from $185 million. In addition, the FTC would have the ranks of its staff grow to approximately 1,250 in the 2022 fiscal year.

Facebook Hit With Probes In The UK, EU

Facebook is facing an investigation by the European Commission (EC) and an investigation from the Competition and Markets Authority in the United Kingdom, both in terms of the social media company’s use of information.

The EC unveiled its antitrust probe Friday (June 4), noting that it would look into if Facebook contravened the bloc’s competition regulations “by using advertising data gathered in particular from advertisers in order to compete with them in markets where Facebook is active such as classified ads.”

In addition, the probe will aim to ascertain if Facebook ties Facebook Marketplace to its social network, in contravention of EU competition rules. 

Germany Looks Into Google News Showcase

The Federal Cartel Office (FCO), the competition watchdog in Germany, revealed a third proceeding against Google, according to a published report. Its investigation puts Google News Showcase in the crosshairs. The product selects content from third-party publishers to show up on Google News, among other Google properties. The tech company pays a licensing fee for the material.

“Cooperating with Google can be an attractive option for publishers and other news providers and offer consumers new or improved information services. However, it must be ensured that this will not result in discrimination between individual publishers. In addition, Google’s strong position in providing access to end customers must not lead to a situation where competing services offered by publishers or other news providers are squeezed out of the market,” Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, which is also known as the FCO, said in a June 4 statement.