South Korea is the first country to challenge app store payment policies, with a new bill introduced to support content developers.
Google and Apple are now facing criticism for their app store and payment policies across the Asia Pacific.
Currently, app developers are forced to use the proprietary billing systems of the respective tech giants’, however South Korea is challenging this rule.
Under a new bill passed on Tuesday by South Korean parliament, app makers can use external companies to process payments on their apps in Google Play and Apple’s App store.
The country will be the first to challenge Google and Apple’s payment policies, once the bill is signed by President Moon Jae-in.
This comes a week after Apple said it would allow App Store developers to promote alternative payment methods to their user.
Current policies “unfair”
Critics said the current Google and Apple payment legislations were unfair, as the monopolies were entitled to a 30 percent commission.
They also said, developers were left with little choice and had to coincide with the conditions or face not receiving payment and delayed app reviews.
Meghan DiMuzio, the head of the Coalition for App Fairness, welcomes the bill coined the “Google power-abuse-prevention law” with open arms.
“[The law] is a significant development in the global fight to bring fairness to the digital economy,” DiMuzio says.
Apple and Google react
However, in response to the bill, Apple says choice of third-party payment systems may put users at risk of exposure to fraud.
“Users who purchase digital goods…undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases and features like ‘Ask to Buy’ and Parental Controls will become less effective,” an Apple spokesperson says.
Google also commented on the bill saying its payment system is what helps keep its service fee “free”.
“We’ll reflect on how to comply with this law while maintaining a model that supports a high-quality operating system and app store, and we will share more in the coming weeks.”
Australia follows suit
Australia is also ramping up the pressure by floating reforms for how to tackle payment systems provided by Apple and Google.
Apple’s commissions, can go as high as 30 percent on some purchases made through the company’s platform, with some companies saying they have little choice to comply.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has called for new regulations on digital payments.
“Ultimately, if we do nothing to reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley alone that determines the future of our payments system.”Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the Australian Financial Review newspaper.
The Australian government is considering designating tech companies as payment providers while establishing a strategic plan between the government and the industry.
As a result, an integrated licensing framework will be developed for payment systems.
Written by Rebecca Borg
Stylish shades with future tech and Meta products
Meta hosted a two-day virtual event, Meta Connect 2023, on September 27-28, focusing on AI and virtual, mixed, and augmented realities.
The event featured presentations, lightning talks, and immersive experiences, giving attendees an insight into the latest advancements and innovations.
Unveiling Meta Quest 3 and Meta Smart Glasses
One of the highlights was the unveiling of the much-anticipated Meta Quest 3 and Meta smart glasses. Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Meta, along with special guests, introduced Meta Quest 3 and elucidated how Meta is pushing the boundaries of mixed reality.
Meta’s foray into smart glasses with a partnership with Ray-Ban showcased their commitment to expanding the realms of reality. The smart glasses promise hands-free communication and a seamless integration of the digital and physical worlds.\
Delving into Meta’s Technological Vision
The event delved into the technological vision of Meta with presentations like “Building the Future” by Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Reality Labs, and Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, CTO and Head of Reality Labs. They discussed Meta’s groundbreaking research in contextual AI, neural interfaces, and ultra-realistic codec avatars, fundamental to the future of computing.
Developer Ecosystem and AI Innovations
A significant aspect of the event was the “Developer State of the Union,” providing developers a platform to explore new tools, programs, and features across AI, VR, MR, AR, Meta Horizon Worlds, and Meta Avatars. Additionally, the event highlighted AI innovations through “AI, Llama and more” lightning talks, showcasing Meta’s recent AI developments and tools.
Immersive Experiences in Mixed Reality
On the second day, attendees had the opportunity to explore mixed reality experiences and the potential of Meta Quest 3 through a “Meta Quest and Mixed Reality” lightning talk. This session provided insights into the cutting-edge capabilities and business strategies that drive this next-generation product.
Meta Horizon Worlds: An Immersive Meta Experience
Meta Horizon Worlds, an immersive experience inspired by Meta’s Menlo Park campus, allowed participants to explore a virtual world and even experience Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote in 3D. Attendees could engage with others in Meta Horizon Worlds experiences and earn exclusive rewards.
The surge of urban surveillance
Major cities witness rise in surveillance measures, with increased reliance on Closed-Circuit Television systems.
In recent years, bustling metropolises such as New York, Melbourne, and London have experienced a substantial surge in the deployment of CCTV cameras. These cities are wholeheartedly embracing advanced surveillance technologies, driven by the need to enhance public safety, deter criminal activities, and monitor high-traffic areas effectively.
The proliferation of CCTV networks signifies a response to the evolving security requirements of urban environments, aiming to provide real-time monitoring and swift response capabilities.
However, this upswing in surveillance has ignited significant debates concerning privacy, civil liberties, and the potential misuse of personal data. Striking a delicate balance between security measures and individual rights has become imperative. Notably, some supermarkets in Australia have taken a proactive approach by equipping their staff with body-worn cameras to deter potential incidents of theft, abuse, or untoward behaviour within their premises.
In the realm of home security, Eufy, originally known for vacuums, has transitioned into a high-tier home security supplier. Eufy has introduced a groundbreaking security package with the remarkable ability to seamlessly track a single person across multiple cameras.
Their innovative approach enables effortless tracking of an individual as they move across various cameras within a property. This advancement promises continuous insights into movements and activities, significantly boosting safety measures and streamlining response efforts to potential security threats or incidents.
Despite these upgrades accompanying the rapid digitisation of surveillance systems, CCTV networks face a growing threat from cyber attacks. These digital security risks lay bare the vulnerabilities of these crucial surveillance infrastructures. Hackers can exploit weaknesses in the network, gaining unauthorised access to live feeds, compromising data, and potentially causing disruptions in surveillance operations.
These escalating urban surveillance statistics prompt contemplation on the delicate balance between privacy and security. While CCTV proves effective in deterring crime and enhancing public safety, concerns about privacy and civil liberties persist and are continuously raised.
It seems to be crucial thing that companies continue to navigate this landscape thoughtfully, ensuring that the advancement of surveillance technologies is paralleled with safeguards for individual rights and privacy.
SAG-AFTRA members back a video game industry strike
Game on! With clear resolve to strike a deal, union readies to recommence negotiations armed with authorisation.
In a resounding display of solidarity, members of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have endorsed a video game strike authorisation vote with an astonishing 98.32% voting in favour.
The SAG-AFTRA agreement which covered video game performers expired last November and has been extended on a monthly basis as the union negotiated with major video game companies.
The vote was initiated to address issues related to fair compensation, transparent contracts, and improved working conditions for video game voice actors and performers and is an extension of has been unfolding in Hollywood recently.
The resolute decision by the members empowers SAG-AFTRA to negotiate with video game production companies for better terms that adequately value the contributions of performers in this burgeoning sector. The resounding mandate highlights the urgency and importance of addressing the grievances and achieving a fair and mutually beneficial resolution.
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