Xandr accused of privacy violations in EU; DOJ releases witness list in Google antitrust trial; Microsoft, Apple leave OpenAI board observer roles

In today’s news brief: Xandr accused of privacy violations in EU; DOJ releases witness list in Google antitrust trial; Microsoft, Apple leave observer role on OpenAI board

Microsoft-owned ad tech company Xandr has been accused of privacy violations in the EU in a complaint backed by European privacy advocacy group noyb. The nonprofit is backing the claim by an anonymous Italian individual, along with Italy’s data protection authority. The complaint, filed under the EU’s GDPR, accuses Xandr of failing to provide sufficient transparency and violating the data access rights of individuals in the region whose information is processed for targeted advertising. The complaint calls on the data protection authority to investigate the claim. If Xandr is found to be in breach of the regulation, it could be ordered to pay a fine of up to 4% of Microsoft’s global annual turnover.

More in the legal landscape: The Justice Department has released a witness list for the upcoming antitrust trial against Google, which accuses the tech giant of monopolising the digital advertising market. Of the 68 names announced, some will testify live during the trial on 9 September, while others will give evidence via deposition. Google avoided a jury trial – which the Justice Department wanted – with a $2.3m (£1.79m) check issued to the government last month. The payment essentially covered potential damages allegedly suffered by US government agencies that were overcharged by Google for buying ads. The witness list is extensive, including many former and current Google employees, SSP and DSP members, publishers, platforms, agency buyers and advertisers, as well as academics, researchers and analysts.

In light of the latest developments in the AI ​​world, Microsoft and Apple have resigned from their positions as observers on the OpenAI board. Microsoft has decided to resign its seat, while Apple – which was supposed to take the position – has decided not to oppose it. Instead, OpenAI intends to hold regular meetings with partners (including Microsoft and Apple) and investors as part of a new approach to informing and engaging key strategic partners. This comes amid growing scrutiny from global regulators over the colossal investments by big tech companies in AI companies. Concerns have been raised in the UK, the EU and the US.

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