Noteworthy Tech Battles Of 2021: Major Lawsuits Of Facebook, Instagram, Amazon

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Technology is the fastest-growing industry in the world today. We have new upgrades, new gadgets coming in every day, promising a better experience. At the same time, there's a dark side to these advances. The year 2021 witnessed some of the major tech battles, involving several major firms.

 

noteworthy tech battles of 2021

Here, we've talked about some of the noteworthy tech battles of 2021. Be it lawsuits or anti-trust issues, 2021 witnessed some major events in the tech world. Moreover, there was a massive dynamic shift where people felt better off without tech products, especially social media platforms. Take a look at some of these battles related to technology.

Facebook/Meta Anti-Trust Issue
 

Facebook/Meta Anti-Trust Issue

Facebook was among the top companies that faced several battles in 2021. The United States Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Facebook earlier this year. This lawsuit with FCC referred to Facebook buying rivals or crushing them. This led to a major monopoly as Facebook already owns WhatsApp and Instagram.

However, Facebook asked the lawsuit to be dismissed with prejudice. At the same time, several anti-trust cases piled up against Facebook and its companies from the EU. Apart from this, whistleblowers like Frances Haugen came forward to reveal the workings of Facebook and how it had devastating effects.

Particularly, Haugen testified before US Congress after leaking thousands of documents to both the Wall Street Journal newspaper and law enforcement. Her statement revealed that Facebook prioritized its interests over what's actually good for the people and society. Interestingly, the whistleblower's statement and Facebook's massive outage came at the same time. Could it really be a coincidence?

Instagram And Mental Health Among Teens

Instagram And Mental Health Among Teens

Facebook wasn't the only one that came under the limelight with the whistleblower's statements. Her statement has revealed startling truths about Instagram as well, especially concerning teenagers' health. Frances Haugen revealed that Facebook knew the effects of Instagram on mental health on its users, especially teenagers.

Despite knowing the consequences, Instagram continued to show harmful content to teens, harming their mental health. This could be any kind of content on the platform, including Reels. The statement and revelation brought in a new wave of protests against the social media platform. US Senator Amy Klobuchar said it was time to protect people's kids from being exposed to harmful content.

Consequently, Instagram came up with two new features to keep its user base from completely quitting the platform. Instagram brought in a feature where teens were asked to ‘take a break' from the platform when it became overwhelming. Additionally, Instagram introduced ‘Nudges' where teens were asked to look away from content or scroll through the platform.

FTC And Amazon

FTC And Amazon

Social media platforms aside, 2021 also witnessed a major lawsuit between the US FTC and Amazon. Here, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating a conflict of interest of Amazon. The investigation allegedly revealed that Amazon was competing with small sellers on its global marketplace. The lawsuit revealed allegations against Amazon.

FTC is likely looking at the inherent conflict of interest of Amazon competing with small sellers on its marketplace platform, including allegations that it used information from sellers on its platform to decide what products it would introduce. Additionally, Amazon and FTC had another lawsuit about Amazon Flex drivers.

Ultimately, almost USD 60 million was sent through cheques and PayPal payments to Flex drivers as part of the settlement. On the other hand, the lawsuit regarding small businesses and Amazon is still being investigated. A conclusive verdict could appear early next year.

Apple Vs Epic

Apple Vs Epic

Joining the list of noteworthy tech battles of 2021 is the Apple Vs Epic Games lawsuit. This has been one of the epic lawsuits of the year (pun intended)! It started back in 2020 when Epic released an updated version of Fortnite, allowing users to make direct payments, without offering a cut to Apple.

However, Apple removed the app on the grounds of breaching the contract and even suspended Epic's developer account. Epic took the matter to the court and the final verdict came out ahead of the iPhone 13 launch in favor of Epic. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers has issued her verdict, ordering Apple to remove the restriction for adding external payment methods on App stores and iOS apps.

The Apple Vs Epic has revealed several important factors. For one, the battle aimed for fair competition among in-app payment methods and app stores, affecting billions of customers.

Indian Government Vs WhatsApp

Indian Government Vs WhatsApp

All of the above-mentioned battles have been filed either in the US or EU. However, some of the noteworthy tech battles of 2021 have also happened at home. The Indian government has also taken a stand against overpowering social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and so on.

Earlier this year, the Indian government brought in new IT rules and guidelines for these platforms. Indian IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had urged the companies to have a 'soft-touch oversight mechanism' and have a 'robust redressal of grievances." Among the new rules, all these companies need to appoint a chief compliance officer for India, who can cater to the demands and issues raised by the government.

For instance, if the government legally asks for user data on any of these social media platforms, the chief compliance offers will have to provide the data. The new rules were introduced to uphold India's privacy and sovereignty, they also raised questions of user privacy and protection.

Like everything, these noteworthy tech battles of 2021 had two sides to them. Most of the anti-trust lawsuits aimed to uphold user privacy and safety. Moreover, such battles have been happening for several years now. It remains to see what the next year brings to the tech world and the battles it will have to face.

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