Tech Digest daily round up: Apple in court over commission fees


Millions of Apple’s UK customers should be compensated for breaches of competition law, a legal action claims. The case, filed with the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), alleges Apple’s 30% commission on app sales is an abuse of dominance and unlawful. Organisers are aiming to include nearly 20 million UK users in the collective action, if it is approved. Those behind the claim say they intend to seek damages of up to £1.5bn. Apple said the legal action was “meritless”. While the UK does not have the same kind of class-action legal structure as the US, so-called “optout” claims have been allowed in the CAT since 2015, meaning all affected people could be covered unless they decide to exclude themselves. BBC 

UK holidaymakers who have received two jabs will be able to use the NHS phone app as a so-called Covid vaccine passport from next week. Once the foreign travel ban is lifted on May 17, Downing Street said those going abroad could open the app upon arrival to prove they have had two doses. Those without smartphones were told to call 119 to order a letter confirming their vaccination status. The app, developed by NHS Digital and NHS England, was originally designed to allow people to book appointments, repeat prescriptions and see their full medical records. Official guidance from the Government published online states: “You can access your Covid-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from May 17.” Standard

Credit: Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is set to delay its latest flight to space yet again in a new setback to the billionaire’s plans to send tourists into space. The company said on Monday that it was “currently re-evaluating launch timing” for its next test flight after discovering a possible “wear and tear” issue on VMS Eve, the plane that carries its spacecraft into the air before it launches into space. It had previously said it would carry out its next test flight this month, before further test flights involving its staff and Sir Richard himself later in the year. It is unclear when the first commercial flights will take place. Around 600 prospective tourists have waited more than a decade, paying up to $250,000 (£177,000) per ticket, to travel into sub-orbital space on Galactic’s flights. Telegraph 

A cyberattack on a critical U.S. pipeline is sending ripple effects across the economy, highlighting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation’s ageing energy infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard, shut down Friday after a ransomware attack by gang of criminal hackers that calls itself DarkSide. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the incident could impact millions of consumers. Colonial Pipeline, the owner, halted all pipeline operations over the weekend, forcing what the company called a precautionary shutdown. U.S. officials said Monday that the “ransomware” malware used in the attack didn’t spread to the critical systems that control the pipeline’s operation. But the mere fact that it could have done so alarmed outside security experts. Associated Press 

Seven in 10 children who sought help from the UK’s gambling support service were considered to have directly experienced a gambling issue themselves, according to a charity. GamCare has warned that many young people are unsure of the risks and unaware of when gambling strays into becoming harmful. Over the last three years, the charity and its National Gambling Helpline have received contact from 353 under-18s, with 71.5% deemed to have a gambling problem.
The vast majority (77%) take place online. It comes amid rising concern over gambling on esports, in-app purchases, loot boxes, and skins betting, where a person buys, sells and exchanges virtual items with other players. Yahoo! 


Chris Price
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