Apple Inc (Apple) has joined other global technology companies including Facebook and Microsoft in revealing details of secret Court Orders requiring it to disclose its customers' information to United States (US) authorities, following recent revelations regarding the collection of user data from private companies under the US National Security Agency's "Prism" program.
The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that seven banks have adopted a new "retry system" which allows customers to have their prescheduled payments for a given day reprocessed if they have failed at the usual morning processing time due to insufficient funds. The FCA stated that Barclays, The Co-operative, HSBC, Nationwide, RBS Group, Santander and National Australia Group banks had agreed to retry the processing of customers' payments in the afternoon, in a move to redress the previous arrangements which are estimated to have cost customers up to £200 million annually in late payment charges.
The United States (US) Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has overturned a punitive damages award of US$81 million in the case of Willie Evans, executor v Lorillard Tobacco Company SJC-11179, regarding a wrongful death suit brought against Lorillard Tobacco Co. (Lorillard) by the son of a deceased woman who allegedly received free cigarette samples from the defendant as a child.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued the following enforcement-related media releases regarding recent breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 1974 No. 51 (Cth):
Germany's competition regulator the Bundeskartellamt (BKA) has announced that the BKA market transparency unit (the Unit) is set to implement a requirement for oil companies and petrol station operators to report "any change in price of the fuel types Super E5, Super E10 and [d]iesel" to the Unit.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has made a preliminary ruling that Air Canada increase its compensation offers for passengers who are refused departure due to overbooking.
Automaker Daimler has recalled at least 6,000 of its luxury model Mercedes-Benz A-Class vehicles and will carry out free repairs on their front passenger airbags to ensure they inflate in the case of an accident. Reportedly, the recalled vehicles were produced during the period June - December 2012, and most of the affected cars were sold in Germany. Daimler spokesperson Wolfgang Zanker reportedly declined to comment on the cost of the airbag repairs.
Australian Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced the introduction of the Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2013 (Cth) to federal parliament. According to Mr Dreyfus, the Bill proposes a requirement for businesses and government agencies to "notify people when a data breach [that gives rise to a risk of serious harm and] affect[s] their privacy occurs".
Republic of Ireland Health Minister James Reilly has announced that the government will introduce "standardised/plain packaging of tobacco products", which would involve the removal from cigarette packaging of "all form of branding - trademarks, logos, colours and graphics".
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that AGL Sales Pty Ltd and AGL South Australia Pty Ltd have been fined a total of over $1.5 million for "illegal door-to-door selling practices". The Age reports that AGL retail energy general manager Stephen Mikkelsen stated that the case "demonstrates how difficult it is to control what salespeople do when they are at people's premises ... [e]ven if a company puts significant training and compliance mechanisms in place, door-knocking remains a risky sales technique".
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