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International Focus: Italy


Italy Will Not Adopt In-Flight Electronics Ban

Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile, (ENAC), Italy’s aviation authority, recently announced that the country will not follow the U.S. and Britain by banning laptops or tablets on certain flights. The U.S. and the UK recently imposed restrictions on certain carry-on electronic devices on flights from airports in the Middle East and North Africa. “No evidence has emerged to make it necessary for a further increase in the security measures that are already in force,” ENAC said in a statement.

Researchers in Italy, Switzerland Develop Robotic Exoskeleton

​Developers at the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have developed a robotic exoskeleton that can detect when a user has slipped or prevent a potential fall. The Active Pelvis Orthosis incorporates motors on a waist brace which can move carbon fiber links connected to thigh braces. Hopes are that the exoskeleton can prevent falls in the elderly population.
 

Apple Pay Comes to Italy

In May, Apple launched its Apple Pay transaction service for smartphone users in Italy, bringing the total number of countries where Apple Pay is available to 14. Users now can add MasterCard, Maestro, Visa and V Pay credit cards to the Apple Pay app. Apple also stated it will be expanding support to additional cards and banks this year.

Italian Antitrust Agency Fines WhatsApp

Citing the app’s requirement that users agree to share their personal data with its parent company Facebook, Italian regulators have assessed WhatsApp a €3 million (roughly $3.4 million) fine. This fine follows European data protection authorities issuing WhatsApp a warning last year to stop sharing private information with Facebook without consent. The agency deemed that the WhatsApp terms of service were “unfair” to users.

Italy Proposes Taxation Legislation to Target Multinationals

After failing to make progress on a “webtax” at a meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers, Italy proposed legislation to allow multinational corporations to set their tax rate in advance to avoid future disputes. Italy maintains that multinational companies such as Amazon, Apple and others have circumvented taxes by claiming they do not have a “stable presence” in the country. In May, Google paid 306 million euros to settle a tax dispute in Italy.

Mark Chisholm, Consumer Technology Association

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