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SiPearl, a pan-European company (France, Germany, and Spain), has successfully completed a first round of funding amounting to €90 million to finalize the development of an intensive computing microprocessor.

Energy-efficient, Rhea is the world’s first microprocessor dedicated to high-performance computing (HPC), designed to work with European exascale2 supercomputers and any third-party accelerator (GPU, artificial intelligence, quantum).

Among the investors in this Series A round are notably:

  • Arm, a global leader in semiconductor design and silicon technology development,
  • The Atos Group, through its Eviden division composed of digital, big data, and security activities,
  • EIC Fund,
  • The French government, through French Tech Souveraineté, which is part of the France 2030 initiative, overseen by the General Secretariat for Investment.

In 2019, Aston Avocats assisted in organizing and structuring the IP/IT of this European ambitious startup. Therefore, building upon this support, the firm served as legal counsel to SiPearl during this initial €90 million closing. This fundraising positions SiPearl as the second-largest French fundraising in the first round since 2020.

Following TikTok, Discord, Microsoft, and Facebook, it is now the turn of Apple Distribution International to be fined €8 million by the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL).

In March 2021, CNIL received a complaint from the association France Digitale against Apple. According to the association, the default privacy settings related to personalized advertisements on the MacOS and iOS operating systems do not allow Apple device users to validly consent to targeted advertising processing.

In June and July 2021, CNIL conducted two successive inspections, initially online and later a document inspection, at Apple Distribution International, Apple Europe Inc., and Apple France.

In October 2021, the authority carried out a final inspection at the premises of Apple France.

Following this inspection phase, CNIL found that under the previous version 14.6 of iOS, Apple Distribution International was able to access information already stored or read on users’ iPhones for the purpose of customizing ads in the App Store, without obtaining their prior consent.

However, Article 82 of the Data Protection Act stipulates that any user of an electronic communication service must be informed, “in a clear and informed manner,” of the purpose of any action aiming to access or store information on their device.

The user must consent to the reading of information stored on their phone and be aware of the means to oppose it if desired.

CNIL has repeatedly emphasized that cookies and other trackers that do not have the exclusive purpose of enabling or facilitating electronic communication or are not strictly necessary for providing an online communication service at the express request of the user require prior information and consent from the user of the device on which they are intended to be deposited.

This applies not only to third-party cookies but also to various technical alternatives developed in recent years, including advertising identifiers.

In this case, CNIL notes that the advertising targeting option, which allows the placement of advertising identifiers on users’ smartphones, was already pre-selected by default in the settings of iPhones running version 14.6. This configuration did not inform users or allow them to give informed consent.

Furthermore, CNIL found that users had to perform numerous actions to disable targeted advertising on their iPhones, justifying the imposition of an administrative fine against Apple Distribution International.

The company has already announced its intention to appeal the decision.

Stay tuned for updates on this case…

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