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Winners and Losers: Xbox attacks scalpers, while WhatsApp hits a massive roadblock

It’s time to round out the week by boiling it down to the two biggest stories that had us nodding and shaking our heads in equal measure. Welcome to Trusted Reviews’ Winners and Losers.

I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had one eye on all the Resident Evil Village fandom over the last few days. Now that in-game modding is in full swing, we’ve been greeted by such wonderful creations as Chris Redfield as a baby and Lady Dimitrescu as Thomas the Tank Engine. Still, being the professional I am, I have picked out two very intriguing stories this week that could have major consequences for their respective industries.

First up we’ve got Microsoft’s latest plan to tackle Xbox Series X scalpers – one that might just do the trick if enough resources are dedicated to it. Secondly, WhatsApp is back in the hot seat after its recent attempts to push a revised privacy policy have landed the company in hot water with the German authorities.

Winner: Xbox

I’m fully aware that Xbox (and by proxy, Microsoft), held last week’s winner’s spot but the company seems to be on something of a winning streak as of late. Last week it was the rollout of FPS Boost to a whopping 74 classic titles, but this time around the company has finally announced a means of tackling the incessant scalping issue that has affected the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S since their launch.

The scheme, known as the Console Purchase Pilot, will allow Xbox Insider members to register their interest for Microsoft’s latest console via their Xbox One. When an Xbox Series X/S becomes available, people from the waiting list will be contacted accordingly and given the opportunity to buy their console of choice.

While the program is only available in the US, and registering your interest in no way guarantees that you will get a console, it does offer a far more legitimate means of assuring that the consoles in question are put into the hands of deserving gamers.

At this point, the Console Purchase Pilot is probably the best solution that we’ve seen, and all eyes will be on Sony to see if the Japanese company can react with a similarly efficient scheme. Even now, six months since the launch of these next-gen consoles, scalping is still a major issue and companies need to be taking more of a stand in dealing with the issue.

Loser: WhatsApp

Oh WhatsApp, what happened to you? The once beloved app for sending safe and encrypted messages to your friends and family has now become a point of reference for the eagerness of social media platforms to harvest as much personal data as possible.

Earlier this year, the service presented its users with an updated terms and conditions that required full complacency before February 8 or else you would lose your account and your chat history. The move, which was done to allow certain pieces of data to be shared with parent company Facebook, was met with universal ridicule, and has since been postponed several times with the latest deadline being mid-May.

It seems as though the company’s woes aren’t over yet however, as German regulators have now stepped in to put a stop to the update. Johannes Casper, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has said that “provisions on data transfers are scattered at different levels of the privacy policy, they are unclear and hard to distinguish in their European and international versions.”

As a result, the update itself has been banned in Germany with regulators citing GDPR laws in this fight against WhatsApp. At present, WhatsApp itself doesn’t seem too concerned with the ruling, believing it to have spawned from nothing more than a misunderstanding, but if it isn’t overturned then it could set a huge precedent in how other countries might also push back against the update.

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