The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), a leading tech lobbying group in Washington (DC), introduced a plan for regulations to protect user privacy online, becoming the latest player to try to shape new legislation that the industry sees as increasingly likely. The framework from ITI, whose members include Google and Facebook, is designed to guide policymakers in the US and around the world as they weigh concerns about data privacy online, said ITI president Dean Garfield.
Officials from the United States have entered discussions with their European counterparts in Brussels over the status of the Privacy Shield agreement, which allows Europeans to file complaints about how US companies are using their data. The officials are expected to tackle "developments concerning the collection of personal data by US authorities for purposes of law enforcement or national security." Don’t expect any major surprises, as European Union leaders are expected to wait until at least November to issue recommendations on whether to move forward with the pact.
Apple will pledge its support for federal privacy regulations during a Sept 26 Senate Commerce Committee hearing. Expect Apple’s Bud Tribble to underscore the difference between the hardware maker, which doesn’t need to make money from user data, with companies like Google, which have built their business model on it. Tribble, a longtime Apple employee who leads the company’s privacy engineering work, will "convey Apple’s support for comprehensive federal privacy legislation that reflects Apple’s long-held view that privacy is a fundamental human right" during the hearing. "We want your dev
Google’s top privacy staffer will defend the company’s business model at an upcoming Senate hearing, while backing the broad idea of new privacy rules. Google will face tough questions at the Sept 26 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on privacy, where chief privacy officer Keith Enright will appear alongside representatives from other tech companies as well as internet service providers. Enright said he plans to stand by the company’s ad-supported business model.
European laws and proposals meant to rein in tech giants are inadvertently empowering them. The laws — governing everything from privacy to copyright to content filtering — stem from concerns about the behavior of big platforms, like YouTube and Facebook. But big companies have more resources to comply with complicated regulations than small firms. The European Parliament recently passed a directive that would overhaul its copyright law and would force platforms to impose strict filters for copyright violations or face fines.
With new attacks by President Donald Trump, high-stakes testimony Sept 5 on Capitol Hill, and a midterm election vulnerable to online manipulation, tech’s giants are bracing themselves for two months after Labor Day that could decide whether and how much the government regulates them. The companies — led by Facebook and Google but with Twitter, Apple, and Amazon also in the mix — are caught in a partisan vise, between privacy-oriented critics on the left who fear further election interference and newer charges from the right of anti-conservative bias and censorship.
Google is rolling out the online library of US political ads it promised lawmakers in 2017, along with a report detailing political ad-spending trends across its platforms.
The Chinese government certainly has the ability to pursue an online political disinformation campaign directed at foreign elections — but hasn’t yet because it favors long-term thinking over Russia’s scorched-earth foreign policy, experts said. Researchers note that China could turn its sights on the US if it wanted to. “The question for me and some other researchers is: will they make that jump more aggressively to the English language space in the more heavy-handed manipulation sense?
Sen. Mark Warner's office has laid out 20 different paths to address problems posed by Big Tech platforms — ranging from putting a price on individual users' data to funding media literacy programs. The proposal is a window t0 the options available to US policymakers concerned about disinformation and privacy. Enacting any of these plans is a long shot in the near-term, but a shift in party control of Congress come November could give them more momentum.
Today’s tech startups have largely stayed out of the debate over whether antitrust law should be used to humble — and possibly break up — giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Startups are often in position to lead the antitrust charge against major competitors. But entrepreneurs face a dilemma: If they go running to regulators, they have to admit they’re in danger and tick off a powerful player in their world. If they do nothing, they risk bleeding out. Tech giants have immense leverage over startups.