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February 2, 2022 T&S Newsletter

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T&S Early Warning News

Get ahead of new stories that are impacting the T&S industry.

Companies know what you do inside your email inbox. Here’s how to block them.

The Washington Post | Feb 02, 2022

Company Listed: Google

Privacy-protective email service ProtonMail just rolled out a feature that blocks companies from tracking you inside your inbox — which many of us didn’t know was happening in the first place.

Your inbox may feel like a cloistered environment, but it’s actually just another webpage, says Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher who ran the education and privacy organization FunnyMonkey. Companies can put little chunks of code inside emails that report back on whether you looked at it, as well as your location and the time of day. And unless your email provider is end-to-end encrypted, there’s nothing stopping that provider from accessing your mail, as well.

As interest in data privacy grows and we learn about the many ways our apps and browsers keep tabs on us, it’s easy to assume that what we send and receive in our email accounts stays private. But email is fertile ground for tracking, and big providers do little to stop it, experts say.

Google, for one, downloads images in emails on its own servers, its spokeswoman Jenny Thomson said. That’s typically where tracking technology hides, but Thomson wouldn’t say whether Google’s method stops trackers from gathering data on you. Outlook doesn’t block tracking technology for personal or business accounts, though it does take steps to do so in its app for Windows, according to Lynn Ayres, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Outlook.

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Facebook owner Meta close to deal for Greek startup Accusonus: Report

Register | Feb 01, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook Meta

America's EARN IT Act attacking Section 230 is back – and once again threatening the internet, critics say

The EARN IT Act, a legislative bill intended "to encourage the tech industry to take online child sexual exploitation seriously" has been revived in the US Senate after it died in committee back in 2020.

And advocacy groups have once again decried the bill for threatening free speech and access to encryption, and for imperiling the liability protection that allows online service providers to host third-party content. In other words, the bill's reception has been much the same as it was two years ago.

US Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Tuesday reintroduced the bill [PDF] claiming that online service providers are disinterested in keeping child sexual abuse material (CSAM) off their platforms.

"Tech companies have long had ready access to low-cost, or even free tools to combat the scourge of child sexual abuse material but have failed to act," said Blumenthal in a statement. "Millions of these horrifying images go unidentified and unreported by the tech platforms that host them because there are so few consequences when these companies look the other way. That ends with the EARN IT Act."

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Germany's battle against online hate speech

The Hindu | Feb 02, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Regina Nagel has learned that caution must be her guiding principle on the internet. She keeps posts and comments to a minimum, and is careful about who her Facebook friends are. But all that precaution still wasn't enough. Last September, a friend shared one of her posts which ended up triggering some shocking hate speech. Nagel is a parish officer in the Catholic Church. At the same time, she is also a member of a reform movement within the Church known as the Synodal Path, which was established in response to the child abuse scandal that continues to rock the Catholic Church.

The author of the most vitriolic comment in response to Nagel's post was a right-wing Catholic who publishes under his own name online, including disparaging comments about women in pastoral capacities. He insulted Nagel personally, and in a later post employed misogynist language to refer to her appearance. "It's completely beyond the pale, of course. But I didn't let it get to me," she said. "After all, it wasn't actually a direct threat to my health and safety, as has been the case with a number of politicians." Still, two friends reported the abusive comment to Facebook. But so far nothing has been done, and the text is still there for all to read.

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NewsGuard Partners with Online Voting Company Neuvote to Protect Voters and Political Candidates From Misinformation | Feb 01, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

New online voting and civic engagement platform helps political candidates and representatives engage with their constituents, using NewsGuard data to protect stakeholders from political misinformation.

Toronto, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - February 1, 2022) - NewsGuard today announced a partnership with Neuvote, in the launch of CiViK (, its unique online platform that allows voters and political candidates at the municipal, provincial, and federal level to interact.

On this platform, users can ask and answer questions about policies, and promote constructive dialogue - before, during, and after elections - as well as engage citizens with their municipalities on an ongoing basis.

CiViK, which was available in Canada in beta form ahead of the 2021 Canadian federal election, will launch officially in Canada on February 14 with a U.S. expansion soon to follow. Neuvote will use NewsGuard's Reliability Ratings and Misinformation Fingerprints data to monitor and flag misinformation on the platform across Canada.

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Guiding data protection at TikTok: ‘It’s a complex, challenging role’

Silicon Republic | Feb 01, 2022

Company Listed: TikTok, Ebay, Linkedin

TikTok’s Caroline Goulding discusses navigating the evolving privacy landscape, how the tech sector needs to lead on cybersecurity, and the importance of ‘peeling back the layers’ at work.

Caroline Goulding is TikTok’s data protection officer, based at the social media company’s growing hub in Dublin.

She was previously LinkedIn’s first data protection officer and prior to that held a variety of trust and safety roles at LinkedIn and eBay.

I joined TikTok in early 2020 as the first in-house data protection officer. As well as being a member of the senior leadership team in Ireland, I also worked with colleagues to establish the office of the data protection officer for TikTok.

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Warning issued to parents against posting pictures of kids in school uniform online | Jan 31, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

When your child starts a new school year, it can be tempting to take a picture of them in their brand-new school uniform and upload it to social media to share with family and friends.

But exploitation experts in Australia have issued a stark warning to parents against posting pictures of their kids wearing their uniform as it could leave them vulnerable to predators.

The experts say that sharing details about your child's name, school, or address on social media could make them a target for child grooming, as visual clues - such as images of school uniform or taking a photo with your home in the background - can make it easier for predators to track down key personal information that can be used to identify or find kids. Following the warning from exploitation experts, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has urged parents to make sure their privacy settings on social media are switched on, as this will ensure personal images are only viewed by people they know and trust.

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Dolly Everett's mum says kids should be forced to get a LICENCE to use social media after her daughter committed suicide following relentless online bullying

DailyMail | Jan 29, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The mother of a girl who committed suicide after experiencing years of online bullying has told a government inquiry young people should be forced to get a licence to use social media platforms.

Kate Everett, the mother of Dolly Everett who took her own life aged 14 in 2018 after she had endured extended cyber-bullying, made the recommendation while appearing before an inquiry currently being conducted by the House Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety.

'We are not allowed to drive a car, we are not allowed to do so many other things in life without, you know, the appropriate education and licensing,' Mrs Everett told the inquiry. Mrs Everett and her husband Tick set up Dolly's Dream after their daughter's passing to raise awareness and improve community education on bullying and its effects on children and families.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

Regulatory news and policy decisions impacting the T&S ecosystem.

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Tech minister questioned on influencer regulation

UK Parliament | Jan 28, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The need for new protections for child influencers and younger audiences is expected to be discussed. Following the previous session of the Influencer Culture inquiry with the Advertising Standards Authority and Competition and Markets Authority, MPs are likely to question whether the current regulatory system is fit for purpose in the new influencer market and whether regulators have the power to enforce their own rulings.

The Minister is also likely to be examined on how influencers should be supported on pay and employment rights. Diversity and representation among influencers are also on the agenda.