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January 18, 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.

Let’s collaborate with social media firms to catch abusers

The Times | Jan 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Social media channels are an integral part of modern life and connect us to the world around us. But while they enable us to share moments with family and build our networks and friendships, they can also be used by perpetrators of sexual abuse to befriend, gain the trust of, manipulate and groom their victims.

Social media companies have a vital role to play both in ensuring privacy for users, and in keeping children safe.

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Building Digital Trust for Customer Longevity: What’s the Secret Sauce?

Finextra | Jan 18, 2022

Company Listed: Deloitte

It is no secret that trust is one of the pillars of customer relationships for organizations. But, how critical is it?

According to a recent Deloitte Digital survey[1], while rational factors play a key role at the beginning and end of relationships, it is the emotional factors that inspire brand loyalty. 60 percent of long-term customers use emotional language to describe their connection to their favored brands. And, among the emotional factors that consumers feel most aligned with their favorite brands, trustworthiness (83%), integrity (79%), and honesty (77%) form the top three.

For financial institutions, this isn’t a surprise. After all, your customers entrust you with their financial assets, and not just their personal information.

If anything, building trust is becoming even more critical amidst increasingly digital (and even more demanding) customer behavior and tightening regulatory regimes.

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Here's how US lawmakers could finally rein in Facebook | Jan 18, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook Meta

Here's my message for Mark Zuckerberg: Your time of invading our privacy, promoting toxic content, and preying on children and teens is over. Congress will be taking action."

Facebook, now known as Meta, has faced scrutiny on Capitol Hill for years, with executives — including Zuckerberg — repeatedly grilled in Congressional hearings. But if these and other comments from lawmakers during hearings in recent months are any indication, 2022 could shape up to be a make-or-break year in the long-running effort to regulate Facebook.

Congress is currently considering around a dozen proposed bills targeting Big Tech, some of which could force Meta to change how it handles algorithmic recommendations and collecting user data, as well as its ability to make acquisitions. A bipartisan group of 10 state attorneys general launched an investigation late last year into Meta, focused on the potential harms of its Instagram platform on young users.

And last week, a federal judge said the Federal Trade Commission could move forward with a lawsuit seeking to break up Meta, after the company had argued the complaint should be dismissed. (The case could drag on for years.) The FTC and several state attorneys general are also reportedly investigating Meta's Oculus virtual reality unit over antitrust concerns, according to a Bloomberg report Friday citing people with knowledge of the matter.

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Facebook’s ‘fact-checkers’ can’t be trusted – how dare the social media giant call itself our arbiter of truth

The New York Times | Jan 18, 2021

Company Listed: Facebook meta

Do you believe everything you read? We’re constantly bombarded with information from sources that all claim to be true. But who should we trust? Newspapers or social media giants, established journals or Facebook posts?

And what happens when two or more credible authorities post contradictory information about the same topic?

For most people, the answer to these questions is simple. The decision of who or what to believe is a matter of personal choice, which is based on our own knowledge, experience and personal preference.

Thinking for yourself and making the occasional error of judgment, or being proven wrong every now and then, is what makes you smarter, more experienced and a better judge of facts and character. These are skills that are necessary for our survival. The ability to make our own judgment about information we read is crucial for our personal development and for our freedom of thought.

But there are alarming signs that some social media companies are getting worried about our ability to make such choices.

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Security Flaws Seen in China’s Mandatory Olympics App for Athletes

The New York Times | Jan 18, 2021

Company Listed: Social Media

Researchers said the app, which will store sensitive health data on participants at the Winter Games, has serious encryption vulnerabilities.

The mandatory smartphone app that athletes will use to report health and travel data when they are in China for the Olympics next month has serious encryption flaws, according to a new report, raising security questions about the systems that Beijing plans to use to track Covid-19 outbreaks.

Portions of the app that will transmit coronavirus test results, travel information and other personal data failed to verify the signature used in encrypted transfers, or didn’t encrypt the data at all, according to the report by Citizen Lab, a University of Toronto cybersecurity watchdog. The group also found that the app includes a series of political terms marked for censorship in its code, though it does not appear to actively use the list to filter communications.

China has entered the final planning stages for a Winter Olympics that will seek to control the spread of Covid-19 by keeping athletes and other participants separate from the greater Chinese population. The app, called MY2022, was designed to bolster those precautions, enabling electronic links between the government and participants to contact trace in the event of any outbreaks. It resembles a broader system of app-based health codes used to control population movements in the event of outbreaks.

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T&S Policies & Regulations

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

Compare and review T&S Policies for dozens of companies here

UK’s Digital Market Unit wants to ask Big Tech for a fight

Diginomica | Jan 18, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

The UK's Digital Markets Unit (DMU) is emerging from the shadow of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), where it has sat since formation last year. The DMU was founded in exploratory form in April 2021 to tackle the power of Big Tech platforms, in response to the Furman Review and recommendations from the CMA's own Digital Markets Taskforce.

As I noted in my report on AI standards, for a nation that is supposedly against European-style bureaucracy, regulation, and market controls, Britain is adept at stacking the digital space with layer upon layer of administrative complexity - a process that has, unsurprisingly, increased since Brexit. Could it be that Europe's interventionist regulators had the right idea all along? The UK has built precious few tech titans from its innovative start-ups, but it knows how to create public sector jobs on the back of them.

However, as I also noted in that report, Britain plans a new "pro-innovation, pro-competition regime", which - when considered alongside Whitehall chatter about abolishing human rights legislation - is likely to put less of a focus on protecting the citizen/consumer than the EU, and more on preventing harm to companies. Such an environment would favour business where possible, as part of the Plan for Growth - the Johnson-era document that replaced the more coherent Industrial Strategy drawn up by his predecessors.

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Big Tech Companies Brace for a Wave of Regulation

Bangkok Post | Jan 17, 2022

Company Listed: Social Media

Big tech companies are facing the biggest expansion in potential technology regulation in a generation. And while the jury is out on whether all that sound and fury will signify anything, for the first time there are signs that the big-tech backlash could have a substantive impact.

New laws under consideration in Europe, Asia and the U.S. could put sharp limits on how big tech companies can treat smaller competitors and restrict their use of artificial intelligence like facial recognition.

Some proposals could ban common practices such as companies giving their own products a boost in their own rankings, something that could have an operational impact, executives and analysts say.

At the same time, regulators globally are advancing dozens of investigations related to competition and privacy that could lead to more than just speeding tickets for tech giants.

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Big Tech foes launch ‘campaign-style’ initiative to push for antitrust legislation

The Washington Post | Jan 17, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook Meta

Tech giants in the past decade have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars into lobbying, advertising, polling and research to advance their political interests in Washington. Now some of their top adversaries are forming a plan to use that same playbook to press Congress to pass bills that would place new limits on how they wield power over their rivals.

Launching Tuesday, the Tech Oversight Project plans to bring “campaign-style” tactics to push lawmakers to pass competition legislation aimed at the tech industry. The project is primarily funded by the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic venture launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar that has called for greater regulation of the tech industry, and the advocacy arm of the Economic Security Project, a nonprofit organization led by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who has called for the breakup of the social network he helped create.

The project sees itself as a direct response to Big Tech-funded groups such as NetChoice and the Connected Commerce Council, which have been flooding social media feeds and email newsletters with ads defending the industry against regulation.

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Lack of transparency “major issue” for Meta, amidst antitrust allegations

InformationAge | Jan 17, 2022

Company Listed: Facebook (Meta)