FCC commissioner says government should ban TikTok
Brendan Carr, one of five commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), advocated for the Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) to ban TikTok in a recent interview. "I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban," said Carr. However, the FCC lacks the authority to ban TikTok itself; only the CFIUS can take such an action.
The EU adopts the Digital Services Act
On October 27, 2022, the EU adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA), which forces digital service providers to moderate content, meet requirements around online advertising, and enforce trader transparency. Much like the GDPR, the DSA is a sweeping regulation that will likely impact how digital services providers conduct business outside of the EU.
TikTok users receive first payments resulting from a class-action lawsuit
TikTok users who created videos before September 30, 2021, began receiving payments between $27.84 and $167.04 this week as a result of a $92 million settlement against the social media company. Without a comprehensive federal privacy regulation, the lawsuit relied on a patchwork of different state privacy laws, such as Illinois’s biometric data privacy law.
Meta hit with antitrust breach order in Turkey for combining user data
Meta was recently fined the equivalent of ~$18.6 million in Turkish Lira over the social media company’s creation of highly detailed user profiles that combined data from WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. While the fine isn’t the largest levied against Meta, the basis of the fine—that Meta violated antitrust laws over the combination of user data across its portfolio of apps—has big consequences for Meta, as the company depends upon the creation of detailed user profiles for micro-targeted advertisements.
UK watchdog warns against AI for emotional analysis
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) warned against companies relying on AI to conduct emotional analyses of human facial expressions using biometric data. “Developments in the biometrics and emotion AI market are immature. They may not work yet, or indeed ever,” said the ICO’s deputy commissioner. “While there are opportunities present, the risks are currently greater. At the ICO, we are concerned that incorrect analysis of data could result in assumptions and judgements about a person that are inaccurate and lead to discrimination.
Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter highlights data privacy gaps in the social media company
Twitter has been criticized for poor data privacy practices in the past, particularly its lack of end-to-end encryption for direct messages (DMs). As a result, Twitter employees have access to the content of user DMs. Now that Elon Musk has taken over control of the social media company, those criticisms have been renewed.
A controversial ballot initiative allowing for the use of psychedelics in therapy draws data privacy concerns
Colorado is voting on the passage of Proposition 122, which would allow for the production and use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. However, Proposition 122 would enable psilocybin access outside of the scope of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Instead, experts believe Proposition 122’s data collection regulation would be closer to commercial data practices, such as those adhered to by Google, Facebook, or 23andMe.
FTC sues Chegg after the homework helper suffered four data breaches in three years
After exposing approximately 40 million students’ data—including names, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, and parents’ income—across four separate data breaches, Chegg has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
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