single distill image banner

Regulating Big Tech #13

  • “Liberaltarian”
  • FDA for facial recognition?
  • Facebook and the FBI
  • Jio-FB monopoly?
Published every Friday

Stanford Graduate School of Business

The Rise of the ‘Liberaltarian’

Tech industry millionaires are moving the Democratic Party to the left on almost every issue except government regulation. Unions beware.

Read more

Coda Story

Fingerprints and facial images – the EU builds a powerful new identity database

An upcoming biometrics repository will hold the records of 300 million people and could hand a potentially powerful surveillance tool to its member states

Read more

Editor’s Note:

One of the big stories last weekend was the EU calling for more regulation of tech giants, most of which are American. Here, however, the team at Coda Story looks at a European project that touches on data privacy.


Singapore looks to ease privacy fears with ‘no internet’ wearable device

The Singapore government says the wearable device it is developing for COVID-19 contact tracing will not have GPS, internet, or cellular connectivity, so data it collects can only be extracted when it is physically handed over to a health official. These details are being offered up as the government looks to ease concerns about data privacy and drive the adoption of digital tools that can help speed up contact tracing.

Read more

The Wire

India Needs a Surveillance Law That Goes Beyond Personal Data Protection

A large part of the current effort between the Union and state governments in contact tracing, widespread testing, disease surveillance and quarantining is being coordinated under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP), the decentralised state-based disease surveillance programme established in 2004 with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as its nodal agency.

Read more

Biometric Update

Biometrics experts call for creation of FDA-style government body to regulate facial recognition

Could a U.S. government agency modeled on the Food and Drug Administration that categorizes biometric facial recognition technologies according to how risky they are and proscribes controls accordingly meet the regulatory challenges associated with the technology?

Read more

Editor’s Note:

In the US, one of the big stories was Amazon and IBM’s moves away from facial recognition. This piece also appeared in our “Face Value” newsletter, and looks at some of the momentum behind regulation in the States.

Economy for All

The Battle Over Free Speech Online is a Volcano That’s Ready to Blow

Debate is raging in the US and elsewhere on how, or if, social media should be regulated.

Read more

The New European

How the UK is missing out on key EU legislation that would benefit us all

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Read more


Facebook Helped the FBI Hack a Child Predator

Facebook paid a cybersecurity firm six figures to develop a zero-day in Tails to identify a man who extorted and threatened girls.

Read more

Editor’s Note:

One of the themes of this newsletter is tech working or not working with government on law enforcement. Here Vice reports on Facebook linking up with the FBI.

Hindu Business Line

Jio-FB deal — will it monopolise minds?

Monopolising informatics and digital communication could lead to just that. Why target just the Chinese?

Read more


Policing Reform Bill Would Prohibit Embedding Facial Recognition in Body Cameras

In the midst of ongoing, historic protests occurring across the nation in part over police brutality and use of lethal force against unarmed civilians, four congressional Democrats introduced a law enforcement reform bill that would require federal, state and local officers to wear body cameras but restrict the use of facial recognition technology.

Read more