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Regulating Big Tech #18

  • Soldiers and social media
  • Ireland and Big Tech
  • Free COVID app?
  • Facebook Pay in Brazil
Published every Friday

NPR

‘TikTok Changed My Life’: India’s Ban On Chinese App Leaves Video Makers Stunned

Youths perform in front of a cellphone camera while making a TikTok video on the roof of their residence in Hyderabad, India, in February. India’s government has banned 59 Chinese-owned apps including TikTok.

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The Journal (Ireland)

Opinion: Ireland is in prime position to hold social networks to account – and we must

Last week I wrote to the Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, urging her to set up a committee to consider the regulation of Facebook, Twitter and other online corporations that have their European Headquarters based in Dublin.

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Policy Forum

Data privacy and democracy in a pandemic

While the personal data of private citizens can be crucial to fighting COVID-19, governments must use it sparingly, carefully, and with transparency. Taiwan provides the perfect example, Macabe Keliher and Jo Guldi write.

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Press Trust of India

Lt Col moves HC against Army’s decision to ban social media for officials

The plea said Choudhary got to know through a July 9 news report about the Army’s order requiring him and other personnel to delete Facebook, Instagram and 87 other applications by July 15.

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Editor’s Note:

Part of regulating tech is, as seen in multiple articles this week from India to the US, regulating which government employees can use what. Here is a report from Delhi about soldiers and social networks that a challenger says helps them stay in contact with their families.

Deseret News

Utah spending millions on COVID-19 app though offer for free tracing still stands

SALT LAKE CITY — Prominent Utah businessman Khosrow Semnani and his son, Taymour Semnani, CEO of the tech firm Ferry, made an offer to state officials to help fight the pandemic months ago — for free.

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Jacobin

Care About Free Speech? Take on the Power of Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook has vowed to close the “trust deficit” after more than a hundred companies announced they were boycotting the social media company’s advertising platform. Mark Zuckerberg’s tepid apologies tend to arrive at regular intervals; his most recent comes in response to complaints that his platform doesn’t do enough to police hate speech.

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POLITICO

Defeat on €13B Apple tax bill delivers big blow to EU’s Vestager

The EU General Court on Wednesday overturned the landmark 2016 decision by EU competition czar Margrethe Vestager that Ireland should claw back €13 billion in unpaid taxes plus interest from Apple.

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Editor’s Note:

This week was a huge one for regulating big tech in Europe, with major court decisions on tax decisions as well as data sharing with the US. Here POLITICO digs into the decision and the woman who has led the charge in Brussels.

Reuters

Facebook Pay forced to back off in Brazil over banking rule confusion

São Paulo/Brasilia — Allowing millions of Brazilian users of Facebook’s WhatsApp to send money as easily as texts seemed a golden opportunity for the world’s largest social media company.

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Irish Times

Apple verdict a victory for Ireland Inc but appeal remains divisive

The 2016 European Commission finding that Ireland was owed €13.1 billion in back taxes by Apple was a hammer blow to Ireland’s reputation. In the eyes of its many detractors, the ruling was proof positive that Ireland – perennially on the international bold step for its facilitation of tax planning – was deserving of its reputation as Public Enemy Number One.

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Bloomberg

Hong Kong Ceases to Be Safe Haven in Gathering U.S.-China Storm

Hong Kong implemented its strictest suite of social distancing measures yet as the Asian financial hub looks set to be the first in the region where a new outbreak surpasses previous waves in severity.

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Editor’s Note:

If you haven’t been following news out of Hong Kong our Digest last week may be a good place to start. Though here, Bloomberg digs into how things are changing in relation to the US, including moves that impact the sharing of technology.