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Regulating Big Tech #19

  • COVID apps in Thailand
  • Big Tech and Congress
  • EU court and Israel
  • Trump and tech taxes
Published every Friday

Bangkok Post

Thai Covid-19 apps judged invasive

To fight further waves of the pandemic, contact tracing apps that monitor infection locations and points of contact have never been more important. The recent scandal involving Egyptian airmen leaving quarantine to go to a mall in Rayong has the government scrambling to retrace their contact points, which could have been a much easier process had such apps been in use.

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Buzzfeed News

“Hurting People at Scale” Facebook’s Employees Reckon with the Social Network They’ve Built

As the US heads towards a crucial and contentious presidential election, the world’s largest social network is facing an unprecedented cultural crisis.

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The big tech CEOs are heading to Washington. Here’s what they’ll have to answer for.

Lawmakers will have plenty to probe when Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai testify before Congress next week.

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Editor’s Note:

This edition of Regulating Big Tech comes before a major event next week, the testimony of tech leaders before Congress on antitrust. Here the team at Protocol breaks it down company by company.

The Wire (India)

Why India’s Proposed Data Protection Authority Needs Constitutional Entrenchment

India’s data protection authority (DPA), as envisaged under the proposed Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, has been entrusted with the crucial responsibility of protecting and regulating the use of personal data of citizens.

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Wall Street Journal ($)

Amazon met with startups about investing, then launched competing products

Nearly four years later, in April, Amazon’s cloud-computing unit launched an artificial-intelligence product that does almost exactly what DefinedCrowd does, said DefinedCrowd founder and Chief Executive Daniela Braga.

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C Tech

The shockwaves of the EU Court’s ruling on privacy standards may topple Israel’s tech sector

The dramatic ruling by the European Union’s Court of Justice on Thursday is, on the surface, unrelated to Israel. The document doesn’t mention Israel once and deals with the Privacy Shield agreement between the EU and the U.S., or rather the nixing of it. Naturally, the ruling has a major impact on U.S. tech companies, in fact it will affect every American company that collects data on EU residents, even if it isn’t strictly speaking a tech company.

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Editor’s Note:

Last week you read about EU court decisions that impacted Big Tech in Europe and America, but they reach other places as well. Here C Tech takes the view from Israel on data privacy.

The Hill

Senate-passed defense spending bill includes clause giving DHS cyber agency subpoena power

The Senate version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) approved Thursday included a raft of measures designed to shore up federal cybersecurity, including a clause giving the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency subpoena power.

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Pay Every American $1,000 to Download a Contact Tracing App

As the United States breaks records on COVID-19 case counts and Congress weighs a new economic stimulus, Congress should look for approaches that also aid public health. Particularly, a new economic stimulus could pay every American $1,000 to download and use a digital contact tracing application

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Editor’s Note:

Countries around the world have been interacting and competing with Big Tech with their own contact tracing apps, to mixed results. Here Zachary Kallenborn lays out a proposal for the US.


When it comes to tech taxes, the US has Trumped Brussels – CapX

One of the great misunderstandings of our time is that the thorny issue of taxing the tech giants has already been solved, by none other than Donald Trump, if it’s possible to believe that. Understanding this is crucial to the recent victory by Apple and the Irish government against the European Commission’s attempts to claim €13 billion in unpaid taxes.

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Yahoo Finance

Facebook, Twitter, Google face reckoning as deadline looms on Trump’s executive order

Social media giants could soon get a stronger taste of the Trump administration’s attempt to weaken legal protections that have long shielded those platforms from liability for edits and deletions to user content.

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