Technology and Privacy

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by Jack
Brewster

Timeline ⏳

Sep 11, 2019

California Says Driving For Uber is a Real Job

  • The California state legislature passes a bill that would force companies to treat contract workers the same as full-time employees.

  • It's a move designed to better the lives of gig economy workers such as Uber and Lyft drivers.

  • Quick Read

Jul 24, 2019

Following Customer Uproar, Door Dash Announce Tipping Policy Change

  • After a Door Dash delivery person’s NYT article spawned customer outrage over Door Dash’s tipping model, the company agrees to change its policy.

  • The tipping policy, which, in reality was the model by which Door Dash paid delivery people their salary, depended on customer tips for full pay to the worker.

  • Additionally, the dinner reservation app, OpenTable, announces it will be entering the delivery industry as well. 

Jul 22, 2019

Big Tech Gets Slapped with Fines For Violating Kids' Privacy Laws

The Federal Trade Commission finalizes a settlement with Google after an investigation revealed YouTube was violating federal privacy laws for children. The FTC has recently begun cracking down on big tech privacy violations, laying down the foundation for the way in which the internet will be governed. Tik Tok and Facebook have both been hit with fines for violating children’s privacy rights as well. 

Jul 17, 2019

Bipartisan Backlash To Big Tech Grows

Congressional lawmakers hold two days of hearings on Facebook’s new plan to launch a cryptocurrency. Facebook faces harsh criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle who argue the new venture could wreak havoc on international currencies and governments. At the same time, President Trump threatens to investigate Google for possible treason after Pay-Pal cofounder and Trump-ally Peter Thiel accused the tech company of cozying up to the Chinese government

Jul 9, 2019

Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment by Blocking Twitter Followers

A U.S. Appeals Court in Manhattan rules that President Trump violated the first amendment when he blocked twitter followers. The case originates from a lawsuit filed on behalf of seven people who were blocked by the president for retweeting or posting tweets criticizing Trump. 

Jun 29, 2019

Deescalation in U.S./China Trade War As Negotiations Resume At G20 Summit

President Trump meets with China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Japan, telling reporters later that China and U.S. are now “back on track” with trade talks. The meeting signals a deescalation in the ongoing trade war between the two countries. Going in, Xi Jinping sought to discuss the U.S. ban on Huawei and successfully negotiates lifting the ban, as well as a promise from Trump that no new tariffs will be imposed on China

Jun 27, 2019

Twitter To Begin Labeling Politician’s Tweets That Break Community Guidelines

In a blog post, Twitter announces it will begin labeling rule-breaking tweets of political figures with more than 100,000 followers. Formerly, tweets violating Twitter’s community guidelines were removed, but now, the social media company will instead keep the inflammatory tweets and place a discretionary notice over them. The new rule could affect politicians such as President Donald Trump

Jun 27, 2019

U.S. Companies Continue Selling to Huawei Despite Trump’s Ban

Despite a Trump administration ban on Huawei, U.S. companies continue to sell millions of dollars of products to the Chinese tech company. According to the WSJ, the ban has hurt the international tech market, already “cutting into the revenue of American and Japanese electronics companies.” As U.S. companies seek to continue business with Huawei, Bloomberg reports Huawei personnel worked with the Chinese military on research projects, leading the FCC commissioner to demand Huawei gear in U.S. networks be replaced as soon as possible 

Jun 23, 2019

Bipartisan Senators Want Big Tech To Disclose Price of User Data

Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduce a bill that would require big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to disclose the price of consumer data to their users. The U.S. is "unlike many industrialized nations" in that it "has no overarching national law governing data collection and privacy," writes the Washington Post 

Jun 18, 2019

Facebook Announces Its Cryptocurrency Will Launch in 2020

Facebook announces a plan to launch its own cryptocurrency system in 2020. Backed by 27 partners including Mastercard and Uber, the alternate financial system, called "Libra," will be the most ambitious attempt by a major business to enter the cryptocurrency world

Jun 5, 2019

Youtube to Remove Videos with Extremist Content

Youtube announces it will remove videos advocating for neo-Nazism, white supremacy and other extremist views following backlash surrounding the video sharing platform’s propensity to lead viewers towards radicalizing videos. Youtube argues it has a responsibility “ to protect… and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence”

Jun 3, 2019

Federal Government Gears Up For Big Tech Antitrust Probes

The federal government makes a series of moves in preparation for antitrust investigations of America's biggest tech companies, Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple. Companies, ranging in size from Oracle to the Handpulled Noodle, complain that the tech giants have used size and scale to hurt smaller businesses

May 30, 2019

Disney, Netflix Say They May Stop Production in Georgia If Abortion Law Takes Effect

After Georgia passed a strict anti-abortion law, Netflix and Disney say they may stop filming in the state. Both media companies rely heavily on the conservative state as a location to shoot

May 24, 2019

Fake Nancy Pelosi Video Goes Viral

A doctored clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking goes viral on the internet. The video was altered to make Nancy seem like she was slurring her speech. Facebook refuses to take down the video. Pelosi responds by calling Facebook "willing enablers of the Russian interference in our election." The Daily Beast, a week later, finds who created the video, a Trump-supporting blogger named Shawn Brooks

May 23, 2019

Facebook Removes More than 3 Billion Fake Accounts

Facebook announces that it deleted more than 3 billion fake accounts in the last six months. The company removed more than twice as many profiles during this period than the previous six months 

May 9, 2019

Break Up Facebook?

Is Facebook a monopoly? A movement gains support to split up the tech giant.  Facebook’s co-founder, Chris Hughes, pens an op-ed in the New York Times calling for the government to “break up Facebook.” Some politicians jump on board, too. Facebook’s vice president for global affairs and communications responds with his own op-ed

May 2, 2019

Facebook Bans Hate-Spewing Social Media Personalities

Facebook bans InfoWars’ host Alex Jones, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and other “dangerous” social media figures for violating company policy

Apr 4, 2019

Preliminary Boeing Crash Report Says Plane – Not Pilots – Is to Blame For Crash

The Ethiopian Airlines flight crew followed procedures but could not stop Boeing plane from malfunctioning, says Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges

Mar 13, 2019

Facing Backlash, Trump Grounds Boeing 737

Following most other countries, Trump grounds the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes. The safety of the model was questioned after two Boeing 737 jets were involved in deadly crashes. Trump was criticized for not immediately halting the Boeing planes

Mar 11, 2019

Boeing Crash Fallout

Multiple countries ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet because of safety concerns following multiple deadly crashes. As more and more countries halt the U.S.-made 737, Trump holds off from preventing the jet from flying in the U.S.  

Feb 14, 2019

Amazon Cancels Plans for New York Headquarters

Amazon recently announced plans to build a major headquarters in Queens, New York that would have brought an estimated 25,000 jobs to the city. However, New York progressives, led by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, protested the deal, citing concerns about gentrification and arguing that the tax incentive package Amazon received was unfair. In response, Amazon decides it will not move forward with the HQ plans

Jan 28, 2019

Huawei Charged With Variety of Crimes Including Selling Trade Secrets

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker lays out indictments against Chinese tech giant Huawei in a press conference, charging the company with crimes including bank fraud and theft of trade secrets. An ongoing issue, Huawei was first accused of crimes by a bipartisan House Intelligence Committee report in 2012. The charges, while long coming, raise questions about the future of technological security, as well as trade relationships between U.S. and Chinese tech companies

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