Ahead Of Other Major Powers, China Tests New Forms Of Digital Currency: China’s Central Bank is testing the electronic Chinese Yuan in cities such as Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing, where recipients of 200 electronic yuan have only a few weeks to spend it through the eCNY app before the digital money disappears; some economists worry the eCNY could provide the Chinese government a way to monitor citizens’ transactions.
The FCC Subsidizes Low-Income Households For High-Speed Internet Adoption: The Federal Communications Commission approved $3.2 billion for eligible low-income households that may be “at risk of digital disconnection,” with eligible households entitled to receive up to $50 per month ($75 per month for households on Native American land) for broadband service, plus a one-time $100 discount on a computer or tablet.
Virginia Becomes Second State To Pass A Comprehensive Data Privacy Law: Following in the footsteps of California, Virginia passed the Consumer Data Protection Act, which will become effective in 2023; although similar to California’s consumer privacy laws, Virginia’s law is viewed as weaker, as it contains no specific revenue threshold for application and lacks a private right of action, among other things.
TikTok Settles Privacy Class-Action For $92 Million: The settlement resolves 21 class-action lawsuits alleging that TikTok used facial recognition technology to collect users’ biometric, gender, ethnicity, and age data without consent, and also harvested and sold other “highly sensitive personal data” in violation of multiple federal and state privacy and consumer protection laws.
Information Security & Cyberthreats
Google Cloud Plans To Offer Cyber Insurance Designed For Google Cloud Customers: Leveraging a partnership with Allianz and Munich Re, Google Cloud will roll out a cyber insurance product, Cloud Protection +, embedded in its Cloud services for users in the U.S., indicating that cyber insurance might become more mainstream in businesses in the future.
Federal Jury Rules Intel Infringed Two Patents, Must Pay $2.18 Billion: Intel Corp. must pay VLSI Technology LLC one of the largest patent-damages awards in U.S. history for infringing two patents related to chip-making technology, despite Intel’s claims that it never infringed any of the patents and one of the patents covers the work of Intel engineers.
Free Expression & Censorship
On Facebook, Right-Wing Misinformation Has Higher Engagement Than Other Political Content: In assessing five months of Facebook post data from August 2020 to January 2021, researchers found that far-right sources of misinformation had the highest average number of interactions per post compared to sources promoting content reflecting views falling elsewhere on the political spectrum, but noted that further research is needed to determine why right-wing content achieves higher engagement.
On the Lighter Side
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP