CLIP-ings: September 16, 2022

Internet Governance

California Sues Amazon For Anticompetitive Practices: A lawsuit filed by the state’s attorney general alleges that the company’s agreements with third-party sellers harm competition by limiting merchants’ ability to offer their products at lower prices elsewhere. The suit alleges that Amazon engages in retaliatory conduct against sellers that forces them to keep prices high and consolidate their offerings on Amazon.

Google’s €4.1 Billion EU Fine Upheld: The European Union’s General Court upheld the fine–which is the largest the bloc has levied–against Google for imposing a set of anticompetitive restrictions on Android device manufacturers that set Google products as the default.

Period-Tracking App Flo Releases “Anonymous Mode” in Wake of Roe v. Wade Overruling: The popular app, which has an estimated 40 million monthly users and which was once subject to Federal Trade Commission enforcement action for sharing user data, will implement a new data-relay system that allows users to use the app without having their data linked to their name, email address, or IP address.
Information Security and Cyberthreats

TikTok Mum on Whether U.S. User Data Reaches China’s Government: In response to questioning from lawmakers in Congress, the company’s Chief Operating Officer denied that TikTok is influenced by China, but avoided saying whether its parent ByteDance discloses data to the country’s government pursuant to national security law that requires companies to comply with requests for data.
Intellectual Property

EU’s AI Act Could Chill Open-Source Software, Report Warns: A report by the Brookings Institution argues that the Act, which requires developers to ensure that their open-source software is accurate, secure, and transparent about risk, could disincentivize the release of open-source material over fear of litigation in the event of error. As a result, the report warns, AI development could be driven totally into the private sector.
Freedom of Expression and Censorship

California Social Media Transparency Law Signed by Governor Newsom: The law requires social media companies to publicly post their policies on handling hate speech, misinformation, harassment, and extremism, as well as submit semiannual reports on enforcement of the policies to the state’s attorney general. The controversial law poses First Amendment problems, according to experts.
On the Lighter Side

A Slice of the Future: Pizza robots in New Jersey can whip up 300 pies per hour.
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Ron Lazebnik
Academic Director, Fordham CLIP

Tom Norton
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP