The findings of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in the two cases arising from complaints against Facebook by Austrian privacy campaigner Max Schrems highlight the fundamentally opposed approaches towards data and personal privacy in the EU and the US, writes Dick Roche.
Dick Roche is a former Fianna Fáil politician. He was the minister of state for European affairs when Ireland conducted the two referendums on the Treaty of Lisbon of the European Union, in 2008 and 2009.
The cases also shine a light on the extraordinary double standards of US policymakers who invoke concerns about data security in their efforts to push European countries in a direction that supports wider US geopolitical interests while applying lax standards domestically.
The unequivocal rulings of the Court of Justice in the two cases set a challenge for Europe’s Data Protection Commissioners and pose a conundrum as to how privacy protection arrangements in the US, which are honoured more in the breach than the observance, can be adjusted or augmented to satisfy EU data protection requirements.
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Google this week in a major decision that some legal experts are hailing as a victory for programmers and consumers. The Court ruled that Google did not violate copyright law when it included parts of Oracle’s Java programming code in its Android operating system—ending a decade-long multibillion dollar legal battle.
The Court’s ruling in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc. upheld long standing industry practices that have furthered development of software that’s compatible with other programs, legal experts tell TIME. The ruling means copyright holders for software “can’t maintain a monopoly over critical interface aspects,” argues Jeanne Fromer, a professor of copyright law at New York University School of Law—and those aspects can be used by both users and programmers to more easily switch between products.
“This is huge for a vibrant tech industry to continue innovating,” says Fromer. “In fact, that’s what the tech industry has long been built on… if this [practice] had been forbidden, there’s so many things in fundamental aspects of software that we wouldn’t have today.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is telling everyone who will listen that it is time to regulate the internet. But do Facebook and other platform companies support meaningful oversight or simply a regulatory Potemkin Village?
Zuckerberg’s efforts began with a 2019 op-ed in the Washington Post, “The Internet needs new rules.” The article proposed four specific actions including things that Facebook was already doing. A few months later Facebook released a white paper reiterating the ideas. When it was presented to the European Union, the official responsible described it as “too low in terms of responsibility.” It is this same set of proposals that are the basis for Facebook’s multimillion-dollar television, print and digital advertising campaign proclaiming, “We support updated internet regulations.”
Those scars will begin hurting years later when Black and poor students enter the job market. “If in the future, the world and the U.S. economy are going to be creating more technical and knowledge-based jobs, then these kids that are missing out on their education will lose out on being able to get those higher paying jobs,” said Efraim Berkovich, PWBM’s director of computational dynamics, in an interview on the Wharton Business Daily radio show on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast above.) Berkovich directed the PWBM study with research associates Maddison Erbabian and Youran Wu.
Just a few months ago, Jazmine Boykins was posting her artwork online for free. The 20-year-old digital artist’s dreamy animations of Black life were drawing plenty of likes, comments and shares, but not much income, aside from money she made selling swag with her designs between classes at North Carolina A&T State University.
But Boykins has recently been selling the same pieces for thousands of dollars each, thanks to an emerging technology upending the rules of digital ownership: NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs—digital tokens tied to assets that can be bought, sold and traded—are enabling artists like Boykins to profit from their work more easily than ever.
For many years, mobile network operators have viewed the masts and towers that house their antennas, radios and switching gear as strategic assets vital for their competitive standing.
But over the past year or so, the European market has seen a significant shift and carriers there are more likely to consider them as valuable structures that can be — and are being — monetized. This is being achieved by either spinning them off into new entities that they partially control, or selling them off to the existing and already large and influential tower infrastructure specialists. They are following the lead of US carriers, which largely divested their towers 10 years ago.
That connected cars are going to generate tons of data has led to the realization that car data monetization is a promising opportunity. Hence, I am asking key questions like: where are we and what do we know?
Fortunately, we have learned quite a lot in the last month because Otonomo is going public via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) named Software Acquisition Group. On February 1, Otonomo and its SPAC made an investor presentation that has a wealth of data that are giving us much better perspectives on current status and future potential of driving data. The investor presentation is available on Otonomo’s website: Reshaping automotive data to accelerate value (otonomo.io).
I am summarizing the new data monetization information and with my perspectives in this column.
Robots drivers, we’re told, could reduce traffic deaths. That might be possible someday. But it is highly implausible that switching entirely to robot drivers will eliminate traffic deaths, which leads to the question: are we really prepared for killer robo-drivers?
Ask yourself this: How would you feel if it was your child, partner, parent or friend that was killed in one of the two Boeing 737 Max crashes? I’d feel angry, and the more I learn about the failings of Boeing’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) in the 737 Max, the angrier I feel. Reading the recent article on the subject in EE Times, one comment in particular stood out:
Ultimately, fuel savings, longer range and reduced operational costs appear to outweigh safety considerations.
EE Times is rolling out a new virtual conference that lays out the “Roadmap to Next-Gen EV & AV.” Designed for an automotive industry and the industry’s technology suppliers who are infusing cars with sparks and senses, the event is scheduled between March 23 and March 25, 2021.
Electrification and automation are megatrends changing the face of the auto industry. “The All-Electric future” envisioned by General Motors CEO Mary Barra, for example, isn’t just a slogan. Barra’s plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035 is now a formal business strategy. GM has set its sights on ending production of cars, trucks, and SUVs with diesel- and gasoline-powered engines.
So, what exactly is Amazon’s playbook on autonomous vehicles? There is little doubt that Amazon will be a major user of autonomous vehicles and will participate in multiple AV use-cases. In this column, I will focus on Amazon’s AV-related activities. This is a follow-on to my previous Amazon column, which provided information on Amazon’s extensive and growing logistics and transportation activities.
One of Amazon’s four guiding principles is “commitment to operational excellence” and AV deployment in multiple use-cases will answer those goals with better safety, lower costs, better customer service and other benefits.