Global Media Tech Regulation Tracker – August 2nd

The Global Media Tech Regulation Tracker returns for the post-pandemic era, and we’re starting from scratch to bring you the latest and greatest regulatory updates from around the world. From Facebook and Twitter on Capitol Hill, to China’s legislative approach to Tencent and Alibaba, and beyond to Google’s relationship with publishers in individual markets across the continents, this live doc is updated weekly, tracking all of the developments in media tech as they occur.


Looking for historic data? Never fear! We’ve got everything on file since the Tracker’s inception in May 2021 – simply contact us today for further information!


International

July 29thAccording to. New study produced by workplace researcher Revelio Labs and published here by Bloomberg, new monthly job postings across all industries with ‘metaverse’ in the title declined 81% between April and June. Bloomberg says that then trend coincides with a broader slowdown in hiring in the tech sector, as employers reassess hiring needs due to recession concerns. 

July 27thGoogle has once again postponed its plans to phase out the cookie, this time until the second half of 2024. In a post published on the Google Blog by Anthony Chavez, VP of Privacy for Sandbox, the exec wrote, “we now intend to begin phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in the second half of 2024.”

July 26th: From a meeting of the Joint UK-US Financial Regulatory Working Group, a statement has today been released in relation to – amongst other topics – the future regulation of cryptocurrency. Discussions at the meeting are said to have included the exchanging of views on crypto-asset regulation, the exploration of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and a commitment to continued co-operation to support safe financial innovation.

July 18thNew analysis of TikTok’s source code reportedly shows that the app ‘scours phones for personal information’, with concerns that under Chinese laws, the ByteDance owned platform could be compelled to hand over data. Robert Potter of Internet 2.0 – the company that says it tapped into the TikTok source code – told the Australian Financial Review that TikTok’s operating system was “fundamentally incompatible” with Australian law. 

July 18th: In an interview with the BBC, Lyric Jain, Chief Executive of Logically, a high-tech monitoring firm that uses AI to find fake news and disinformation, has warned that businesses are increasingly looking to social media to proactively discredit their rivals: “We seem to be on the cusp of an era of disinformation against [business] competitors. We are seeing that some of the same practices that have been deployed by nation state actors, like Russia and China, in social media influence operations, are now being adopted by some more unscrupulous competitors of some of the main Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies.”

July 15thA new contributor piece in Forbes argues that the recent ad-deal between Netflix and Microsoft highlights ‘The Rapidly Blurring Lines Between Media & Tech’. In it, Howard Homonoff writes, “It recalls the famous tagline for Certs mints. Is it a breath mint? Is it a candy mint? Why Netflix and Microsoft are two – two – two industries in one!”

Denmark

July 18th: Denmark’s data watchdog has ruled that Google’s handling of international data transfers breaches GDPR, and banned Google Workspace. The ruling from the Danish Data Protection Agency, Datalisynet, means that from August 3rd 2022, public sector organisations including schools will be prevented from using the service, which includes GMail and Google Docs, as well as physical Chromebooks. 

India

July 16th: India Today reports that the government is weighing up changes to its IT laws, in order to make Google and Facebook, amongst others, share revenue with news outlets. Minister of State for IT and Electronics, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said in a report: “The market power on digital advertising that is currently being exercised by the Big Tech majors, which places Indian media companies at a position of disadvantage, is an issue that is seriously being examined in the context of new legalisations and rules.”

Indonesia

Aug 1stFollowing the introduction of new digital laws, the Indonesian Government has blocked Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and more. According to PC Gamer and numerous other outlets, the restrictions are the result of such firms failing to register for new licensing under recent digital law changes – ‘It’s not clear in any case if moral objection, or simple ignorance, has caused this situation,’ writes PC Gamers Jonathan Bolding.  

July 19th: A new set of laws, first announced in November 2020 and set to come into play tomorrow, could see media tech giants like Google and Facebook blocked in the country. The new licensing system, which applies to all domestic and foreign electronic service operators, means that the government can order companies to hand over the personal data of specific users if requested by law enforcement or government agencies. Reuters has the latest

UK

Aug 2ndA new report from the Common’s Health and Social Care Committee says that more needs to be done to legislate commercial content in which body images have been digitally altered. The report also calls for greater legislation around cosmetic procedures, and urges the government to work with the ASA to discourage advertisers and influencers from doctoring their images.

July 18th: In a policy paper presented to parliament by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Nadine Dorries, titled ‘Establishing a pro-innovation approach to regulating AI’, the government has outlined its plans to make the UK ‘the best place in the world to found and grow an AI business’ while taking a regulatory approach to these emerging technologies that is ‘proportionate, light-touch and forward-looking’.

July 15th: The UK’s Online Safety Bill has been put on hold until a new Prime Minister is in place in the autumn. The bill, which is designed to prevent the spread of illegal content and protect both children and adults from harmful content, was originally expected to clear the House of Commons later this month, before proceeding to the House of Lords.

July 13thTom Morrison-Bell, Google’s UK Public Policy Manager, says that paying news publishers for their content to appear in search results could undermine trust in their service. Speaking at the IPPR Oxford Media Convention, he also sought to draw a line between search and social technologies: “Search is not the same as social media. It’s not a social media platform, and it shouldn’t be bundled in in the same way as social media, it performs a different function and it’s trusted better.”

US

Aug 2ndA new SEC filing shows Meta COO, Sheryl Sandberg, officially stepped down from the company yesterday, according to TechCrunch. Her departure has been on the cards since it was announced at the beginning of June, and is now official, with Chief Growth Officer, Javier Olivan, set to take over the reins. The move comes at what is undoubtedly a turbulent time for the company, having just reported its first ever quarterly revenue decline and received widespread criticism over recent Instagram changes.

July 21stA hearing has been told that former US President, Donald Trump, played a chilling role in the Captiol Riot attack of January 6th 2021. The panel presented new evidence which showed that he not only failed to act, but actively chose not to intervene, watching the riot unfold on television and tweeting “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” CNN has all the latest here.

July 18th: A new survey published by personal finance site Bankrate shows that more than 1 in 3 US adults who are on social media say they have felt negatively about their finances after seeing others’ posts. Such platforms were also shown to make users feel negatively about their appearances (32%) careers (27%) living situations (26%), personal relationships (25%), and hobbies (17 percent). Full report here

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