Bipartisan senators are proposing a law to force Big Tech to disclose how much your data is worth. According to an Axios report, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) will debut legislation on Monday that would require tech companies like Google and Facebook to calculate and publicly share how much their users’ data is worth. The law wouldn’t require companies to pay people for using their data; instead, Axios writes, it would “help consumers understand what they may be giving up when they click on ‘I agree’ and hold tech companies to a higher level of transparency.” Warner told Axios that if tech companies aren’t willing to agree to regulatory measures like this proposal, he would be more likely to conclude they need more broad regulation that would break them up.
[Kim Hart / Axios]
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US Customs and Border Protection detained a journalist and searched his property and devices without a warrant. When he declined to tell a CBP agent at the airport in Austin, Texas, about the story he was reporting on in Mexico, Intercept journalist Seth Harp says that he was detained for hours last month. Even though he wasn’t suspected of breaking any laws and wasn’t actually under arrest, he could either choose to unlock his phone and laptop for border agents or they would confiscate them. Harp wrote that after he opened his phone, an agent “spent three hours reviewing hundreds of photos and videos and emails and calls and texts, including encrypted messages on WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. It was the digital equivalent of tossing someone’s house: opening cabinets, pulling out drawers, and overturning furniture in hopes of finding something — anything — illegal.” Harp is just one of the tens of thousands of travelers whose laptops and phones are searched by the US government each year.
[Seth Harp / The Intercept]
France is creating a task force within the G7 to prepare for cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s libra. After Facebook announced details of its plan to launch a global digital currency in 2020 that can be used for online transactions and money transfers, regulators sprang into action. The G7 group will explore how to regulate cryptocurrencies to protect both consumers and the economy. According to Reuters, “France, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven nations, has said it does not oppose Facebook’s creating an instrument for financial transactions. But it adamantly opposes that instrument becoming a sovereign currency.”
[Inti Landauro and Richard Lough / Reuters]
Deepfake tech is getting more and more deceptive. Researchers at Imperial College in London and Samsung’s AI research center in the UK have figured out how to use machine learning to combine a still image and audio clip to create a singing or talking video, The Verge reports. Examples the researchers generated including a video of Rasputin singing a Beyoncé song and a snippet of Albert Einstein giving a lecture. The videos aren’t completely convincing, but they’re getting closer to that goal. “Research like this is understandably making people worried about how it will be used for misinformation and propaganda — a question that is currently vexing US legislators,” The Verge writes.
[James Vincent / The Verge]
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