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The digeconomy is coming (just ask the government)

11 July Subscribe
Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 109
Who's your boss?
Is it possible that Russia, having as-yet failed to exert dominant strategic international control in physical or economic geo-politics, has decided it yet has an opportunity seize it digitally?
 
Is it possible they've not?

Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulation, is beginning a new legal action against Facebook and Twitter to compel them to host Russian peoples' data on Russian soil.
 
Now, what the Russians can do to Russian data when its on Russian soil I'm not sure, but I'm quite confident that the lines about what data is whose will blur if the companies comply. Both Twitter and Facebook have been, and to a limited degree explaining how they're doing it. Roskomnadzor's not sure it likes the limits to that degree and so here we are.
 
Who do we WANT to be in charge here? Do we want our governments, or other peoples', dictating rules to us about phone use and app visitation? Is a stock price a better regulatory mechanism than a Chamber of Commons? On this, a(nother) day of British shenanigans it seems a more credible argument than normal that market competition might be a better regulator than, well, regulators. Even our benevolent democracies are pretty crap as it turns out. And the line between oversight and censorship is thin indeed.
 
I guess we can't trust any powers to turn out completely perfect, really. Our obligation ought to be to keep the forces to account and leverage increased transparency where we can.
 
And one imagines we ought to empower our citizens as much as possible while we're at it. I wonder what the digital equivalent of the right to vote might be?

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The future


Apparently FastCompany asked Acxiom, one of the world's many powerful data brokers, how it would like to be regulated. In one of the most obvious PR moves of all time they vaguely said they would welcome regulation and then calmly continued making money hand over fist from your travel movements.
 
The privacy champions unite. DuckDuckGo has debuted a joint product with Apple - search results in Apple Maps.

A fun article from the Atlantic detailing the end of the Age of Tech.
 

The doghouse
 

This has gots to be the not-story-of-the-day story of the day. Google was fined EUR 50m for data breaches under GDPR last week, in a telling example of how we still don't seem to have any idea how GDPR is going to work. Benedict Evans, a tech investor, thinks the status quo is that making it hard for normal companies to use personal data will make consolidating everything in Facebook and Google easier/faster (*vom*). His parting shot "one wonders how much enforcement will focus on privacy, or competition policy by proxy, or nationalism." (*screams into the void*)
 
To be fair, Amazon, Apple, and Google aren't faring too well under GDPR either though. All three are facing data complaints under the regulation.
 
Oh, just kidding. THIS is the not-story-of-the-day. 700,000,000 unique email/password combinations were found in hackers' databases last week. wtaf.
 

The present

 
Lookit Facebook being all ethical and eesht. The company is donating USD $7.5m to a new ethics in AI institute in Munich. Paragons of virtue.
 
Pew Research Center says we don't like Facebook's algorithms, lolz.
 
 

The present


Hurricanes. We made it through Cyprus! Everyone got sick :joy:. It was a sprint of plans and the whole team is fired up. Here we go 2019.

Seed? We're considering a raise ;) get in touch for more info.

Wilkommen. A very warm welcome to new HAT sandbox team onezero-me. Much more to come (like, you know, an actual announcememnt).
Yours,

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager

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