US Senate grapples with how to regulate AI

(Jun 25, 2019) At a hearing at the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation June 25, lawmakers aimed to determine what kind of government intervention, if any, is necessary for artificial intelligence given that companies are competing for "optimal engagement" from internet users, something that is often achieved through user manipulation and without their knowledge.  "While there must be a healthy dose of personal responsibility when users participate in seemingly free online services, ... Read More

Privacy risks in social media groups

(Jun 20, 2019) Bloomberg Law reports on how millions of people use social media platforms to seek health advice and support. The sticking point is that social media platforms avoid federal health privacy laws as long as they don’t offer medical services, which puts the onus on online group moderators to follow platform rules on privacy and redact sensitive information before posting. In the event a third party leaks the user’s personal information, the moderator might be held responsible before the social medi... Read More

Global Alliance for Responsible Media aims to enhance media ecosystem

(Jun 19, 2019) A coalition of organizations has created the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a group that aims to enhance the media ecosystem through the creation of “actions, processes and protocols” to protect consumers and brands from safety concerns, Campaign reports. The alliance said it is “working [toward] a media environment where hate speech, bullying and disinformation is challenged, where personal data is protected, and used responsibly when given, and where everyone, especially children, [is]... Read More

Twitter clarifies rules for users

(Jun 7, 2019) As part of a push toward more transparency across its site, Twitter has streamlined its rules, making it easier for users to understand what is not allowed on the service. Directions for each rule are now written in 280 words or less, and new categories on safety, privacy and authenticity have been added, according to a Twitter blog post from Vice President of Trust and Safety Del Harvey. Rule pages now contain more information and step-by-step instructions on how to report tweets and how Twitte... Read More

Could the classroom help solve tech industry’s ethics problem?

(Jun 3, 2019) Many tech companies are working with a variety of ethics issues, ranging from the use of facial recognition to various content moderation issues. While these steps are promising, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Philosophy Professor Abby Everett Jaques believes more needs to be done, so she created a new class, Ethics of Technology, NPR reports. The class is designed to stress the importance of ethics to future computer scientists and engineers and is already having an impact on students by... Read More

Politicians meet to discuss how to protect individual privacy

(May 31, 2019) Politicians from Canada and 10 other countries will meet to discuss how to protect individual privacy and democracies in the age of social media, Global News reports. The purpose of the three-day meeting is to determine the best ways the government can prevent the unauthorized use of personal information by social media, spread "fake news" and manipulated election outcomes. The grand committee is hoping that if enough countries adopt the recommended standards, tech giants will no longer be able ... Read More

Tech giants sign declaration promising to protect electoral integrity

(May 31, 2019) Facebook, Google and Microsoft signed a declaration promising a dozen initiatives to protect the upcoming Canadian election in the fall, Global News reports. Initiatives include working to remove fake social media accounts and content, intensifying efforts to combat disinformation and promote transparency, protect against cyberthreats and misrepresentation of candidates, and assist users to better understand the sources behind the content they see. The “Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity ... Read More

Study brings clarity to children's definition of 'creepy' tech

(May 21, 2019) New research from the University of Washington has offered a better sense of what children mean when they deem certain technology as "creepy," GeekWire reports. The study was based on the responses of 11 children, ranging from ages 7 to 11, who were asked to rank various tech products as "creepy," "not creepy" or "don't know." Devices that evoked thoughts of pain and/or divisiveness were most associated as creepy. The research also yielded a list of common tech properties that created fear among... Read More

White House announces campaign against social media 'bias'

(May 16, 2019) The Washington Post reports the Trump administration has announced a campaign that is asking citizens to speak up regarding any censorship by big tech firms, like Google, Facebook and Twitter. "The Trump Administration is fighting for free speech online," the White House wrote in a tweet announcing the campaign. "No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!" The campaign aims to collect names, contact information ... Read More

Perspective: Content moderation in 2019

(May 13, 2019) Amid all the Active Learning Day programming during the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, the IAPP held its first-ever "Content Moderation in 2019" workshop, featuring keynotes and panelists from across the burgeoning content moderation profession. "While content moderation is getting more attention than ever before," the IAPP's Margaret Honda writes, "the panelists all agreed there is more work to be done organizationally to elevate it from a necessary evil to an integral part of a comp... Read More