Executive Briefing July 19, 2019 Copy


CRN Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s 6 Key Statements At Inspire 2019
Nadella used his keynote at the Inspire partner conference to highlight major wins and partner opportunities in Azure, Dynamics 365, mixed reality and Microsoft 365.

CRN Microsoft Inspire 2019: The 6 Biggest Statements From Gavriella Schuster And Judson Althoff
Microsoft executives used the opening keynotes for the Inspire 2019 partner conference to outline channel investments and address the company’s decision to retain internal use rights.

Redmond Mag Microsoft Highlights AT&T Strategic Alliance During Inspire Event
Microsoft and AT&T on Wednesday announced the establishment of a Microsoft 365 business deal, plus a “multiyear” strategic alliance centered on the use of 5G wireless networks to support edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI).


Fierce Telecom FCC approves more funding to build out rural broadband
The Federal Communications Commission this week announced that it had it authorized more than $563 million in funding to expand rural broadband services in 24 states. Internet service providers in those states will be building out broadband services in the underserved areas of those states over the next 10 years, according to a story by Ars Technica. The ISPs will have access to the latest funding round this month.

CNET Facebook currency chief faces withering questioning from Democrats in Congress
Facebook’s crypto chief David Marcus faced skepticism Wednesday from lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the company’s plans for the digital currency Libra. The hearing’s tone was far more harsh than the one Marcus testified at Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Several members of congress on the House committee expressed skepticism over Facebook’s decision to delve into a digital currency and financial services before it has tackled other problems around privacy and election meddling.

Washington Post Apple preaches privacy. Lawmakers want the talk to turn to action.
A number of privacy advocates and U.S. lawmakers — who did not attend the meeting — say Apple has not put enough muscle behind any federal effort to tighten privacy laws. And state lawmakers, who are closest to passing rules to limit data sharing, say Apple is an ally in name only — and in fact, has contributed to lobbying efforts that might undermine some new data-protection legislation.

Politico ‘Embarrassing’: Congress stumbles in push for consumer privacy bill
Congress is running out of time to clamp down on the tech industry’s handling of online privacy, despite the bipartisan outrage at Silicon Valley that followed the 2016 election and a cascade of data scandals at companies like Facebook. With just weeks to go before the August break, the window for action is slipping away — a victim of unresolved partisan divides, legislative turf squabbles and lagging engagement from the White House. The limited legislative days left this year are expected to be dominated by budget and debt ceiling battles, and the intensifying election campaign will further suck up political oxygen going into 2020.

The Hill House passes bills to boost small business cybersecurity
The House passed legislation by voice vote on Monday intended to increase cybersecurity at the Small Business Administration (SBA) and separately approved a bill to help small businesses defend against cyber attacks. The SBA Cyber Awareness Act, sponsored primarily by Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), would require the SBA to produce an annual report to Congress that assesses the quality of its information technology, and that details any equipment used by the SBA that was manufactured in China. The report would also be required to include details of all cyber risks or incidents faced by the agency since the previous report was submitted.


B+C USTelecom Readies Broadband Mapping Results
The FCC is seeking input on improving data collection on where broadband is or isn’t. The FCC concedes that data is not sufficiently granular, thus not sufficiently accurate, using the current carrier reporting 477 regime. USTelecom is proposing a geolocation database combined with provider info. Spalter said the association had shared data with the FCC from its Missouri pilot that showed the continuing problems with reporting broadband availability on the census track level.

CNBC A.I has a bias problem and that can be a big challenge in cybersecurity
Inherently biased artificial intelligence programs can pose serious problems for cybersecurity at a time when hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, experts told CNBC. Bias can occur in three areas — the program, the data and the people who design those AI systems, according to Aarti Borkar, a vice president at IBM Security.

VICE Oakland Becomes Third U.S City to Ban Facial Recognition
Oakland, California just became the third U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition in public spaces. A city ordinance passed Tuesday night which prohibits the city of Oakland from “acquiring, obtaining, retaining, requesting, or accessing” facial recognition technology, which it defines as “an automated or semi-automated process that assists in identifying or verifying an individual based on an individual’s face.”

Bloomberg Google Data Breach Faces Review by Irish Privacy Watchdog
Google faces a possible investigation by Irish data privacy regulators related to reports that contractors had been able to listen to audio of users of its digital assistant technology. The Irish Data Protection Commission received a breach notification from the company late Thursday, said Graham Doyle, the agency’s spokesman. Google reacted in a blog post on Thursday after reports by Belgian broadcaster VRT that contractors could listen to recordings made from people’s conversations with their Google Assistant.

Axios Hacking the vulnerabilities in privacy laws
A researcher has demonstrated how to exploit Europe’s privacy protection laws to violate other people’s privacy — and new privacy rules on the way in the U.S. could be vulnerable in the same way. Privacy laws, including Europe’s mammoth General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s recently passed regulations, often include provisions to allow people to request the personal information that companies have compiled on them. These laws have not generally done a good job clarifying acceptable ways to do this safely.

Wall Street Journal Google Contractors Listen to Recordings of People Using Virtual Assistant
Google said contractors are listening to customer audio recorded by the company’s virtual assistant, a disclosure prompted by a media report that adds to privacy concerns associated with the technology. Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS said in a report this week that the Alphabet Inc. unit employs contractors around the globe to listen to some recordings of conversations that people have with the Google Assistant, which is available on its Google Home speakers and Android devices.

Wall Street Journal Justice Department Extends Compliance Breaks to Antitrust Offenders
The U.S. Justice Department will begin rewarding companies that have systems in place to prevent antitrust crimes at the time a breach occurs, according to a senior official. A company that can show it had a strong compliance program can receive discounts off fines and a more lenient type of settlement, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who runs the department’s antitrust division, said in prepared remarks for a corporate compliance event Thursday at New York University’s law school.



  • Blog on AI, automation, and Africa: The opening plenary session at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) conference in Oxford this March discussed what automation and artificial intelligence (AI) mean for Africa’s economic prospects. (Future Development Blog – What do automation and artificial intelligence mean for Africa?, July 16, 2019)


  • Blog on state efforts to improve data privacy: While the U.S. currently lacks comprehensive regulation around how Americans’ data is collected and used, states like California, Washington, and Maine offer their own approaches to protecting personal information. (GovTech – States Step Up in the Quest to Protect Citizen Privacy, July 17, 2019)

Microsoft News

  • Blog on AI preserving history: Technology has played a big role in accelerating globalization. While it’s our business to advance technology, we also believe that technology should respect and even help protect the world’s timeless values. That conviction has led us to announce today a new and fourth pillar to Microsoft’s AI for Good portfolio – our $125 million, five-year commitment to using artificial intelligence to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges. This new pillar will focus on AI for Cultural Heritage. (The AI Blog – As technology like AI propels us into the future, it can also play an important role in preserving our past, July 11, 2019)

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