Executive Briefing May 25, 2018

Voices for Innovation is excited to be a part of the 2018 Microsoft Inspire Conference, held this year from July 15-19 in Las Vegas. We’ll have a booth in The Commons where we’ll discuss the partner value of becoming an advocacy leader with VFI, including how to get started and the key policy issues that impact innovation and the growth of your technology business.

We’re also pleased to announce that two of our Advisory Task Force members, Sharan Hildebrand and Carol Lynn Grow, will be leading a Hot Topic session on the opportunity for women to lead on tech advocacy. Will you be joining us at Inspire? Click here to let us know you’ll be at Inspire, and we’ll be in touch.

Below, please find our weekly roundup of technology policy news.

TOP STORIES — GDPR Implementation

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect today, May 25. This data privacy law is an important step forward for privacy rights in Europe and around the world. Microsoft has received positive coverage for their leadership on the issue, which includes extending GDPR rights to all their customers worldwide. 

Microsoft on the Issues Microsoft’s commitment to GDPR, privacy and putting customers in control of their own data

Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Julie Brill voices Microsoft’s support for privacy rights. Microsoft has been a strong supporter of GDPR since the first proposal in 2012. Now, Microsoft’s privacy dashboard gives users the tools they need to take control of their data. This was also published in Politico EU.

Additional GDPR coverage:

The Los Angeles Times Microsoft pledges to extend European-style privacy and data rights worldwide

The Verge Microsoft expands data privacy tools ahead of GDPR

CNET Microsoft says it’s expanding GDPR rights to consumers worldwide

NYT Getting a Flood of Privacy Policy Updates? Read Them.

Reuters EU gains new powers for Big Tech fight


The Hill Post-Zuckerberg, tech CEOs under pressure to testify

Leaders of major technology companies are under increasing pressure to testify before Congress as lawmakers sound the alarm about the industry’s data practices and market power. In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) urged technology CEOs to appear before Congress sooner rather than later.

The Washington Post The Cybersecurity 202: These hackers warned Congress the internet was not secure. 20 years later, their message is the same.

Twenty years ago this week, a collective of young hackers came to Washington with a warning for Congress: Software and computer networks everywhere were woefully insecure. In a return trip to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the same hackers offered a similarly bleak assessment: Digital security is hardly any better.


Argus Leader Your Turn: Expanding Rural Broadband

South Dakota faces a prevalent gap in access to health care. Around 52% of South Dakota’s population lives in rural areas, and local hospitals often do not have medical specialists. Telemedicine can break the urban-rural divide, but a lack of reliable Internet access prevents rural areas from relying on this modern medical practice. TV White Space technology can be used to bring proper broadband to rural areas, writes Dr. Bill Cohen.

Iron Mountain Daily News IM company partners in Microsoft’s rural broadband initiative

More, local coverage of Packerland Broadband’s partnership with Microsoft to bring broadband to rural Wisconsin using TV white space technology.

IT News Africa Digital transformation to boost local jobs and IT sector performance

The IT sector in South Africa is expected to create as many as 119,000 net new jobs over the course of the next five years. To ensure that these benefits reach more people, Microsoft is partnering with companies developing solutions that enable internet connectivity and energy access in underserved communities. There are currently two key projects within Limpopo and Eastern Cape that leverage TV White Spaces to provide affordable internet access to the community, schools, and public clinics.

Bloomberg Facebook’s Apology Tour Just Raises More Questions

A pattern has emerged in Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s response to various legislative bodies’ interest in his company. The more informed and pointed questions legislators want to ask, the less time Zuckerberg is willing to spend answering them. That should mean it’s probably time to stop asking and start acting in specific areas that have been adequately pinpointed even without Zuckerberg’s responses.

Business Insider Exclusive: EU warns that Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis is the ‘tip of an iceberg’ of data scandals

Europe’s top data protection official has warned that Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica crisis is just the “tip of an iceberg” when it comes to scandals involving people’s personal information. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares for a showdown with EU lawmakers on Tuesday, the European Data Protection Supervisor expects other breaches to emerge after 87 million users had their Facebook profile scraped and used in targeted political advertising by Cambridge Analytica.

TechCrunch Amazon facial recognition software raises privacy concerns with the ACLU

Amazon hasn’t exactly kept Rekognition under wraps. In late 2016, the software giant talked up its facial detection software in a relatively benign AWS post announcing that the tech was already being implemented by The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon for suspect identification. The ACLU of Northern California is shining more light on the tech this week, however, after announcing that it had obtained documents shedding more light on the service it believes “raises profound civil liberties and civil rights concerns.”

Bloomberg This Is China’s Plan to Be a Tech Powerhouse by the Year 2025

The recent trade tensions between the Trump administration and China has shone a light on the country’s ambitions to become a technology powerhouse, as one of the complaints is that China unfairly extracts intellectual property from multinationals entering that market. But what, specifically, is China’s long-term plan?