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Maryland's new tax may be model for other states

The pressure on Big Tech is rising as new legislation targets revenue in addition to protecting user privacy. At the same time, Google is adding a transparency tab to its web store and funding continues for privacy and security companies.

--Susan Raab, Editor

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Welcome, Google’s new privacy tab!

Google Chrome Web Store adds tab to stop aggressive data harvesting

Do you download Chrome extensions to make browsing and buying easier? Developers and advertisers are happy when you do, since permission you grant gives access to so much data. Now, Google is pulling back the curtain on extensions, so when you consider them to add, you’ll see exactly what personal data you’ll give up in return. 

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ForgePoint leads new funding round for WireWheel

WireWheel Raises $20M Series B Funding bringing it to $45M total

Data privacy tech company, WireWheel plans to use the new funding for enterprise marketing and for its SaaS platform, which is designed for use by privacy professionals and engineering and governance staff. 

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In a shot across the bow at Big Tech, Maryland is the first U.S. state to tax digital ad services. Companies making between $1M - $100M will pay 2.5% and those making over $15B, like Google and Facebook, will pay 10%. The state's premise is that tech companies profit by collecting ad data on its residents so they should pay their fair share. Other states, including Connecticut and Indiana, may soon follow. 

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Rave Mobile Safety takes U.S. temperature on trust 

A Rave survey of 1,000 Americans shows a significant lack of trust in federal and local officials. Firefighters, paramedics and other first responders are trusted far more than local government. 

Fifty percent of participants said their trust level would increase if they received information directly from officials. And 77% reported that text and phone alerts from local officials are among the most trusted sources of information.

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FingerprintJS, raises $8M for fingerprinting-as-a-service  

FingerprintJS gives developers an API that uses system details to create a fingerprint that identifies devices over time without relying on cookies or user consent.  They only authorize use for fraud prevention, since that's what GDPR and CCPA allow.  The technology enables a high level of ID accuracy and enables authentication of large data sets. The company will use the funds to expand in the enterprise market.

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In Brief: 

IPG Mediabrands audit shows TikTok and Reddit improved more than Facebook or Twitter at fighting hate speech and more: Results from the survey conducted in late 2020 evaluated top social media platforms on ten categories of media responsibility. Read More

Apple warned by EU Antitrust Commissioner that it must treat all apps the same, including their own: This follows Apple's recent announcement that it plans to ask iPhone users' consent to track their data, so the company can offer personalized ads. Facebook has raised concern this may be anti-competitive behavior, since Apple's personalized ad platform wouldn't have to provide users an opt-in for tracking by third parties. Read More

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