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Big Tech is lobbying for privacy laws…that benefit them

Corporate lobbyists and special interest groups have been working hard at the state level to push through privacy legislation that will specifically offer weak alternatives to California’s strict privacy law, according a review done by The Markup. While bills such as the recently passed one in Virginia, look on the surface like laws to benefit the consumer, they are designed to make opting out and requesting data much harder or more opaque, in the hope that the bulk of personal data will continue to be available to corporations. The chart shows that far more proposed state laws are the same or weaker than Virginia’s. A long term industry goal is to set a weak national bill that business can have work in their favor.

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Thirty-five advocacy groups and 64 child development experts want Facebook to drop ‘Instagram for kids’

April 20, 2021

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which often leads campaigns to protect kids from big tech, has sent a co-signed letter to Facebook appealing for it to stop plans for its under-13 Instagram program. They argue that it poses multiple risks to young children and adolescents, including excessive focus on appearance, challenging their sense of self and well-being, and increased risk of depression and suicide ideation. Concern was also raised about Instagram algorithms that could be used to persuade children to use other apps or otherwise hook kids.

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Increased privacy restrictions and consumer consent declines are big concern for brands

April 20, 2021

According to a new survey conducted by Forrester for Permutive, 73% of brand marketers are worried about the new and more restrictive privacy laws. They are also very concerned about the increased use of ad blockers and exercising consent options. Executives cite data depreciation and reduced data availability as major concerns. Meanwhile, 50% of publishers see privacy as an opportunity to work more closely with advertisers and nearly all have implemented (20%), established (28%) or are discussing (47%) a 1st party data monetization strategy.

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Grammarly Raises $200 Million to Help People Write Better

November 24, 2021

If robots wrote the news, would they write about other robots?  I ask because there’s been a suspicious burst of items about AI-powered writing tools, just when live journalists might have set things on autopilot so they could sneak out early for the holiday.  Top of the list: writing-suggestion platform Grammarly just raised $200 million at a $13 billion valuation, doubling total funding to $400 million.

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