Founded in 1983, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is a midsize California-based lender that shook the foundation of the entire global financial system. Regulators closed SVB on March 10, making it the largest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis and the second largest in U.S. history. While SVB offered various services from standard checking accounts to loans, it was primarily home to venture capitalists in the tech industry. Therefore, the majority of the corporate deposits were larger than the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) $250,000 insurance limit, leaving over $150 billion in uninsured deposits at the end of 2022. The sudden collapse caused a frenzy leaving companies and investors vulnerable having already experienced mass layoffs in the tech industry.
On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issued a public health emergency as a result of COVID-19. The emergency declaration requires public health professionals, first responders, and public officials to work together to minimize death while preventing illnesses. The declarations provided the government with the flexibility to waive or modify standard requirements as it relates to both public and private insurance, service providers, and authorizations including telehealth. Telehealth provided access to healthcare to those who face barriers as well as flexibility in being able to manage care while reducing the spread of COVID-19 along with other infectious diseases. There remained uncertainty regarding the freedom to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine with the Biden administration set to end the public health emergency on May 11, 2023. However, on February 24, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a proposed rule that aims to permanently extend controlled substance prescribing flexibilities.
From “Fake news” to misinformation and Bots; it has become overwhelmingly challenging to authenticate information on the internet. This has not stopped the evolution of technology as innovators compete to be on the cutting edge of the latest software. OpenAI is an artificial research and deployment company that is responsible for the launch of ChatGPT in November of 2022. The newly released artificial intelligence chatbot is trained to generate realistic and convincing text. The software was fed human literature and internet language enabling it to create a body of text within the parameters of the prompt presented. With more than 1 million users, it has gained traction across the masses. However, the natural language processor has sparked controversy over cybersecurity threats and ethical concerns in its usage.
Over the last several weeks we have seen mass layoffs across big tech, including Salesforce, Twitter, and Meta. This comes after big tech peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was essential to the nation in keeping us virtually connected. During the lock down tech giants’ profits soared as consumers upgraded devices, maximized increased storage, and were forced to get creative in communicating in the workspace. However, inflation, rising interest rates, and digital spending are driving big tech companies to implement large-scale layoffs as the economy prepares to take a downturn. While Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, described the announcement as one of his hardest decisions, Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, has taken a different approach, causing continuous chaos that has led to compliance risks.
In an effort to improve cybersecurity in the healthcare sector, a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress on September 13, 2022, by Republican Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Democrat Jason Crow of Colorado. The Healthcare Cybersecurity Act relies on a partnership between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work together in improving cybersecurity in the healthcare sector. The Act has been introduced as a result of record high increases in health data breaches across the country over the last several years. The goal is to provide resources for training and heighten efforts taken across the nation to mitigate cybersecurity risk. The Act would not only improve patient care but save healthcare cost by taking a proactive approach.
A settlement has been reached in a $100 million dollar class action lawsuit against Google impacting an estimated 1.4 million Illinois resident users. The order comes as a result of Rivera, et al. v. Google LLC , where users photographs appeared in the storage application service, known as Google Photos, without having acquired proper consent nor provided notice to its users. Google is only one of many technology giants joining trending litigation in violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). While this settlement is one of the largest in Illinois to date, one can expect there to be more class-action lawsuits on the way.