Jossie Ward

FTC Attempts to Keep Up with Tech: Proposed ban on AI to Impersonate Individuals

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud among other unfair business practices. On February 15, 2024 the Chair of the FTC Lina M. Khan released a joint statement with Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya stating the FTC finalized its rule prohibiting both government and business impersonation scheme, and is seeking public comment on a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking that would extend the ban to include the impersonation of individuals as well. Specifically, the finalized rule and the proposed addition would prohibit the use of artificial intelligence or AI tools for impersonation. For consumers, this rule and the proposed addition provide much needed protection against fraudsters using AI-generated deepfakes. Given the increase in consumer fraud, it is imperative that the FTC expand consumer protection regulation in tandem with evolving technology.

U.S. Auditing Watchdog’s Inspections Program Needs Work

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) inspects the audits of U.S public companies, and according to former inspectors for the PCAOB the inspection process needs improvement. The SEC and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act empower the PCAOB to establish auditing standards through inspections and compliance reports. The former inspectors criticized the reports produced and call for a wider scope in the process, more details, and for the reports to be released in a timely manner. While the PCAOB is in the middle of a transformation under current PCAOB Chair Erica Williams, the transformation is largely focused on making inspections more efficient. Hopefully, the call to action by former inspectors will result in improved reports by inspectors. For investors, having more context on how the inspection went and being able to review how the PCAOB measures audit quality would allow them to make more informed decisions.

The I.R.S. is using AI to Crack Down on Tax Evasion

The Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) issued a press release on September 8, 2023, detailing how the agency plans to use at least part of the $80 million dollar allocation it received from the Inflation Reduction Act last year. I.R.S. Commissioner Danny Werfel plans to use the funds to make compliance enforcement efforts and tax evasion identification more effective and efficient. How does he plan to do this? The overwhelmed and perhaps overworked agency will be using artificial intelligence (AI) programs and features to expedite and assist with redundant processes as well as to audit parties that are too complicated or large for the I.R.S.’s current capabilities.

PGA Tour and LIV Golf Partnership: A Swing and a Miss?

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf have agreed to a partnership, ending the rivalry that has divided golf for the past year. While golf fans may be rejoicing, it may be a premature celebration as the Justice Department has already been investigating the golf industry for anticompetitive behavior. The announcement of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf partnership has raised further concerns about monopolistic practices within the golf industry.