The Biden administration has considered not only ending all future export licenses between US microchip producers and Huawei, but also revoking existing licenses to sell microchips to the Chinese tech company. This move is just one section of increasing tensions between China and the United States but could have long-reaching consequences for the United States and the global tech market.
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.
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.
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court finally handed down its long-awaited opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In this decision, the Court set aside nearly 50 years of precedent and unequivocally overruled Roe v. Wade, declaring that there is no Constitutional right to abortion. This decision will unsurprisingly change laws and significantly impact millions of people across the country. Although pro-choice activists have been bracing for this outcome and mobilizing to maintain access to abortions, they have to contend with a consideration that did not exist to the same magnitude the last time that abortion was illegal in the US: anti-abortion laws’ impact on data privacy.
With new antitrust bills aimed against Big Tech stuck in Congress, across the pond, European Union (EU) lawmakers are close to an agreement on a new and sweeping digital-competition law. This large piece of legislation, known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), is aimed at Big Tech companies and its stated purpose is to ensure fair competition and open digital markets. DMA, along with its sister act, the Digital Services Act (DSA), are flagship pieces of EU legislation that are currently in the final stages of EU lawmaking procedure.
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are dominating the headlines with record-breaking profits and dismissals of antitrust lawsuits; however, that may not last long with new antitrust bills gaining traction in Congress. In fact, when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16 – 6 to advance a major antitrust bill on January 20, 2022, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, the tech companies stock prices dipped. Currently, with bipartisan support, the bill is on a path to pass the Senate.