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Facebook, Google Faces Heat in New U.K. Policy

WSJ Tech News Briefing

05:10 min | 5 years ago

Facebook, Google Faces Heat in New U.K. Policy

"And Facebook, Google and your regular big tech suspects are in the crosshairs of new UK policy to control tech giant's how big a deal is this and how will your social media and search sensibilities be impacted finding out after these tech headlines. Amazon wants you to use Alexa to track healthcare, if you wouldn't mind the artificial intelligence assistant of the masses is ready to track consumers prescriptions and relay personal health information as the company bids to insert smart speakers into Everyday Health care at least five companies including insurer. Cigna have developed new Alexa features for consumers using the federal protocol. The futures let Alexa perform tasks such as scheduling, urgent care appointments tracking. When drugs are shipped checking health insurance, benefits or reading blood pressure results. Read more about the latest at wsJcom or the WFAN. Great hill partners agreed to acquire Gizmodo media group acquiring his Moto from Univision ends, these Spanish language broadcasters foray into English language. Digital media James span feller, the former chief executive of Forbes dot com will become the CEO of geo media Inc. A new company created from the assets. Gizmodo media group includes sites such as Gizmodo the onion, jazz, Abell, deadspin and life hacker. So the question you've been asking for months, maybe years what's been lacking? At Google cloud hint. It's a species you'll find in the mirror. It's humans humans, but the new head of Google's cloud business. Thomas Curien aims to end this Google shortcoming. He says to few people cater to enterprise customers. So he simplified contracts for different types of businesses that's opposed to a one size fits all pricing. And he's also moved to move more predictable pricing. And according to the journal, clawing bigger piece of the cloud is crucial for Google to diversify beyond online advertising coming up. London's proposal for a new social media regulator is one of the broadest yet in a larger movement by countries to assert control over tech giant's breaking it all down after this support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Deloitte, a global leader in digital transformation helping clients apply. Technologies like cloud an AI. To their unique business challenges Deloitte, Kat com slash look again. The UK government plans to create a new regulatory body to force the removal of harmful content from the internet one of the most far-reaching legislative proposals from a host of countries. Trying to put a tighter leash on global tech companies. The Wall Street Journal's Kim Gittleson gets more on the story from parmi Olson in our London bureau said talk to me a little bit about your story. What is it that the UK government is proposing and how different is it from other regulations we've seen it's definitely quite bold compared to other regulations that have come out that are similar to this right now. This is just a policy proposal that the government has announced essentially, they are saying that big technology companies hosts social media sites, I Facebook, an alphabet Google should take what they call reasonable and proportionate action on all sorts of potentially harmful content that ends up on their sites. Whether that's. Violent content cyber bullying or disinformation. What we still don't know is actually how they're going to enforce that. How are they going to basically measure success? Like, how do they know? For example, how many videos extremists videos Facebook is taken down in one day. They're kind of relying on Facebook to tell them that information because the only people in the world that no that is Facebook. I mean, how does this compare to other regulations say put on place by these companies? I know it's a new era, and there aren't that many in place? But does this go one step further? We'll there definitely moves afoot from what we've heard in other parts of the world, Germany, France. There seems to be a lot happening in Europe in terms of trying to regulate big tech more. So than in the US, which is kind of ironic, you kind of look to disallow Convalle e is the place where the innovation happens. And then Europe is where they keep it all in check you could say from what we've seen. It does seem like this is. Is the kind of most rigorous and robust attempt actually putting in paper ideas and rules for regulating Toco technology companies in this way, again, it's not to do with data privacy, but just on the content like harmful content. How do you regulate that? And this seems to be the most substantial set of rules that we've seen so far, and why is the British government doing this right now? Surely there other things that British politicians might be paying attention to Brexit comes to mind, why this time in April are they paying attention to this issue. Well, there's been a consultation going for quite some time from what I've heard from speaking to people in the tech industry here for months and months is actually surprisingly enough people who work in the tech industry here. Really like what's happening? They're very impressed with the way the government has the civil service has gone about actually asking questions to the tech industry. I'm sure the same will not be said in Silicon Valley. I'm sure Facebook and Google Twitter. The folks are scratching their heads at this like how on earth are they going to pull this off? What has been the response from Silicon Valley? What is in the fonts from Facebook alphabets Google? It's just been very polite. I don't think anyone really from either of those companies want to go on the record and say, this is like really you expect politicians to regulate something as complicated, as you know, content moderation, which is not only done by humans, and we know tens of thousands of people around the world are helping moderate harmful content, but super complex metrics are used for that artificial intelligence machine learning tools. I mean, it's extremely complicated. I'm would not surprise me. If these companies behind the scenes are actually extremely skeptical of what the government is trying to do. And and don't think particularly highly of it in their comments to us though. They're extremely polite about it. So what happens next the UK is introduced this idea. Where does it go from here? Well, we've been told that they're working on turning it into legislation. So that's going to be quite a few number of weeks out. I'm sure probably months, and then they'll table that. And in the meantime, the minister at least one of the ministers from the what we call the department for culture, media and sport here who was behind this proposal. Jeremy Wright has said that he will be visiting the United States later this year he wants to showcase his proposals. And I suppose hope that the US will use it as a template and other countries as well. How realistic do you think that is will other countries pay attention to this? Well, I think it'd be easy to just dismiss it and say why would anyone pay attention to this? But there's a lot of momentum around regulating or answering the problem of harmful content on social media p people feel that something should be done about it. And when you ask whether tech companies are policing themselves properly. I think a lot of people would say the answer to. That is no more needs to be done. So I would not rule out the possibility that other governments will actually look to the UK and how successful or unsuccessful this country is pulling this off parmi Elson. Thank you so much for speaking. With me.

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