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The US and EU further talks on technology governance

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Hello, and welcome to the new Cyber In 60 Seconds. My name is Marietje Schaake, and you're finding me at the Democracy Forum in Athens. So, from my hotel room, I'm looking back at the Trade and Technology Council that took place in Pittsburgh this week.

For those who missed it, this gathering brought together high-level officials from the Biden administration and the European Commission. It was a long-anticipated meeting that was supposed to reach conclusions about a shared governance agenda for tech-related issues like AI, data, semiconductors, and foreign direct investments. But the Trade and Technology Council was also expected and hoped to mark a new start after very difficult years across the Atlantic. I think we all remember the years when President Trump was still in the White House. And thankfully, the August fallout and French anger did not end up pouring cold water over the events. Although, the general sentiment in Europe that the honeymoon weeks are over is widely shared.

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Beware perpetual cyberattacks, and protect education data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Experts want us to stop using the term "cyber 9/11". Why is that?

Well, indeed many cybersecurity experts, including my brilliant Stanford colleague, Jacquelyn Schneider, have pointed out that a "cyber 9/11" is not the metaphor that helps people understand the actual nature of the threats. You may have also heard politicians warning for a "cyber Pearl Harbor," and indeed experts are also pushing back against this metaphor. Cyberattacks happen often and are maybe more like massive shots of hail. By trying to probe many vulnerabilities and sending multiple phishing emails, criminals and state entities are trying which digital door might open, trying over and over again, and then can help them achieve their criminal, intelligence or geopolitical goals. The notion of a perpetual shot of hail may also make people realize that the attacks can be closer to them, and then empowering them to be part of the solution instead of feeling defeated by the notion of a massive terrorist attack, targeting a landmark far away, and causing major physical and human suffering.

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Can China limit kids’ video game time? Risks with facial recognition

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

China is to ban kids from playing video games for more than three hours a week. But why and how?

Well, controlling the time that kids spend online fits in a pattern of growing paternalism from a state that wants to control its population in every possible way. This time around, the gaming industry is made responsible for enforcing the time limits in China that foresee in a true diet of gaming; one hour per day on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. And of course, children are vulnerable. Protecting them from addictive and violent activities can be a very wise choice that parents want to make. There are also laws in a number of countries that limit advertisements that target children, for example. But whether the latest restrictions on gaming in China will work or instead will inspire a young generation to learn of clever circumvention remains to be seen.

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China data privacy law limits big tech, but has few rights protections

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

How does China's recently passed privacy law compare to other countries?

While China's new law is said to be similarly comprehensive as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation and would indeed limit the decision-making power of its big tech companies. However, no law exists just on paper. There's always a context. And in the case of China, there are very few rights protections for people. While in the EU, fundamental rights protections were the main aim of the GDPR. For all geopolitical blocs with new data governance laws, China, India or the EU, we see a balancing act between national security arguments, rights protections, and economic development ambitions. But conspicuously absent from the list is the United States, which still does not have a federal data protection law.

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Personal data risks with TikTok; Tesla driverless cars investigation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Beijing took a stake and a board seat in TikTok owner ByteDance's key Chinese entity. Should I worry about my data on TikTok?

Now, being concerned about where your data ends up is always a good idea, but for underage children, many of whom love video-sharing apps and social media, that question is even more sensitive. And for apps that end up being accessible by governments, and essentially most of them are, you want to be aware of what you share. I recall an account of an American teenager being shut down as they highlighted the human rights violations of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, which is, of course, something that should be highlighted and it's troubling that the video-sharing company intervenes on behalf of a Chinese state agenda.

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China's tech crackdown leads to huge losses; Citizen app controversy

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

How will China's tech crackdown affect the rest of the world?

Well, investors in the US, but also globally were not amused with Beijing's policy decisions coming right after DiDi's IPO and leading to huge losses. Overseas listings are now directly targeted in moves that are being defended as being based on national security, kind of sounds familiar, but the value of Chinese tech stock all over the world is dropping. But still, many continue to view the relationship between Chinese-based companies and the state as symbiotic. So if nothing else, recent moves certainly show that Chinese decision-makers want to keep their grip on anything that happens in the country, very firm.

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QR codes and the risk to your personal data

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

QR codes are everywhere. Are they also tracking my personal data?

Well, a QR code is like a complex barcode that may be on a printed ad or product package for you to scan and access more information. For example, to look at a menu without health risk or for two-factor verification of a bank payment. And now also as an integral part of covid and vaccine registration. QR codes can lead to tracking metadata or personal data. And when your phone scans and takes you to a website, certainly the tracking starts there. Now, one big trap is that people may not distinguish one kind of use of QR codes from another and that they cannot be aware of the risks of sharing their data.

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Biden’s executive order cracks down on Big Tech and protects consumers

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses tech policy in the United States and the new White House executive order with no less than 72 competition enhancing measures.

How will Biden's executive order crack down on big tech?

The answer is in almost every way. The order clearly seeks stronger antitrust enforcement with specific provisions on data and the impact of its assembling on privacy. The order asks for new rules on surveillance from the FTC but will also allow for assessments of not only future but also past mergers. And that is important because the very wealthy, very powerful tech companies are known to buy up competitors that they may fear, and through those mergers grow their data piles. So, the executive order must cause concern in Silicon Valley. The order goes on to restore net neutrality, which is crucial for smaller companies and noncommercial websites. And the position of consumers improves with the possibility to have products repaired or to see others doing that, which is a practice that is often banned today. So once these various measures are in place, the public interest, innovation, consumer rights, and privacy protection should be better safeguarded from abuse of power by big tech.

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