Market Daily

Market Daily

AI chatbot privacy concerns remain a problem for companies

AI Following the success of ChatGPT, the tech industry has increased its efforts to build and deploy a succession of strong new AI chatbots.

Their efforts, however, have raised data privacy worries among businesses, authorities, and hobbyists.

Due to compliance problems associated with the usage of third-party software, some firms, including JPMorgan Chase, have prohibited their workers’ use of ChatGPT.

Concerns and ban

The usage of third-party software only heightened privacy worries when OpenAI, ChatGPT’s parent business, announced that the tool will be taken down on March 20.

The firm went offline to patch an issue that allowed users to read other users’ previous topic lines.

The problem also allowed users to see another user’s personal information, such as:

  • Their first and last name
  • Email address
  • Payment address
  • The last four digits of a credit card number
  • The credit card’s expiration date

The problem, however, has subsequently been fixed.

Following OpenAI’s disclosure of the vulnerability, Italian officials temporarily blocked ChatGPT, citing privacy concerns.

Mark McReary, co-chair of Fox Rothschild LLP privacy and data security group, also addressed the privacy problem.

“The privacy considerations with something like ChatGPT cannot be overstated,” said McReary.

“It’s like a black box.”

Companies and the tool

ChatGPT went live in late November, providing users with the tools they need to write essays, tales, and song lyrics in response to unique prompts.

Since then, the AI competition has heated up as technological behemoths Google and Microsoft have released their own versions of AI technologies.

Their AI works similarly, with enormous language models trained on massive quantities of web data.

“You don’t know how it’s then going to be used,” said McReary regarding users putting information into the tools.

As a result, there have been substantial worries, particularly among businesses.

More employees are casually use the tools to assist them in creating business emails or meeting notes.

“I think the opportunity for company trade secrets to get dropped into these different various AIs is just going to increase,” McReary noted.

Boston Consulting Group’s chief AI ethical officer, Steve Mills, expressed similar thoughts, stating that the tools’ main privacy problem for businesses was the unintentional release of sensitive information.

“You’ve got all these employees doing things which can seem very innocuous, like, ‘Oh, I can use this to summarize notes from a meeting,'” Mills offered.

“But in pasting the notes from the meeting into the prompt, you’re suddenly, potentially, disclosing a whole bunch of sensitive information.”

Mills also stated that if the data that individuals submit is utilized to train AI tools, the firms have lost custody of the data and someone else now has access to it.

Read also: GPT-4 is OpenAI’s latest innovation

Privacy policy

According to OpenAI’s privacy policy, it gathers a variety of personal information from those who utilize its services.

The firm said that it may use the information for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Improving or analyzing its services
  • Conducting research
  • Communicating with users
  • Developing new programs and services

The privacy policy states that it may disclose personal information to third parties without telling the user unless required by law.

While the more than 2,000-word privacy policy appears cryptic, this is likely owing to industry norms in the internet era.

Furthermore, OpenAI includes a separate Terms of Use agreement that places the majority of the onus on the user to take the required precautions when using its products.

OpenAI has released a new blog post outlining their approach to AI safety.

“We don’t use data for selling our services, advertising, or building profiles of people – we use data to make our models more helpful for people,” it said.

“ChatGPT, for instance, improves by further training on the conversations people have with it.”

Google has a similar privacy policy, which also applies to the Bard tool, and it has special terms of service for its generative AI users.

According to the firm, they choose a subset of talks and utilize automated technologies to remove personally identifying information to assist enhance the AI tool while respecting customers’ privacy.

“These sample conversations are reviewable by trained reviewers and kept for up to 3 years, separately from your Google Account,” Google wrote in a separate Bard FAQ.

Google also urged users not to include anything in their Bard discussions that may be used to identify them or others.

Furthermore, according to the FAQ, Bard chats are not utilized for advertising reasons.

“We will clearly communicate any changes to this approach in the future,” it wrote.

Users might also use Bard without storing their discussions to their Google Account, according to Google.

After that, users may go back and examine their prompts or remove exchanges.

“We also have guardrails in place designed to prevent Bard from including personally identifiable information in its responses,” said Google.

“We’re still sort of learning exactly how all this works,” said Mills.

“You just don’t fully know how information you put in, if it is used to retrain these models, how it manifests as outputs at some point, or if it does.”

Google parent company sees stocks decline

Google — Early trading Monday cast a gloomy day for Google parent company Alphabet as shares took a dip.

The company’s shares dropped by more than 3% following a report that triggered concerns surrounding Google’s core search engine losing popularity.

The decline can be attributed to AI-powered rivals, such as Microsoft’s Bing, as the tool continues to gain relevance in today’s market.

What happened?

The New York Times was the first to report of an internal panic within the tech giants, citing internal documents and messages that have yet to be reviewed.

In March, Google employees learned that Samsung was contemplating a change in its system, setting Bing as the default search engine for its mobile devices, putting the Google search engine as a second option within the app store.

The company’s competition had already intensified following Microsoft’s AI updates to Bing, prompting an urgency to develop Bard, Google’s answer to the ChatGPT-infused Bing.

According to the Times, Google has shifted more urgency to the development of another AI-powered search engine: Project “Magi.” which addresses the latest competition.

Project Magi

Google reportedly has over 160 people working on the new project.

Project Magi is a work in progress that is meant to change how results appear in Google Search.

It includes an AI chat tool ready to answer the user’s questions.

According to the report, the project is expected to be shared to the public next month.

The AI development

Google spokesperson Lara Levin released a statement, saying the company had already been utilizing AI for years to achieve the following:

  • To improve the quality of the results
  • To offer new and unique ways to search

Levin said Google had already rolled out an AI feature in 2022 that allowed users to search through a combination of images and words.

“We’ve done so in a responsible and helpful way that maintains the high bar we set for delivering quality information,” said Levin.

“Not every brainstorm deck or product idea leads to a launch, but as we’ve said before, we’re excited about bringing new AI-powered features to Search, and will share more details soon.”

Read also: Investors setting their eyes on regional banks

A heated race

For two decades, the Google search engine has dominated the market, becoming most users’ preferred tool.

However, ChatGPT’s viral success posed a threat, putting the tech giants on the defensive for the first time since the onset of the internet.

ChatGPT’s success can be boiled down to its unique system, which allows the AI tool to create compelling written responses based on the user’s prompts.

In March, Google opened the gates to allow users access to Bard, the company’s AI chatbot tool and their answer to ChatGPT.

The company promised that Bard would help users with a wide array of services, like outlining and writing essay drafts, planning baby showers, and coming up with lunch ideas based on the content of a fridge.

During a February event, a Google executive said the company would bring the magic of generative AI into its core search product, using artificial intelligence to pave the way for the next wave of the company’s information products.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has invested in and partnered with OpenAI, ChatGPT’s parent company.

The partnership allows the company to use similar technology in Bing and other productivity tools.

Meanwhile, several major companies and startups are working to develop and deploy AI-powered tools, including:

  • Baidu
  • IBM
  • Meta

The risks of AI

Despite their urgency to move into AI, tech companies are also wary of the risks they bring as AI is known to make mistakes and “hallucinate” responses.

The case is especially evident in search engines, a product most people use for accurate and reliable information.

After the Bard demo, which produced an inaccurate response to a question about a telescope, Google received major backlash.

Alphabet shares fell 7.7%, erasing $100 billion off the company’s market value.

Although it took a while, Microsoft’s Bing AI demo was criticized for several errors.

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai sat on an interview with 60 Minutes, saying companies need to be responsible as they develop and release AI tools.

Regarding Google, Pichai said they need to allow time for user feedback to ensure the company develops more robust safety layers before they build and deploy more capable models.

Pichai also believes the AI tools would significantly impact businesses, professions, and society.

“This is going to impact every product across every company and so that’s– that’s why I think it’s a very, very profound technology,” he said.

‘And so, we are just in early days.”

TikTok prohibited on government devices, according to new US sanction

TikTok:The bipartisan spending agreement will restrict TikTok from being used on devices used by the government, which is a drastic measure.

Both Houses of Congress adopted the legislation on Friday.

The decision reveals the rising unease over the popular video-sharing app, which is controlled by the Chinese company ByteDance.

The bill

The bipartisan spending package has not yet received President Joe Biden’s approval.

It implores online stores to carry out greater investigation to prevent the selling of counterfeit goods.

The legislation also raises the filing costs for businesses submitting merger applications to the federal antitrust authorities.

Congress, however, was unable to enact a number of restrictive standards directed at the tech sector, such as:

  • Antitrust legislation that requires Apple and Google app stores to give developers more payment options
  • A measure mandating new guardrails to protect children online

The protection of consumer data is still governed by a patchwork of state laws, despite the progress made by Congress in 2022 toward a bipartisan proposal on national privacy standards.

Reaction to the bill

The Chamber of Progress, a tech industry lobby with a center-left slant, applauded the rejection of numerous antitrust proposals that would have targeted its donors, including:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Meta

Adam Kovacevich, CEO of the Chamber of Progress, issued the following  statement after the package was announced:

“What you don’t see in this year’s omnibus are the more controversial measures that have raised red flags on issues like content moderation.”

A well-known antitrust law called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act has previously caused the corporation to express its concerns.

Another tech company, NetChoice, applauded Congress for standing firm against unfettered hardline leftist ideals that would have changed American antitrust law.

However, the legislation that was passed by MPs as part of the budget package will have an effect on the sector in a number of ways.

Read also: Google review system pressures employees

TikTok ban

TikTok being removed from government-issued devices may have an impact on competing platforms like Snap, Facebook, and Instagram that are vying for the attention of younger people.

Law enforcement, national security, and research are all given exceptions from the rule.

TikTok’s ownership structure has lawmakers and FBI Director Christopher Wray worried that Chinese companies who might be forced by law to hand over user information may gain access to US user data.

Although TikTok has frequently affirmed that the data it collects from US users is not stored in China, these claims haven’t made much of an impact.

In an effort to ease concerns about national security, the company has been negotiating with the government through the US Committee on Foreign Investment.

Following the announcement, a TikTok representative issued the following statement:

“We’re disappointed that Congress has moved to ban TikTok on government devices – a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests – rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review.”

“The agreement under review by CFIUS will meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at both the federal and state level.”

“These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies – plans that we are well underway in implementing – to further secure our platform in the United States, and we will continue to brief lawmakers on them.”


A bill that helps raise money for the antitrust organizations that look into mergers was included in the end-of-year legislation even if other antitrust measures targeting digital platforms were not.

The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act increases the filing fee businesses seeking substantial mergers are required to pay to the antitrust agencies in order to abide by the law’s provisions.

The bill also decreases the price of lesser fees and permits annual charge modifications in line with the CPI.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division are the intended recipients of the proposal.

Without proper budget increases, both have experienced a significant spike in merger filings in recent years.

The merger filing fee measure was praised despite falling short of antitrust organizations’ expectations.

The American Economic Liberties Project’s executive director, Sarah Miller, claims that the bill would enhance antitrust law for the first time since 1976.

“This is a major milestone for the anti-monopoly movement,” said Miller.

“Big Tech, Big Ag, and Big Pharma spent extraordinary sums in an unprecedented effort to keep Congress from delivering on antitrust reform and undermine the ability of state and federal enforcers to uphold the law – and they lost.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the bill’s sponsor, argued that revising merger fees after decades is essential to giving antitrust enforcers the tools they need to do their jobs.

“This is clearly the beginning of this fight and not the end,” she said.

“I will continue to work across the aisle to protect consumers and strengthen competition.”

Read also: Study finds TikTok suggests harmful content for teens

Tech impact on children

The Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act is included in the bill.

It gives the Department of Health and Human Services permission to conduct studies on the effects of media and technology on infants, kids, and adolescents.

The following technological developments may have an impact on one’s physical, mental, and cognitive health, per the law:

  • Social media
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Video games
  • Virtual reality

Within two years of the law’s passage, the National Institutes of Health director is required to provide a report to Congress on the organization’s functioning.


TikTok banned on government devices under spending bill passed by Congress

Microsoft’s demos showed AI errors in event

Microsoft Last week, two significant tech companies competed to show off their advancements in AI.

At two separate events, early iterations of Google and Microsoft’s AI-powered search engines were on display.

Microsoft had an advantage because their event occurred the day before Google’s, whose dismal failure caused Alphabet’s shares to decline.

Due to the presentation’s broad publicity, more than a million people made attempts to sign up for and use Microsoft’s new tool in the first 48 hours.

Technology may have been “brought to knowledge work” during the industrial revolution, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Since its AI confirmed worries about accuracy, the accomplishment was not without flaws.

The demo

In the trial, the Bing search engine’s ChatGPT-inspired AI system looked at financial data, including information from Gap and Lululemon.

When compared to the real reports, the chatbot’s results revealed that it had a flaw in that it had ignored certain data.

The viewers also saw that several of the data appeared to be incorrect.

Independent search researcher Dmitri Brereton published the following on Substack on Monday:

“Bing AI got some answers completely wrong during their demo. But no one noticed. Instead, everyone jumped on the Bing hype train.”

Brereton also brought attention to what seemed to be factual inconsistencies with the demo’s abnormalities in the vacuum cleaner’s specs and the trip arrangements to Mexico.

The researcher said he wasn’t deliberately looking for mistakes.

Before he attempted to compare the Microsoft and Google AI revelations in his article, Brereton was unaware of the mistakes.

Meanwhile, the inaccuracies were classified as “hallucinations” by AI experts.

Artificial intelligence refers to tools’ propensity to provide data based on in-depth linguistic models as hallucinations.

When Google staged a comparable event, their AI system similarly generated factual mistakes that were simple to see.

AI and search engines

As a method to demonstrate their advancement, Google and Microsoft are striving to include new varieties of generative AI into their search engines.

After OpenAI introduced ChatGPT in November, the rivalry grew more heated.

Microsoft gave billions of dollars to OpenAI.

Several businesses, like Stability AI and Hugging Face, had significant growth at this period as a result of private financing rounds with billion-dollar values.

Read also: Twitter faces more competition in 2023, ex-employees on the rise

On the other hand, Google was hesitant to include AI-generated solutions in its search engines because it needed to uphold its reputation for offering the best results.

The company was also concerned about safety.

However, Microsoft made a point of emphasizing how quickly some members of the public may be exposed to its technology at its launch.

“I think it’s important not to be in a lab,” Nadella added. “You have to get these things out safely.”

Demo problems

The results for company profitability were problematic when Bing introduced their AI technology.

A Microsoft marketing official named Yusuf Mehdi directed Bing AI to highlight the company’s November third-quarter financial results after visiting the Gap investor relations website.

The AI-generated findings revealed the following inaccuracies in the summary:

  • Gap’s declared gross margin was 37.4%, but once Yeezy was removed, it increased to 38.7%.
  • The operational margin of the corporation was 4.6% as opposed to 5.9% (this information was removed from Gap’s report).
  • Adjusted diluted profits per share were $0.71 as compared to the reported $0.42. According to Gap’s report, there was a gain from adjusted income taxes of over $0.33.
  • According to Gap, net sales would decline sequentially by the mid-single digits in the fourth quarter, resulting in reduced revenue for the whole year. But there is no prediction for the operating margin.


Microsoft is aware of the mistakes and anticipates that the Bing AI will continue to make them.

“We’re aware of this report and have analyzed its findings in our efforts to improve this experience,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

“We recognize that there is still work to be done and are expecting that the system may make mistakes during this preview period, which is why the feedback is critical, so we can learn and help the models get better.”

Pandemic aftermath incurs layoffs with shifting customer demand

Pandemic: According to CEO Satya Nadella, the pandemic’s start two years ago swung the scales in Microsoft’s favor.

Microsoft prospered through its online services.

“What we have witnessed over the past year is the dawn of a second wave of digital transformation sweeping every company and every industry,” said Nadella.

The scenario is substantially different from what it was in 2021 as of this year.

Microsoft announced last week that 10,000 workers will be laid off.

The business said that as it battles with economic instability, it is reevaluating its digital spending from the pandemic era.

Microsoft users want to do “more with less,” as per Nadella.

The tech space

Microsoft is not the only business to go through this process; other businesses have also been getting rid of employees.

Alphabet, the parent firm of Google, has disclosed intentions to terminate 6% of its employees (over 12,000 jobs).

Around 50,000 employees have been let go by many massive corporations, including Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, since October.

The decisions stand in contrast to the pandemic’s early stages, when tech businesses were growing to meet the demands.

Many market players at the time believed the expansion was going to last a very long time.

However, Amazon has more than doubled its employees since roughly September 2019.

They built additional warehouses while employing over 500,000 workers.

Between March 2020 and September of the prior year, the workforce of the massive social media company Meta more than doubled.

Other businesses that have increased their worker numbers are:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Salesforce
  • Snap
  • Twitter

In recent weeks, the aforementioned businesses have also announced further layoffs.

Read also: United Airlines estimates are positive despite increased fare

Error in judgment

The spread of the pandemic was underestimated by the majority of tech CEOs, especially as individuals returned to their normal lives and offices.

Consumer spending and advertising have decreased recently for a number of reasons, including:

  • Recessionary fears
  • Inflation
  • Increasing interest rates

Some companies, according to Wall Street experts, will have single-digit profit growth in the crucial December quarter.

Apple and Meta are anticipated to experience declines, according to Refinitiv forecasts.

Most recently implemented personnel reductions often only impact a tiny portion of the whole workforce.

Others cut gains over the previous year despite keeping tens of thousands (or perhaps hundreds of thousands) of employees.

However, because of their company’s allegedly endless expansion, it interferes with the lives of employees who are now looking for new employment.

Pandemic growth

The Third Bridge investment firm’s worldwide sector lead, Scott Kessler, gave his thoughts on the state-of-the-art advances and early expansion of the tech industry.

“They went from being on top of the world to having to make some really tough decisions,” said Kessler.

“To see this dramatic reversal of fortunes… it’s not just the magnitude of these moves, but the speed that they’ve played out.”

“You’ve seen companies make the wrong strategic decisions at the wrong times.”

Apple continues to be the only significant technology business without any public layoffs.

According to reports, the company suspended recruiting, with the exception of R&D (research and development).

Apple has barely increased employment by  more than 20% over the past four years compared to other corporations.

“They’ve taken a more seemingly thoughtful approach to hiring and overall managing the company,” noted Kessler.

Meanwhile, CEOs have admitted that they made an error by recruiting too many people at the start of the pandemic and failed to anticipate demand that came when the restrictions on the pandemic were lifted.

He issued an email to the staff on Friday, and it was later published on the company website.

“The face that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me,” Pichai wrote.

“I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”


The titles and compensation of the major corporate CEOs don’t appear to have changed as a result of the reductions.

Despite all the worries about the economy, Scott Kessler forecasts that the tech industry will likely continue layoffs throughout the approaching earnings season.

Businesses that haven’t yet felt these repercussions may decide to do so in the near future by laying off employees.

Kessler observed:

“I think there is an element of [some companies], saying ‘We might not see this right now but all these other big companies, these companies that we compete with, that we know, that we respect, are taking these kinds of actions, so maybe we should be thinking and acting accordingly.”

Google review system pressures employees

Google: According to internal conversations, only a small percentage of Google employees are anticipated to obtain excellent performance assessments, with many more perhaps receiving low ratings.

The safety of underperforming employees will also be in jeopardy due to the company’s imminent introduction of a new performance review system.

The news

During a meeting and a separate presentation last week, Google officials recently revealed additional information on the company’s new performance review system.

According to the company’s projections, the new policy will cause 6% of full-time employees to fall to low-ranking groups, increasing the possibility that they will be subject to corrective action from the prior 2%.

It will be harder to get high marks as well.

Google predicts that 22% of employees will be rated in one of the top two categories, down from the previous prediction of 27%.

To be in the highest-rated category, Transformative Impact, employees must perform the “near-impossible” and provide more than “thought possible.”


Google Reviews and Development (GRAD), the company’s performance review process, was made public earlier this year.

With the approaching year-end deadlines, there appear to be growing employee worries regarding GRAD’s procedural and technical issues.

Many people worry that the evaluations they will get won’t be accurate.

The problem has grown more urgent as a result of recent budget cuts in the tech space.

Even while Google has avoided making significant job layoffs like Meta did, some employees worry they might be the next.

Read also: The Federal Reserve impact on stock market; Thursday market updates


Although Google officials have long promoted transparency, staff members have argued that their questions about headcount have not been adequately addressed.

Some employees believe the new review system will lead to a workforce reduction at the company.

In the latter months of 2022, the headcount has been the main cause of concern for the workforce.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, was forced to explain Google’s shifting attitude in September after years of rapid growth.

Despite the modest savings, executives did not completely rule out the possibility of layoffs.

A number of staff members questioned the executives about their anticipated headcount at an all-hands meeting in November.

Additionally, when Google boosted its personnel by 24% year over year in Q3 2022, employees questioned whether officials had improperly controlled staffing.

As of the third quarter, the corporation had 186,779 full-time employees and a corresponding number of contractors.

The company will evaluate stock, salary, and bonuses, per recent GRAD filings.

The new system expects giving out more money overall per person.

According to the document, Google will continue to pay between the top 5% and 10% of market values.


The stress related to year-end performance reports was one of the most frequently selected questions from the most recent all-hands meeting.

Based on the questions, employees don’t think Google management would be upfront and sincere about its employment headcount.

“Why did Google push support check-in quotas in front-line managers days before the deadline?” one employee asked.

“I’ve been through a lot in Google in 5+ years, but this is a new low.”

Another said:

“It seems like a lot of last-minute support check-ins were forced through part of Cloud in order to meet a quota, causing a lot of distress.”

“With only two weeks to correct course, how is this helpful feedback? How do we prevent this from happening in the future?”

A top-rated employee said:

“The support check-in process is confusing, increasingly becoming a cause of stress and anxiety in Googlers, especially given the current economic situation and rumors around layoffs.”

Read also: Elon Musk addresses Tesla shares decline, cites other factors


Reports of “support check-ins” for staff arose earlier this month.

Support check-ins are frequently associated with subpar performance ratings on the days leading up to year-end deadlines.

Employees said that administrators changed a number of the process stages on the closing days.

At a recent meeting, Fiona Cicconi spoke on the GRAD worries, saying, “I know it’s been bumpy.”

“It’s not ideal to have support check-ins occur so late in the review cycle, and we know that people need time to absorb the feedback and take action on it.”

According to Cicconi, Google employees need more time to change their course.

Staff members have questioned executives about whether they will move workers to lower performance categories in order to reduce headcount in 2023.

Despite the management’s repeated statements that there were no quotas, the staff wasn’t quite convinced.

The executives were also asked if Google was evolving into a “stack-ranking” business like Amazon, which rates workers’ performance based on quotas.

“Uncertainties around GRAD processes have been putting a lot of pressure on lower-level managers to pass down information,” said a highly-rated question.

“Layoffs across the industry has been a topic impacting Googlers, raising stress, anxiety, and burnout,” another read.

“There’s been no official comms on this, which raises even more concern around this. When will the company address this topic?”

Sundar Pichai, the CEO, avoided direct inquiries and stated that he is unsure about what the future holds.

“What we’ve been trying hard to do is, we are trying to prioritize where we can so we are set up to better weather the storm, regardless of what’s ahead,” said Pichai.

“We really don’t know what the future holds, so unfortunately, I cannot making forward looking commitments, but everything we’ve been planning on as a company for the past six to seven months has been: do all the hard work to try and work our way through this as best as possible so, that’s all I can say.”


Google tells employees more of them will be at risk for low performance ratings next year

NetChoice to sue California for new law

Tech behemoths like Amazon, Google, Meta, TikTok, and Twitter are part of the expansive industry organization NetChoice.

The group declared its decision to sue California on Wednesday.

They made the decision to overturn the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which the state recently enacted and which they think infringes on the First Amendment.

The Age-Appropriate Design Code Act

The laws in California were based on those in the UK.

It seeks to develop regulations to protect children online.

According to the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, children must always have the highest level of privacy.

Furthermore, it requires that websites geared toward minors under 18 evaluate the potential for user exploitation or abuse.

The lawsuit

NetChoice’s lawsuit is a developing case that covers free speech online.

Legislators frequently want to reduce online platforms’ robust liability protections for user posts and content control.

Issues with content regulation and privacy affect all political parties.

Republicans and Democrats still disagree on the most effective approaches to resolving the problems.

NetChoice filed lawsuits against Texas and Florida for the social media regulations imposed by those states’ legislatures, even though most Democrats in those states’ legislatures supported the California statute.

The measure aims to hold tech companies accountable by mandating them to remove posts with political overtones.


According to NetChoice, the new law in California would hurt teenagers rather than protect them, the opposite of what it was intended to do.

They further claim that forcing companies to infer from customers the meaning of “inherently subjective terms” infringes on their First Amendment rights to free expression.

If the companies are in error, the state might apply crippling fines, claims NetChoice.

“The State can also impose such penalties if companies fail to enforce their content moderation standards to the Attorney General’s satisfaction,” said the group.

It’s projected that the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act will go into force in July 2024.

In order to avoid paying fines for producing content that California deems detrimental, the bill will reportedly require content producers to cut their output significantly.

“The over-moderation will stifle important resources, particularly for vulnerable youth who rely on the Internet for life-saving information,” said NetChoice.

Read also: Mortgage application shows positive movement amid falling interest rates

Defense of the law

Despite the criticisms, an attorney for California Attorney General Rob Bonta defended the legislation.

According to the statement, the policy offers additional protections against gathering and using children’s data.

It also discusses a few undeniable adverse effects of social networking and other online goods and services.

“We are reviewing the complaint and look forward to defending this important children’s safety law in court.”

Prior concerns

The lawsuit’s phrasing is similar to a bipartisan federal bill that is being opposed by civil society organizations but seeks to protect minors online.

The organizations voiced concern that the bill would enhance the danger posed by youngsters and teenagers.

The following groups were among those opposed to the legislation:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Fight for the Future
  • Glaad
  • Wikimedia Foundation

The organizations warned over the bill’s possible adverse effects, particularly on the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Political attitudes’ potential to influence the criteria employed by content censors is already causing alarm among residents.

The bipartisan bill

Websites likely to be accessed by kids under the age of 16 would have to comply with the law’s standards.

Therefore, it would be their duty to lessen the possibility of young users suffering bodily or psychological harm, particularly by promoting the following:

  • Self-harm or suicide
  • Encouragement of addictive behavior
  • Enabling online bullying
  • Predatory marketing

“KOSA would require online services to ‘prevent’ a set of harms to minors, which is effectively an instruction to employ broad content filtering to limit minors’ access to certain online content,” wrote the groups.

“Online service would face substantial pressure to over-moderate, including from state Attorneys General seeking to make political points about what kind of information is appropriate for young people.”

“At a time when books with LGBTQ+ themes are being banned from school libraries, and people providing healthcare to trans children are being falsely accused of ‘grooming,’ KOSA would cut off another vital avenue to access to information for vulnerable youth.”

Revamping the federal bipartisan bill

In a revised version of the Act, the relevant parliamentarians tried to remedy the issues.

Updates that addressed concerns voiced by the LGBTQ community and major parliamentarians were made public on Tuesday night.

A modified “duty of care” clause was included to allay concerns that attorneys general with anti-LGBTQ attitudes would misuse the law.

Additionally, a clause stating that businesses were not required to gather more user data to ascertain the user’s age was changed.

Despite the modifications, several groups continued to oppose the law.

Read also: Meta plans to pull news content out if bill pushes

Content moderation

NetChoice is against the laws in Florida and Texas, saying it could weaken Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields the tech industry from legal culpability.

The Act protects the right to manage content.

Republicans, on the other hand, have been working to implement more social media laws because they think that mainstream websites are stifling conservative viewpoints.

When this has happened, well-known websites have denied arbitrarily enforcing their community norms.

A credible study found that conservative opinions frequently predominate in online exchanges.

The Supreme Court in May halted the implementation of a Texas version.

However, no decision was made about the case’s merits.

Florida’s version has thus far been dismissed by lower courts.


Tech industry group sues to block California law designed to protect kids online over free speech concerns

Kids Online Safety Act may harm minors, civil society groups warn lawmakers

Revamped kids’ online privacy bill emerges in year-end push (1)

Elon Musk braces for Twitter app removal on Apple

Elon Musk says that Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from its iOS app store, which could affect Twitter’s business.

His claims came on Monday.

If Apple goes through with its plan, it would be devastating for Elon Musk’s recent acquisition.

The tweets

On Monday, Elon Musk posted several tweets against Apple and its CEO over the alleged move that could ruin Twitter’s business.

“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk tweeted.

In another, the Twitter owner said Apple has stopped advertising on the platform.

“Do they hate free speech in America,” he asked, referencing his desire to bolster his idea of free speech on Twitter.

“What’s going on here [Apple CEO Tim Cook]?”

Elon Musk also slammed Apple’s size, claiming the tech giant engages in “censorship.”

He then blasted the 30% transaction fee Apple charges major app developers to get their apps listed for the app store.

Read also: Break-ins plague Portland, one store shuts down


Elon Musk’s tweets revealed more about his relationship with the tech giant.

Before acquiring the social media platform, Musk said when Tesla encountered problems, he thought about selling the company to Apple.

However, Cook reportedly refused to meet or entertain him.


Removing Twitter from the Apple App Store (or even from Google) would disrupt how Twitter is operating.

The social media platform is already struggling after losing advertisers after the acquisition.

Additionally, the company is trying to increase its profits through its subscription business.

Apple has previously shown a willingness to remove apps from its App Store due to concerns about harmful content or attempts to circumvent Apple’s cuts on purchases and subscriptions.

For example, Apple removed Parler in January 2021.

Parler was a popular app among conservatives and the far right.

Apple removed it after the Capitol attack from concerns about the platform’s ability to detect and moderate hate speech.

However, Parler returned to the App Store after three months after an update to its content moderation procedures.

Rad also: Elon Musk debunks report on SBF Twitter investment


Tim Cook had an interview with CBS earlier this month.

He was asked if Twitter could change that would lead Apple to remove the app from the App Store.

“They say that they’re going to continue to moderate and so… I count on them to do that,” said Cook.

“Because I don’t think that anybody really wants hate speech on their platform. So I’m counting on them to continue to do that.”

The former head of trust and safety at Twitter, Yoel Roth, hinted that the company has received calls from App Store moderators since the Musk acquisition.

Roth said Twitter’s failure to follow Google’s and Apple’s App Store rules could be disastrous.

Meanwhile, Phil Schiller, head of Apple’s App Store, deleted his Twitter account last weekend.

While the relationship between Apple and Twitter is unclear, the tech giant recently shared Black Friday announcements on social media.

Additionally, due to the economic downturn, many companies have recently reduced their digital ad spending.

Twitter is speculated to represent a small portion of Apple’s advertising budget.

Apple’s impact could be more noticeable, however, especially if Musk manages to shift his core business to subscription revenue and potentially pay Apple a 30% cut.


Elon Musk claims Apple has ‘threatened to withhold’ Twitter from its app store

Google settles to pay $392 million to 40 states

Google is in trouble for overstepping privacy and location practices toward customers.

However, the company reportedly agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states.

The settlement comes after users complained about Google’s breach of its location-tracking practices with its devices and services.

The announcement

On Monday, a coalition of attorneys general announced the settlement.

The attorneys general labeled it the largest multi-state privacy settlement in US history.

The coalition includes a list of attorneys general from New York, Kentucky and Oregon.

Furthermore, they claimed that Google lied to users about location tracking in various ways as far back as 2015.

The attorneys said users needed clarification about the scope of the location history setting and the extent to which users who rely on Google products and services can limit location tracking by changing their account and device settings.

Read also: Elon Musk talks about how busy he’s become


Google must now be transparent with the settlement and comply with these requirements:

  • Show additional information for location-related settings
  • Make key location tracking policies more visible
  • Give users details

However, the company faces restrictions on the use of location and storage information.

José Castañeda, a spokesperson for Google, said:

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.”

Read also: Report: Google hit with a lawsuit as Texas sues company for privacy invasion


Attorneys general investigated Google after a 2018 Associated Press report said the company logged users’ movements even when they didn’t turn it on.

At the time, the company released a statement saying it provides:

  • A clear description of the tools
  • Robust controls so users can turn them on and off
  • The ability to delete their histories at any time

A similar lawsuit was filed against Google in January.

Four attorneys general from Columbia, Texas, Indiana and Washington counties say the company used shady patterns.

They also said the company uses fraudulent practices to track users’ physical locations, even when trying to block the Google service.

In addition, location data can target advertisements and create user profiles.

Google is one of the major technology companies focused on managing location data after Roe v. Wading.

Finally, lawmakers highlight how the company can use the data to track abortion seekers.

As a result, the company will remove users’ location history for visits to abortion clinics, fertility clinics, and other destinations.


Google agrees to $392 million settlement with 40 states over location tracking practices

Apple to make minor changes for Siri’s activation

Apple has made many innovations so far in 2022, and another change is coming with the interactive Siri functionality.

The tech giant reportedly intends to drop the “Hey” prompt.

The report

According to reports, Apple is training Siri, its voice assistant, to follow commands without saying the first half of the phrase “Hey Siri.”

The activation phase launches Siri on Apple products such as:

  • The iPhone
  • The iPad
  • The HomePod
  • The Apple Watch.

According to Bloomberg, the move could occur in 2023 or 2024.

Read also: Apple braces for iPhone shipment delays


Although the update is minor, experts believe it is a sign that more changes are underway and that in-depth training in artificial intelligence will be necessary.

Lian Jye Su, research director at ABI Research, said the system recognizes requests from two keywords more accurately.

The transition to the use of a word would depend on a more advanced AI system.

“During the recognition phase, the system compares the voice command to the user-trained model,” explained Su.

“‘Siri’ is much shorter than ‘Hey Siri,’ giving the system potentially less comparison points and higher error rate in an echo-y, large room and noisy environments.”

The move

Apple’s change would allow them to catch Amazon’s “Alexa” prompt, which doesn’t require an initial activation word for the voice assistant.

In 2018 Microsoft said goodbye to the “Hey Cortana” prompt, allowing users to simply say “Cortana” to smart speakers.

However, users still need to use the phrase “Ok Google” for Google products.

The “Hey Siri” change comes when Apple, Amazon and Google are working together on the Matter automation standard.

The Matter automation standard enables automation devices and the Internet of Things from different vendors to interoperate.

James Sanders, the chief analyst at market research firm CCS Insight, says Apple’s priority is likely to increase efforts to improve Siri features.

Read also: Apple continues to fare well amid economic downturn


Apple’s voice assistant has been online since February 2010, more than twelve years ago.

It started as a standalone app on Apple’s App Store before the tech giant bought it two months later.

Apple then integrated Siri into iPhones, starting with the 4S.

It introduced the ability to say “Hey Siri” without using the home button in 2014.

Over the years, Siri grew smarter by integrating third-party developers like ride-hailing and payment apps.

It also supports follow-up questions, multiple languages, and other logins.

Despite the improvements, Siri still has problems, including misunderstandings and wrong answers.

“While the ‘Hey Siri’ change requires a considerable amount of work, it would be surprising if Apple announced only this change to Siri,” said Sanders.

“Considering the rumored timing, I would anticipate this change to be bundled with other new or improved functionality for Siri, perhaps alongside a new model of HomePod and integrations with other smart home products via Matter, as a reintroduction to Apple’s voice assistant.”


Why Apple may be working on a ‘hey Siri’ change