Regulation

Canada’s Green Party Pushes Social Media ID Verification

Capitol Hill

It wasn’t all about Facebook on the Hill.

Headlines in recent days focused on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg being in Washington, D.C. meeting with lawmakers over several days, discussing, in part, the idea that tech companies and intelligence officials should share data more openly.

Beyond those headlines, readers of this space know that many companies endeavor to create ways to construct and verify digital ID. In recent news tied to those efforts, the Green Party of Canada said this past week that it would debut rules that would mandate that social media companies such as Facebook take steps to, as Global News reported, “crack down” on anonymous users, should the party gain governmental control in the wake of 2019 federal elections. The party has pledged that it will regulate companies so that “only actual people, with verifiable identities, are able to publish on those platforms.”

“Those who spam, spread misinformation with the intent to manipulate public thinking or threaten and harass others should be held accountable for their actions, and we should do more to protect underage minors from adult content online than require them to check a box saying that they are of age,” the Green Party said in a statement to the news outlet.

The initiative debuted the same week that Facebook disclosed that it suspended tens of thousands of apps that may have missed data from customers — and the apps came from as many as 400 developers, according to reports. The developers and apps allegedly had access to large amounts of data.

Taxes Under Scrutiny

In the continuing regulatory scrutiny over taxes, Apple and Ireland are embroiled in a dispute over as much as $14 billion in taxes the European Union says is owed, and the dispute now goes to the European General Court. As noted in courthousenews.com, Ireland has said that that Apple should pay taxes based on profits stemming from business done in Ireland, rather than based on worldwide profits. The site said the case comes from a 2016 tax bill levied by the commission, which has charged that the tax policy of Ireland toward Apple amounts to “illegal tax benefits” and Apple has been ordered to pay tens of billions in taxes and fines. Ireland has said that it does not want what amounts to a windfall, and has appealed the decision to the European General Court.

No More Overlap?

In reference to the ongoing investigations into antitrust, The Wall Street Journal reported that officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department’s antitrust division have come to an agreement that, as the news outlet reported, “it does not make a lot of sense” for the two agencies to split their efforts and investigations into the tech sector.

The report noted that a letter, signed by FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, disclosed that “a longstanding power-sharing agreement between the agencies is fraying.”

Cryptos Not Ready for Prime Time?

It may be the case that crypto is not ready for prime time. As reported by CNBC, bitcoin will have to see more stringent regulation in place before bowing on major exchanges. That sentiment comes from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton. “If [investors] think there’s the same rigor around that price discovery as there is on the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange … they are sorely mistaken,” said Clayton, who made the remarks as the opening speaker at the Delivering Alpha conference, presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. “We have to get to a place where we can be confident that trading is better regulated.”

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