Regulation

Executive Order Looms For Social Media Firms On Content? 

Executive Order Looms For Social Media Firms On Content?

A draft executive order from the White House might lay out how Big Tech firms curate and present their data. As noted last week, the draft order, which was seen and reported by CNN, would place the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in charge of how marquee names such as Facebook and Twitter show what is on their sites.

The summary, according to the site, would direct the FCC to develop new regulations that would detail how the law may protect social media platforms as they move to take content off their sites – and to take those new regulations into account when investigating or filing suit against those firms.

In addition, the draft order, which is titled “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship,” claims the White House has received more than 15,000 complaints tied to social media firms’ alleged censure of political discourse. Per the terms of the executive order, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be asked to open a public complaint docket and to work with the FCC to investigate how these companies operate their platforms.

In the UK, Too

Similarly, in a move that may also tighten oversight of social media content (and the firms behind the distribution of that content), in the United Kingdom, the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom is on the verge of being granted new regulatory powers to mandate that Facebook, YouTube and others comply with “minimum standards” for video and streaming content. The regulator may be granted the ability to penalize those companies for not complying with age verification checks and parental controls that would shield children from violent or harmful content.

CFPB and Payday Lending

August 19 is here, and a deadline comes and goes. The repayment provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) payday lending rule will not be in place as of today, which had been the date mandated in regulations announced two years ago.

As reported by the CreditUnionTimes and other sites, the rule would have let payday lenders withdraw money from borrowers’ bank accounts to satisfy loan payback.

The news comes after a federal judge in Texas agreed to requests by the CFPB and a payday lending trade group, the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), to extend the timeframe for enforcement. The CFPB had filed suit to challenge the rule’s implementation, and critics had charged that the rule could drive lenders out of business.

“Neither party requests the court to lift the stay of litigation or the stay of the compliance date at this time,” wrote U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel. The compliance date has been pushed back to Nov. 18, 2020.

Uber Fined in Colombia

In company-specific news, authorities in Colombia have said they will suspend the licenses of Uber drivers using the service for 25 years. As reported this past week, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce said, too, that it fined the ride-hailing company for not providing information when requested and blocked access to data held on computers.

“The company presented a disrespectful and obstructive attitude in the face of different information requirements on the part of officials,” the regulator said in a statement.

Three individual employees have been fined, with penalties ranging from $1,469 to $7,344. A manager and two legal workers allegedly “collaborated and executed the obstruction of the mentioned administrative visit and the incompletion of the orders and instructions imparted by the Superintendency. It is also proven that these people gave evasive and incomplete declarations about their roles and functions inside the company, and about their knowledge of the corporate structure of Uber Colombia,” per the statement.

The news comes after Uber had been directed by the country to strengthen its data security in the wake of a company breach that affected data tied to 267,000 people.

SCA Delay

You’d be forgiven for thinking the regulatory landscape was all SCA, all the way.

To recap: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said last week that it has agreed to a phased implementation of the strong customer authentication (SCA) rules slated to start taking effect beginning next month, which had been mandated by the Payments Service Directive (PSD2).

SCA required that banks and other firms must implement two-factor verification on eCommerce transactions above 30 euros.

The implementation will span an 18-month plan, and as noted in this space upon the announcement, “The plan reflects the recent opinion of the European Banking Authority (EBA), which set out that more time was needed to implement SCA given the complexity of the requirements, a lack of preparedness and the potential for a significant impact on consumers.”

The FCA said it will not take enforcement action against firms if they do not meet the relevant requirements for SCA beginning on Sept. 14 “in areas covered by the agreed plan, where there is evidence that they have taken the necessary steps to comply with the plan.”

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