CNN: Boris Johnson sticks with UK digital tax plan despite the risk of US tariffs

CNN: Boris Johnson sticks with UK digital tax plan despite the risk of US tariffs. “President Donald Trump spent part of Tuesday blasting France for its digital tax plan, because he said America should be the one to ‘take advantage’ of American companies. Despite the risk of a similar backlash, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is vowing to move ahead with his own digital tech tax.”

The New Yorker: Big Tech’s Big Defector

The New Yorker: Big Tech’s Big Defector. “[Roger] McNamee saw the tech industry as an experiment in creative and profitable problem-solving. He grew unnerved by its ethical failures only in 2012, when Uber came to him for investment capital. He decided that Silicon Valley had changed. “These guys all wanted to be monopolists,” he said recently. ‘They all want to be billionaires.’ McNamee was convinced that Facebook was different.”

Reuters: Czech government approves digital tax aimed at internet giants

Reuters: Czech government approves digital tax aimed at internet giants. “The Czech government approved a 7% digital tax proposal on Monday aimed at boosting state coffers by taxing advertising by global internet giants like Google and Facebook, the Finance Ministry said.” The bill still has to go through parliament.”

Reuters: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple offer defense in congressional antitrust probe

Reuters: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple offer defense in congressional antitrust probe. “Four top U.S. tech companies, Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple, responded to questions from a congressional committee by defending their practices and declining to answer some questions.”

Slate: Silicon Valley’s Favorite Idea for Encouraging Competition

Slate: Silicon Valley’s Favorite Idea for Encouraging Competition. “… data portability might not be the regulatory golden goose the private and public sectors hope it is. It’s not even a new idea: Facebook has allowed users to export their data through a ‘Download Your Information’ tool since 2010. Google Takeout has been around since 2011. Most major tech companies introduced some form of data portability in 2018 to comply with GDPR. Yet no major competitors have been built from these offerings. We sought to find out why.”

Opinion: The more outrageous the lie, the better it is for Facebook’s bottom line (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Opinion: The more outrageous the lie, the better it is for Facebook’s bottom line. “Digital platforms try to engage users with their services for as long and as intensively as possible. This lets them sell ads and gather personal data, which then generate more value. It turns out that lies generate outrage and fear and these emotions generate engagement. So as long as a platform’s financial returns align with outrage, it is optimized for information rubbish. It’s difficult to stop the dissemination of bad information, consistent with free speech values. But what we can do is check the dominance of platforms that profit from misinformation and empower users to defend against it.”