PRG News Roundup, September 15, 2021

President Biden nominated Alvaro Bedoya for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission.  Bedoya, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, is a well-known privacy advocate.  He has a research background in privacy lapses on online platforms, the consequences of facial recognition technology, and oversight on electronic and biometric tracking. (link)

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has opened two inquiries into TikTok on the processing of children’s personal data and the transfer of personal data to China.  The Data Protection Commission, which is considered a leading EU regulator, is allowed to impose fines of up to 4% of global revenue. (link)

Facebook’s Oversight Board affirmed Facebook’s decision to restore a news post about a threat of violence from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian group Hamas.  Facebook originally removed the content under the Dangerous Individuals and Organizations Community Standard and restored it after the Board selected this case for review. The Board concluded that removing the content did not reduce offline harm and restricted freedom of expression on an issue of public interest. (link)

Facebook has built a system—known as XCheck—in which high-profile users, including politicians and celebrities, are exempted from some or all of its rules.  This is contrary to the platform’s public position, which is that its three billion users may all speak on equal footing.  (link)

The Wall Street Journal acquired internal documents from Facebook showing that the company knew that Instagram was causing profound harm to teen girls’ mental health.  According to internal company studies, the social media platform fosters body-image concerns, eating disorders, among other effects.  The company also downplayed these negative effects and has not made its internal research public.  (link)

China has forbidden under-18-year-olds from playing video games for more than three hours a week.  Gaming companies will be barred form providing services to minors in any form outside of 8:00pm to 9:00pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  (link)

(compiled by Student Fellow Coordinator Justin Lee)