Startup News Digest 1/25/19

The Big Story: GDPR’s biggest hit yet. France’s privacy watchdog has issued a $57 million fine against Google, the largest fine yet under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, the sweeping privacy rules that went into effect in the European Union last year.

According to the French regulator, Google violated GDPR by failing to be transparent around its use of user data and by missing the mark on consent when Android users set up new devices. Google has said it will appeal the fine.

 As we said when GDPR went into effect last year, the new rules create obligations and responsibilities—and the potential for crippling fines—for companies of all sizes. As U.S. policymakers debate privacy protections for Internet users, it’s critical that they think about how the rules and penalties will impact the U.S. startup ecosystem.


Policy Roundup:

“Emerging tech” warnings. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its strategy this week, and it warns of threats from “emerging technologies,” including “artificial intelligence, automation, and high performance computing” which can “enable new and improved military and intelligence capabilities for our adversaries.”

Privacy shield concerns. The EU’s European Data Protection Board released a report this week on Privacy Shield, a transatlantic agreement that lets U.S. companies store and process data on EU users in the U.S. The report acknowledges the pro-privacy steps the U.S. has taken to implement the agreement, but it also highlights remaining concerns.

Weighing in at WTO. As the World Trade Organization plans to move forward with an ambitious e-commerce framework, Engine weighed in with other organizations to support a customs framework that increases transparency and promotes the free flow of digital goods and services.  

The costs of Qualcomm’s battle. The consequence of Qualcomm’s continued legal fight over intellectual property with Apple in several jurisdictions worldwide will be decreased competition and innovation in 5G. 

Articles 11 and 13. The European Union’s deliberations on the controversial Article 11, which would allow publishers to charge when platforms link to their content, and Article 13, which would require Internet platforms to filter user generated content for infringement, appear to be wrapping up as early as next week. With both the large content creators and tech companies opposing the measures, it remains unclear who will benefit from these sweeping regulations. 


Startup Roundup:

Dcode Accelerator. Dcode is currently accepting startup applications for their security focused government accelerator. The ten-week program beginning in May 2019 will provide 6-10 technology companies with exclusive curriculum and connections to break into the U.S. federal government market. Learn more about their program here: Dcode Accelerator.