Twitter Train Wreck, the Feds and the Data Broker Industry & More: December 2022 Newsletter

December 27, 2022

In the December 2022 edition of our business privacy newsletter, you’ll find our take on:


The Slow-Motion Twitter Train Wreck

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the subsequent dumping of legacy internal documents (aka the “Twitter Files”) has transformed into a major (or minor, depending on whom you ask) story about collusion between tech platforms, law enforcement, and media, with aims to suppress or promote information with the intent to sway public opinion.  

The drama continued when a number of journalists had accounts suspended for sharing information related to attempts to track Musk’s physical location, which was claimed to have aided in a direct attack on his children. Meanwhile, Federal agencies are hinting at new enforcement measures to address pre-existing problems with Twitter’s privacy and security policies disclosed by Peiter Zatko in September.

Our Take

If there’s any public interest issue here, it’s about the legal role of social media platforms in policing ‘doxxing’ content. Simply because personal information is available does not give anyone broadcast rights. Also: FTC may make a high-profile enforcement test case here which could prove interesting in 2023.


FTC Fines Over Kids’ Privacy

According to the New York Times, “The Federal Trade Commission accused Epic Games of illegally collecting children’s personal information, of harming young players by matching them with strangers on Fortnite while enabling live communications and, separately, of using manipulative techniques, called “dark patterns,” to trick millions of players into making unintentional purchases.”

Our Take

New children’s privacy laws (in California, and possibly passed by congress this year) will create a huge liability mess for businesses in the coming year. Business practices that are norms for adults will be criminalized because of potential exposure to underage consumers.


Re-Examining Federal Relationships with the Data Broker Industry

Politico reports on debates within and outside the Federal government on how its own half-century-old rules force reliance on 3rd party data brokers for identity verification, as well as incentivize private industry to collect personal information for law enforcement use.  It exposes a genuine conflict of interest in current attempts to regulate an industry that also serves some core Government needs.

Our Take

We are strong supporters of bills (like the ‘Fourth Amendment is Not For Sale Act’) which would create a clear virtual barrier between the private and the public sector regarding how personal information gathered about citizens by internet service providers can be utilized by government institutions.  But prospects for any Federal self-regulation remain extremely low. The issue is still not going away; in particular, ID verification processes are going to be an ongoing problem, where the need for improvement is real, but the best solutions – like biometrics – are increasingly subject to complex rules.


ICYMI: Our Predictions for Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Tech in 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… prediction time! We recently published our 2023 Predictions for where trends in privacy regulation, cybersecurity, and tech developments are likely to lead in 2023. 


DeleteMe In The News

Check out our log of where DeleteMe has been featured in the news in December.


Upcoming Events

Register today for our first webinar of 2023 on January 25th at 1 PM EST with Rachel Tobac, ethical hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security, and our very own Rob Shavell, CEO of DeleteMe. This webinar will cover topics such as:

  • Why individuals are losing control of their digital identities and how that’s driving business risk
  • The latest techniques hackers are employing for highly targeted phishing and other social engineering attacks (without using any code)
  • How new AI-based technology like facial recognition and voice cloning will open up new pathways for bad actors
  • What combination of strategies will keep executives and employees safe to mitigate risk for both the individuals and the business

Vote for DeleteMe!

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Every vote counts and we appreciate yours!

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