July 29, 2022
Illustration: Stocktrek Images/Getty Images; Protocol
Good morning! Big Tech is bending over backwards to comply with other countries’ rules around sharing data. But the biggest number of data requests are coming from right here in the U.S.
Governments worldwide are pressuring Big Tech to abide by rules that give other countries more oversight of user information. But Twitter revealed yesterday that most of the calls for data are coming from inside the house.
The U.S. is the global leader in government data requests from Twitter, the company wrote in its annual transparency report. Its information requests accounted for 20% of the global volume, ahead of India, Japan and France, in that order.
At the same time, tech is under pressure from worldwide powers to meet certain requirements around content, as well as share user data. Human rights activists are concerned because it puts too much power in the hands of governments and risks privacy as a result.
The Biden administration has expressed interest in pushing back against authoritarian uses of the internet globally, especially if it means a U.S. tech company runs the risk of being banned outright for not complying. But this country wants lots of information, too. It just has a different way of getting it.
— Sarah Roach
Meta is reportedly starting to slash funding to U.S. news partners that run content on Facebook's News tab. A lot has changed since Facebook first brokered its deal with publishers in 2019, and news is now no longer a major driver of Facebook’s traffic.
It’s the second time in a little over a week that Facebook revealed a major priority shift. Mark Zuckerberg previously announced that Facebook would begin placing friend, page and Group posts into a separate tab called Feeds, turning the home feed into an algorithmic page with “content we think you'll care most about.”
But the changes make sense. Like TikTok, Facebook is trying to position itself as an entertainment company rather than a social media or news-sharing platform, prioritizing engagement over anything else.
With its big metaverse bets and the rapidly shifting and unclear priorities of its platforms, it’s clear that Meta and its subsidiaries are still figuring out what they want to be. What it does know, though, is who it's beholden to.
— Nat Rubio-Licht
Chip shortage could undermine national security: The global shortage of semiconductors has impeded the production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are graver implications than a scarcity of consumer goods. If the U.S. does not ensure continued domestic access to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer.
Amazon posted yet another quarter of high revenue, making it the shining star of ecommerce. Its results don’t speak for the rest of the sector.
Amazon’s earnings beat analysts’ expectations, bringing in $121.2 billion compared to the $119.1 billion expected. Despite the company posting losses of $2 billion, after-hours shares still popped around 12%.
The same can’t be said for other ecommerce companies, which are already grappling with declining demand as the world continues to open up.
But the worst may yet come. With the GDP falling for the second consecutive quarter — a strong recession signal — consumers will likely restrict spending, especially if unemployment creeps back up, said Dean Kim, head of equity research at William O’Neil.
With current layoffs, companies are “bracing for what could happen in terms of if they see a deep plunge in the economy,” Kim said. But if revenue falls even more, and as we reported this week, Shopify’s layoffs may only be the beginning.
— Nat Rubio-Licht
Adam Mosseri said deciding what content users want is safer:
Martin Shkreli said he’s gotten a lot of support since leaving prison:
Tim Cook said Apple will be “deliberate” with spending in the near future:
Marcus Jadotte is Google Cloud’s new VP of global affairs and public policy. He’s joining Google from Crowley Maritime, where he was SVP of government relations.
Mike O’Malley is Noname Security’s new CMO. O’Malley was previously CyberArk’s SVP of global marketing.
Sydney Schaub is Opendoor’s new chief legal officer. Schaub has held similar roles at Gemini, Rent The Runway and Block.
Ben Robbins is a new general partner at GV. He’s also invested in Aspire, Rodin, Headway and other health tech companies.
Jen Yang-Wong is the new director of product at Contrary Capital. She was formerly a founding product manager at Novi Connect and a senior product manager at Uber.Charles Lim joined JPMorgan to lead quantum communications and cryptography. Lim is an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore.
Samsung warned that chip demand will weaken as people shop less. Then Congress passed the Chips bill. Oh, the timing!
Intel had the worst quarter it has had in years, reporting declining data center revenue amid a slide in its PC business.
Apple barely topped earnings estimates, with iPhone and iPad sales doing better than expected during the quarter.
Roku warned investors of a rocky ad marketas it plans a “significant slowdown in TV advertising spend.”
Democrats revived the fight for net neutrality, introducing a bill that would reclassify broadband internet as an essential service.
Sequoia’s opening an office in New York, sources told The Information. It’s the VC firm’s first post outside Silicon Valley.
Instagram's coming for BeReal. It added a feature called Dual that looks just like BeReal photos.
Bill Gates is betting on greener ACs. His investment fund led a $20 million round for Blue Frontier, which is trying to make ACs more energy efficient.Twitter's raising the price of Twitter Blue from $2.99 to $4.99 a month.
If you see an SUV in New York, San Francisco or Chicago with deflated tires, it might be the result of The Tyre Extinguishers. It’s a group of Gen Z-ers who take to the streets at night and stuff lentils into tire valves to release all the air. “The amount of damage from a flat tire is nothing compared to climate change,” one of the Extinguishers told The Guardian. Though it’s hard to argue against that, we’re sure the SUV owners have some thoughts.
Chip shortage could undermine national security:To ensure American security, prosperity and technological leadership, industry leaders say the U.S. must encourage domestic manufacturing of chips in order to reduce our reliance on East Asia producers for crucial electronics components.
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