What we’ve learned from two years of GDPR
Good morning! This Thursday, President Trump escalates his Twitter war, lessons from two years of GDPR, and Instagram's plan to make creators rich.
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On Protocol: After a tumultuous recent past, Docker CEO Scott Johnston said the company is getting back to basics:
MasterClass raised $100 million mid-pandemic, and CEO David Rogier learned a few things in the process:
The fight that started on Tuesday night between @realdonaldtrump and Twitter's fact-checkers spilled over into Wednesday without missing a beat.
Twitter told Protocol's Emily Birnbuam that "no one person at Twitter is responsible for our policies or enforcement actions, and it's unfortunate to see individual employees targeted for company decisions."
As for what Trump meant by "big action"? We now have a pretty good idea. According to a draft executive order obtained by Protocol's Emily Birnbaum, which President Trump could sign as soon a Thursday, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will soon petition the FCC to clarify and change the rules of Section 230, which currently protect online companies from liability for anything people post on their networks.
The order has other ideas, too:
Much of the document's argument hinges on the idea that Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms are public spaces in which to engage in free expression and debate. (Trump actually tried to argue in the other direction in a 2018 case over whether he was allowed to block people on Twitter. Ironically, he lost.)
At its conception in 2018, Europe's flagship privacy law threatened to levy fines so big it could put Big Tech out of business. In its wake, California and a handful of other countries adopted privacy laws of their own.
So, two years in … did GDPR work? Other than a bunch of pop-up cookie disclaimers and a fight over Grandma's Facebook photos, has anything on the privacy front really changed?
But companies have invested millions into compliance. Microsoft, for example, has adopted GDPR as its global standard (and is trying to get others to do the same). That's partly because GDPR has so far been pretty good news for Big Tech.
One thing you can certainly say in GDPR's favor is that it has elevated privacy concerns for consumers, countries and companies alike. And there are likely still fines and enforcement to come. Two years may be a long time in tech, but it's nothing in government bureaucracy.
Walmart Continues to Launch COVID-19 Testing Sites
To increase access to COVID-19 testing, Walmart is partnering with Quest and eTrueNorth to bring mobile sites to underserved areas of America and make tests available at no cost to the individual.
A lot of creators make a living through Instagram, or because of it, but none of them gets a check from Facebook for their work on the platform. That's about to change: Instagram's going to start sharing revenue with creators on IGTV and let viewers buy badges on Instagram Live that support their favorite creators.
The rollout is small and careful — no surprise, this is Instagram after all — and a teensy bit controlling:
If this works, it would pit Instagram against YouTube, where lots of creators already have big businesses. Instagram could become their go-to platform instead. Plus, if it can build a safer, ad-friendlier space, it could quickly steal more skittish YouTube advertisers.
Chad Thornton is the new head of design at Airtable. He's been a design leader at Dropbox, Medium and other tech companies — and now he's going to get crazy with databases.
Carl Bass is joining Box's board of directors. He's the former CEO of Autodesk, and will be asked to help Box continue to scale its business.
TSMC hired Nicholas Montella as its director of government relations. Montella, a former Chamber of Commerce executive, is TSMC's second major lobbyist hire in recent months.
When Uber invested in Lime, it dumped its Jump bike-and-scooter service on the company as well. Which meant Lime suddenly had to deal with tens of thousands of red electric bikes with big red Jump logos on them. So what did it do? It destroyed (and recycled) tens of thousands of them. (The videos are wild.) Uber said many had significant issues, but groups representing essential workers said they'd have gladly taken and fixed them, and many charities said the same. In the meantime, add these to the growing list of bike-sharing graveyards cropping up all over the world.
Walmart COVID-19 testing: 100+ sites by the end of May
By the end of May, Walmart is working toward more than 100 sites, which will allow the company to deliver 20,000 tests a week to people who need them, especially in underserved areas and hot spots.
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