Cat Zakrzewski, The Washington Post Published 6:43 am PDT, Thursday, March 28, 2019 SAN FRANCISCO - Executives from top tech companies and California's attorney general aren't waiting for Washington to take action on pressing tech policy issues. At the first Technology 202 Live event here in San Francisco, they described how companies themselves are making changes to their own platforms to address public pressure on privacy and curbing disinformation on their platforms - and how states are seeking to rein in the tech giants with new legislation. "When it comes to the federal government, they move a lot slower," said California state attorney general Xavier Becerra. Here are some highlights: 1. The next time a public official - perhaps even a president - tweets something that violates Twitter's standards, the message could be accompanied by a label that provides more context, Twitter's Vajaya Gadde told my colleague Elizabeth Dwoskin. Twitter is exploring how to annotate … [Read more...] about The Technology 202: Silicon Valley isn’t waiting for Washington to address privacy, disinformation
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Cat Zakrzewski, The Washington Post Published 7:34 am PST, Monday, March 4, 2019 A new filing from Lyft highlights the unprecedented risks facing ride-hailing giants as they go public - largely because of their complicated relationship with regulators. Lyft's Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register for its initial public offering details a litany of potential threats to their business that reveal just how much legal and political uncertainty remains for ride-hailing apps. After years of asking forgiveness rather than permission to expand throughout the country, these wildly popular companies are still dealing with rapidly shifting laws and regulations: There are still questions about how Lyft classifies its drivers under labor laws or how new data privacy laws could impact its business, among other things. Lyft could jumpstart what is expected to be a record year for initial public offerings, in which Uber, Airbnb and a host of high-flying … [Read more...] about Technology 202: As Lyft prepares to go public, legal and political challenges loom
THE LIGHTBULB Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the Senate Environment Committee in January. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) First one shoe dropped. Then another. Then another and another and another and another. The controversies surrounding Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's spending and management practices are only growing. But Republicans are divided on what to do about it. Do they back Pruitt, whose mission to roll back regulations is widely popular within the GOP? Or do they condemn the Cabinet official after reports he rented a Capitol Hill condo for only $50 per night from an energy lobbyist and sidelined at least five EPA employees after they raised questions about the administrator's high-spending habits? As lawmakers return to Washington this week, the pressure to take a stand will only intensify. So far, some Republicans are urging him to fight to … [Read more...] about The Energy 202: Republicans are deeply divided as Scott Pruitt’s troubles mount
THE TICKER A sawyer carries a cut of machine grade steel to be shipped throughout the Pacific Northwest at the Pacific Machinery & Tool Steel Company on March 6, 2018 in Portland, Oregon (Natalie Behring/Getty Images) Business executives across the country are registering alarm about the Trump team's aggressive push on trade — even as the president's base largely embraces the moves. The Fed’s latest beige book report released Wednesday — for which each of the nation’s 12 regional banks survey business leaders, investors and economists in their areas — included 36 mentions of tariffs. The last such survey, published in early March, included none. These widespread fears of a trade war are darkening the picture for an economy otherwise expanding at a healthy clip, and stand in stark contrast to recent polling that shows GOP voters are lining up behind Trump in his trade fight with China. In Washington, the Trump … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: Fed report shows business execs worry about Trump’s trade moves
THE TICKER Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen as he delivers a speech at the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in March. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) The Trump trade mission to Beijing wraps up today without any concrete progress. The Trump administration is asking the Chinese to reduce the trade deficit with the U.S.— which stood at $375 billion last year — by $200 billion by 2020. And they want the Chinese to curb subsidies to key emerging industries, liberalize market access, and equalize their tariffs, among other demands. Beijing calls the requests "unfair." The two sides agreed to keep talking. Xinhua News Agency said in a statement they agreed to set up a "working mechanism" to enable ongoing communications. (The brief comment earlier from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: "We’re having very good conversations.") So there will be no quick resolution as both of the world’s … [Read more...] about The Finance 202: Beijing trade talks conclude with no progress. Get ready for a long slog.