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Privacy Concerns and Ethical Turns
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023
1. Meta's Data Tug-of-War with EU Ends in €1.2 Billion Smackdown
Meta, the proud parent company of Facebook, has landed itself in hot water yet again. This time, they've been smacked with a €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) fine for being a little too fast and loose with EU data protection rules. The EU, apparently not a fan of unauthorized data transfers, has ordered Meta to cut the cord on shipping data from EU users to the United States. Turns out, the 2020 decision that said American spy agencies were snooping around Facebook's data without proper protection didn't sit well with the EU. Meta plans to appeal the decision and, in the meantime, they're busy negotiating a new data-sharing pact with the EU and the US. This hefty fine is a not-so-subtle warning to other organizations; it's not Meta's first rodeo when it comes to privacy fines and most likely not it's last.
2. Master of Deception Pleads Not Guilty: Charlie Javice Takes On JPMorgan's Accusations
Entrepreneurial prodigy, Charlie Javice, has embarked on an epic battle against the accusations thrown her way, officially pleading not guilty to securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy charges levied by JPMorgan Chase. The claims suggest that Javice shamelessly tricked the bank into a mind-boggling $175 million acquisition by inflating the number of her company’s student customers from a meager 300,000 to a whopping 4.25 million. The bank only discovered the sham when their marketing outreach garnered about as many responses as a survey asking people if they find watching paint dry exhilarating. Quite the embarrassing spotlight on the bank's due diligence process... With Frank now defunct and Javice's reputation in tatters, it's safe to say that this high-stakes game of smoke and mirrors didn't quite go as planned.
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3. New Beginnings, New Bling: Bezos and Sánchez's Engagement.
Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sánchez flaunted their love aboard a freaking $500 million yacht at the Cannes Film Festival, proudly displaying Sánchez's shiny new engagement ring. It seems like these two can't get enough of each other, as they were seen frolicking around the festival and even posing for pictures with Apple CEO Tim Cook. And let's not forget their yacht, which is basically a shrine to their relationship, complete with a creepy wooden sculpture as the figurehead that looks suspiciously like Sánchez. Oh, and there's a necklace with a symbol for "new beginnings" around the figurehead's neck because apparently, they're all about personal growth and stuff. Insert eye roll here.
4. TikTok Sues Montana for Ruining Access to Life-Changing 15-Second Dance Videos.
TikTok has filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana in response to a new law that bans the app in the state. The company argues that the ban violates the Constitution by limiting its right to host and distribute user-created content and claims that Montana is overstepping its authority by legislating matters of national security instead of deferring to federal regulators. The app is seeking an injunction to block the ban and allow it to continue operating in Montana while the legal issues are resolved. Because what would Montanans do with their lives if they couldn't watch #OOTD or teeny-bop lip-syncing videos? Meanwhile, the state of Montana had justified the ban by claiming that it was necessary to protect users' private data from being harvested by the Chinese government.
5. India's Most Valuable FinTech Startup "Leaves No Crumbs" - A Gen Z Reference
Indian fintech sensation PhonePe has just scored $100 million in funding from General Atlantic. With a total funding of $850 million in this ongoing round, PhonePe is now strutting around with a swagger-worthy valuation of $12 billion. This tech disruptor dominates the digital transactions scene, consuming over 80% of the market share alongside Google Pay. Not content with their current success, PhonePe has its sights set on an additional $150 million to fuel their product expansion plans. And guess what? The National Payments Corporation of India has given them a free pass, extending compliance deadlines and giving PhonePe more time to conquer the world. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has waved the white flag on its competing project, leaving PhonePe to bask in the glory of victory. It's clear that PhonePe's got the moves, the money, and the regulators on their side. Watch out, world!