California kicks bots off of social media

4 October 2018 by Steve Blum
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You won’t be able to use an anonymous bot to tweet or boost Twitter profiles, or post items on Facebook in California, beginning next year. Or use a bot that pretends to be a person to try to sell something – including a candidate for office – on high traffic websites.

California governor Jerry Brown signed senate bill 1001 into law. Authored by senator Bob Hertzberg, it’s particularly intended to stop automated social media posts that inject comments – fake or otherwise – into political debates.… More

California assembly considers Internet age checks for guns, porn, tobacco and more

30 May 2018 by Steve Blum
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Anytime age-restricted products – for example weapons, alcohol, tobacco and porn – are offered for sale online in California, merchants would have to “take reasonable steps to verify the age of the purchaser”, if a recently amended bill makes it into law.

Assembly bill 2511, authored by Ed Chau (D – Monterey Park), started out as a privacy bill aimed at preventing commercial use of social media postings by minors, and would have generally reinforced bans on selling certain things to them.… More

California legislature takes on bots, false news and privacy

Some bills that would regulate websites, social media and other consumer-facing Internet services are moving ahead in the California legislature. But not all of them.

Assembly bill 3169, carried by James Gallagher (R – Chico), is dead. It would have required “social media Internet web sites” and search engines to be politically neutral. It would have failed any First Amendment test. The assembly privacy and consumer protection committee scrapped it by ignoring it – when the vote was taken, only two members, both democrats, said aye and the rest remained silent.… More

Can things play by human rules on the Internet?

8 January 2014 by Steve Blum
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The etiquette of things.

“Good practice, when it comes to handling data, is not something new, it’s something we’ve already done well”, said Marc Rogers, an Internet security researcher. “We have to be careful we don’t get paralysed by worrying about exotic threats”. He was speaking on a panel this morning at CES that looked at the need, or not, for regulating the so-called Internet of things (IoT). When a device in a home, a thermostat for example, automatically sends information to a private company – an electric utility, say – it might not be done with the same degree of privacy and consent that’s involved when a person manually enters data on a website.… More