Brussels vs Silicon Valley EU plans technology regulation, which demands more responsibility - Brussels has no plans to reduce the scope of new content regulations on technology platforms despite opposition from Silicon Valley. This was acknowledged on Tuesday by the vice president of the European Commission, Vera Jourova, who has assured that the new legislation will focus on larger companies, as is the case with the proposal for a European Google tax.
Jourova has stated in an interview to Financial Times that "more responsibility" to the technology companies about its contents to combat the misinformation, in reference to the Action Plan for the European Democracy, which seeks to "ensure that citizens are able to participate in the democratic system through a decision-making process grounded, free from interference and misuse", according to the EC.
So far, this plan has received 300 allegations, including those from Google and Facebook. However, Jourova has downplayed these objections, assuring that “I have to count on some resistance. Whatever we can think of will create more requirements, which will mean more money, more people, more responsibility."
The proposals for this plan on political advertising in election periods will begin to be presented from December, according to the Financial Times, which stresses that this regulation is in addition to the digital services law, which the EU has been preparing for months to regulate the liability of companies for content that is published on their online platforms.
Facebook has argued that the action Plan for European democracy should impose the same obligations on all technology companies, regardless of their size, while Brussels has argued that it is necessary to give room to smaller companies, which may be unable to compete with Silicon Valley giants.
Brussels vs Silicon Valley EU plans technology regulation
Jourova stressed that the EU " is not wasting time on stupid and innocent rumors. We are dealing with something that has real potential to distract people and seduce them with radical ideologies." The vice-president of the EC has warned that "disinformation has the potential to create a crowd that is easy to manipulate," in statements to the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, Google has submitted allegations about the digital services law, specifically about the responsibilities that platforms will have to assume with respect to illegal content that they have not detected, so it has demanded that European legislation make it clear that digital service providers can not be responsible if they are not aware of illegal conduct in their services.
With regard to this objection, Jourova has refused to apply an overly strict approach. For this reason, he has stated that "I do not want to go too far in terms of responsibility because platforms will use artificial intelligence to uncover cases of incitement to hatred," noting that, as George Orwell said, "totalitarian systems begin when you start controlling someone's vocabulary."
End of Brussels vs Silicon Valley EU plans technology regulation
The saliva test that promises to detect coronavirus in 20 seconds, fraud or reality?
The British startup iAbra has launched a test that detects the coronavirus in saliva and takes just 20 seconds to give the results.
This technology uses microscopic holographic images and artificial intelligence and is about to undergo clinical trials for medical use after a 3-week trial at London Heathrow Airport, according to Mobile Health News.
The procedure is simple: the person to be tested passes a stick through his mouth and then puts it in a black box. Inside this is a digital camera attached to a microscope that examines the sample for COVID-19. He gives the answer in seconds, the Financial Times says.
If it works correctly, this 'Virolens' test would be cheaper and faster than the PCRs that are currently made, which take between 12 and 24 hours to give a result.
The device is manufactured in Hartlepool, northwest England by the listed company TT Electronics, whose price per share has skyrocketed more than 40% after this test became known last week.
For this company, this manufacturing contract could involve a transformation. TT ELectronics CEO Richard Tyson tells The Financial Times he is impressed with this technology and thinks it can turn the picture around.
The British Heathrow Airport and Leidos, an American software company, were introduced a week ago as the" launch customers " of the iAbra test.
In fact, the company'S CEO, 33-year-old Greg Compton, had stated that there was a strong demand for the device from universities in the United States and that this test would mean "taking a step forward in the fight against COVID."
"Our system allows testing in a simpler, faster, more reliable and cheaper way in dynamic environments. In short, with the Virolens test, we can start the world again," Compton said in statements collected by Mobile Health News.
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport, said iAbra's technology is "potentially more accurate" than conventional PCR testing and even encouraged the British government to "accelerate this technology."
But not everything is gold that glitters: none of the employees of iAbra have experience in virology or microscopic techniques.
An expert consulted by the Financial Times has shown his concern after reading the company's statement, which suggests that the virus is "another cell", so it reveals "an oversight or a great ignorance".
In fact, both Heathrow Airport and Leidos have confirmed that they have not yet placed any orders for the tests, although the software company has acknowledged that it is in "active negotiations" with iAbra.
"If we have made a slight and minor editorial mistake [in the press release], I apologize for everyone, but deep down, we are trying to do something good for humanity as quickly as possible," Compton told The Financial Times.
The company also claimed that the Virolens system had a 99.8% sensitivity and a 96.7% according to a study by the University of Bristol, information that the academics of the institution have not long denied: they would have provided only samples of COVID-19.
As this information became known, TT Electronics shares plummeted more than 10% on Thursday.
"We are in a pandemic. People are dying of this disease and a company decides whether it is reasonable to contradict us in order to make their tests look the best, " says University of Birmingham biostatistics professor Jon Deeks in a statement to the Financial Times. "Legally they will probably get away with it, but there is no doubt that this is not morally acceptable."
Intel, which also announced its collaboration with iAbra, posted an article on its website about the test that has already been withdrawn.
There is one more company in contention: Lord Global Corporation, formerly known as Bigfoot Projects Inc, funds the distribution of Virolens tests in Australia, Latin America and Southeast Asia through the Australian company Key Options.
Lord Global Corporation has researched the famous monster for decades and its previous CEO, Tom Biscardi, claims to have seen it up to 7 times. Now, the company wants to change its name to 27Health Inc.