As time progresses, we can see that although there is a need for technology and cybersecurity in our everyday lives, it also must be regulated. This year is no exception for big technology-related battles – in Washington, in courts, and in markets.
After a presidential election in which hacking and email security dominated many conversations, we can expect to see both efforts by Congress to pass various legislation related to cybersecurity and pushback from various entities within technology industry. Consumer use of encryption is likely to be one of the areas seeing significant disagreements. President Donald Trump, for example, sided with the FBI when it demanded that Apple create a backdoor in iPhone security earlier this year.
You’re probably sick of hearing about IoT at this point, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As consumers and businesses continue to adopt smart devices at a growing rate, and in light of IoT malware that caused major Internet disruptions this past fall, there will likely be a battle between regulators and industry brands with consumers and some manufacturers. Consumers want cheap devices, but the government, industry groups, and cybersecurity professionals want IoT devices to be made with some minimal security capabilities in order to prevent DDoS attacks. Adding features such as security improvements costs money, something that consumers do not like to spend on features about which they do not care.
Will Comcast slow your Netflix or charge you more to watch YouTube? These concerns fueled a massive populist campaign culminating in 2015, when federal regulators set sweeping rules prohibiting internet providers from discriminating against — or offering preferential treatment to — certain types of content on the web. Telecom giants mounted an intense legal challenge to the net neutrality rules earlier this year, but a federal court sided with the government and open internet advocates. Broadband providers and industry groups still haven’t backed down, however, and many are not sure what stance Trump will choose to take on this.
Fake news and Facebook’s say in it
When he first confronted charges that fake news on Facebook influenced the presidential election, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed it as a “pretty crazy idea.” Since then, Facebook has announced a host of initiatives to curb the spread of fake news on its platform, including partnering with third-party fact checkers to verify and flag fake news. The debate over fake news highlights just how influential Facebook has become — now that it’s a major source for news, many media outlets depend on it to distribute their stories, and it’s shaping public debate on key political issues. It’s unlikely that Facebook’s growing influence over the distribution of news will provoke US policymakers to action, but as the company’s choices invite changes in the way politicians, partisan organizations, and voters communicate around the world, the news media and Facebook’s own users may compel the social network to examine its influence over what people see and believe.