This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes: sex trafficking law could change online landscape; Trump’s tech tariffs; and more.
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Trump to target tech with tariffs
Tough trade rhetoric is quickly turning into reality, as the administration of United States President Donald Trump is expected to announce tariffs on “a list of advanced technology Chinese imports,” according to a report from Reuters.
The products listed are on the “Made in China 2025” list and include: “advanced information technology, robotics, aircraft, shipbuilding and marine engineering, advanced rail equipment, new energy vehicles, electrical generation equipment, agricultural machinery, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials.”
An online sex trafficking act could impact online activity
The recently passed Stop Enabling Online Sex Trafficking Act is expected to change the “bedrock rules” of online communication and commerce, according to a report from Wired. The change was opposed by tech giants like Google.
The report notes tech companies, which have opposed the greater liability for sex trafficking included in the changes, have reacted differently than hotel companies have.
Mary Leary, a law professor at Catholic University, said in travel and hotel companies, “We haven’t seen a massive industry-wide effort to not ‘know.’ In fact, we’ve seen them becoming leaders, saying, ‘I am going to engage in reasonable efforts like training my staff and developing protocols.’”
The rise of automation software
More and more businesses are seeing a rise in the use of “software robots,” notes The Wall Street Journal, saying they are now commonplace with companies like Ernst & Young and Wal-Mart.
EY deploys bots for repetitive functions like answering human resources-related questions.
“We’re saving (employees) from repetitive tasks that they tend to enjoy less, and freeing them up to do more meaningful, thought-intensive more focused human work,” said Jeff Wong, global chief innovation officer of EY.
Tech sector expects blockchain to solve many problems
Technology has introduced several problems into our world, and some in the tech sector think blockchain can solve those problems, according to a report from The New York Times. The technology, created in 2009 as the backbone for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, acts as “a new kind of database … where all transactions could be stored without any banks or governments involved.”
Some feel creative deployments of blockchain could help address some of the privacy concerns arising in our increasingly connected society.
“People feel the need to move away from something like Facebook and toward something that allows them to have ownership of their own data,” Ryan Shea, a co-founder of Blockstack, a New York company working with blockchain technology, told the Times.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.