Sep 22, 2021 • 10M

🗞️ Why we may get two separate internets

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Raad Ahmed
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Episode details

This week: Apple and Google are going separate ways on privacy, and Twitter owes investors big time because of a legal dispute. Plus, there’s a new antitrust focus, and it isn’t tech.

🔒 How privacy is changing our online experience

Are we headed for two separate internets?

It’s possible, according to the NYT, given a growing separation between how Apple and Google believe in privacy. 

  • The current version of the internet was built on ads: Giants like Facebook and Twitter have made billions off targeted advertising. They were able to thrive because the default option in top browsers and softwares from Google and Apple was for users to be tracked and for their information to be collected. 

  • Apple and Google are now changing their ways: Google will still allow for tracking but for less personal data to be made available. Apple has allowed for users to prevent themselves from being tracked entirely, and some 80% of users have opted out this year.

This is where we get the two internets

iPhone users will have an experience that feels more like the 90s or early 2000s, with less relevant and less targeted advertisements. Things won’t change nearly as much for Android users.

The Verdict

Regardless of whether Google goes as far as Apple, it could hurt Facebook. The company’s engineers are already working on targeted ads that are not reliant on data.

🛬 Antitrust comes to the friendly skies 

Believe it or not, there’s an antitrust action that doesn’t involve Big Tech.

American Airlines and JetBlue are slated to partner up, and the Department of Justice is fighting the alliance with an antitrust lawsuit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • The DOJ claims JetBlue’s and American’s partnership will lead to higher prices and fewer routes: The airlines, not surprisingly, say the opposite. They say that customers in their northeast hubs now have more options and lower prices. 

  • Airlines have often been the targets of DOJ concern: Nearly every big merger in recent years has led to a legal challenge. This one is slightly different because it’s not even a true merger. Each company will stay independent. But pretty much all those recent mergers have gone through (four airlines now command 80% of the market), and there isn’t much competition left, making the government nervous about any deals between airlines. 

Will this alliance go through, too?

History would suggest so, but the Biden Administration has obviously emphasized antitrust actions. In July, Biden signed an executive order announcing the need to ensure competition in the American economy and specifically highlighted the airline industry. 

The Verdict

Even if this gets through the DOJ, there may be more action to come. JetBlue had previously been looking for a merger partner.

💵 Twitter may owe nearly $1B for allegedly duping investors 

Twitter is finding out that it’s expensive to allegedly not explain the fine print to investors. 

  • The social media company switched how it reported metrics in 2014: According to a lawsuit, Twitter had previously reported an engagement metric that measured how many timers users refreshed their timelines but stopped doing so as the company experienced growing pains. Not only that, it started notifying dormant users messages to encourage them to sign in so they could count those users as active. 

  • The changes made Twitter look better than it was: At the time, Twitter was struggling to retain and attract users, and its stock floundered. 

The settlement

So earlier this week, Twitter agreed to fork over $809 million in damages. It denies any wrongdoing or improper actions. 

The Verdict

$809 million is a lot of money, but Twitter has arguably bigger headaches when it comes to privacy, Trump, and possible changes to Section 230. 

💌 What else we're forwarding

The early days of the Elizabeth Holmes trial: A former Theranos employee who was a key whistleblower was the prosecution’s early star witness, and you can get caught up here at The Verge. The trial is slated to last for the next several weeks. 

Big Law reopenings are looking less and less likely this year: The Delta variant may be declining, but that doesn’t mean law firms are headed back. Many Big Law firms are giving up on returning to the office in 2021.

💬 What we’re discussing

​One of the buzz phrases of the moment, legal ops is everywhere!

​Are you a GC who isn't sure how you could use a legal ops professional in your team? Or are you a legal ops specialist looking for tips and tricks on getting ahead? Join Deanna DeFrancesco (COO Legal, WeWork), Reeta Sharma (Legal Ops Lead, Notion), and Guilherme Tocci Salcedo (Global Legal Ops, Gympass) as they share their experiences!

​​It's an open discussion and attendees are more than welcome to participate in the conversation via Zoom. RSVP here to join the discussion tomorrow at 12pm PT / 3pm EST.

🎧 Music we’re working to

Today we’re listening to Silvia Pérez Cruz, a Spanish singer hailing from Catalonia. After winning a Goya Award in 2012 for best original song, she shot to fame across Europe. With her distinct flamenco style, her latest release Farsa (genero imposible) is an emotional album with the main focus on the voice, occasionally accompanied by a simple violin, piano, or classical guitar. The third track Mañana particularly stands out, along with Pena Salada, bring back the flamenco rhythm.

Farsa (genero imposible) - Silvia Pérez Cruz
Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music

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See ya next week!

✌🏽 Raad