Will Europe Force a Facebook Blackout?

Facebook faces trouble in Europe—and Meta wants you to know about it. Every three months since June 2018, the company has used its financial results to warn that it could be forced to stop running Facebook and Instagram across the continent—potentially pulling its apps from millions of people and thousands of businesses—if it can’t send data between the EU and the US.

Whether Meta’s bluffing will become clear soon enough.

Data regulators are on the verge of making a historic ruling in a years-long case, and they are expected to say Facebook’s data transfers across the Atlantic should be blocked. For years, Meta has fought against European privacy activists over how data is sent to the US, with courts ruling multiple times that European data isn’t properly protected and can potentially be snooped on by the NSA and other US intelligence agencies.

While the case focuses on Meta, it has widespread ramifications, potentially impacting thousands of businesses across Europe that rely upon the services of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and more. At the same time, US and European negotiators are scrambling to finalize a long-awaited new data-sharing deal that will limit what information US intelligence agencies can get their hands on. If negotiators can’t get it right, people’s privacy will remain at risk and billions of dollars of trade will be put in jeopardy.

At the start of July, the Irish Data Protection Commission, Facebook’s main data regulator in Europe, issued a draft decision that would block Meta from sending data across the Atlantic. While the specifics of that draft decision aren’t known, if it is enacted, it could create a Facebook blackout across Europe.

Under the GDPR, Europe’s data law, countries across the continent get 30 days to scrutinize Ireland’s Meta decision and respond with any potential changes or complaints. That time is now up. A spokesperson for the Irish regulator says “some” objections have been received from a “small” number of other countries and it is working to address these. Experts say these are likely to be minor points of law, rather than overturning the entire decision.

So, how likely is it that Meta will actually pull its services from Europe? In reality, the chances are probably pretty slim. Meta has said it has “no desire” to leave the continent, going as far as publishing a blog post titled “Meta Is Absolutely Not Threatening to Leave Europe.” Europe’s 30-plus countries are a large market for Meta, and stopping services, even temporarily, could be costly. (A close comparison is when the company briefly banned news posts in Australia in early 2021, following a row with publishers.) While Meta may not leave Europe, it may have to make changes to how it stores and transfers data once the final decision from the Irish regulator is published, although there is no set timeline. It may also face a fine.

“My guess is that Meta is going to have to look at some form of geo-siloing if they want to continue to operate in the EU,” says Calli Schroeder, global privacy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a nonprofit digital rights research organization. Schroeder, who previously worked with companies on international data transfers, says this approach could mean Meta would have to create its own servers and data centers in the EU that aren’t connected to its broader databases.

Harshvardhan Pandit, a computer science research fellow at Trinity College Dublin who is researching the GDPR, says that as data authorities are still considering Meta’s case and a final decision hasn’t been published yet, they could include several caveats or steps that Meta should take to fall in line. For instance, one recent data protection decision in Europe gave a six-month period for a company to make changes to its business.

“I think the most pragmatic solution would be for them to create the European infrastructure, like Google or Amazon, which have quite a few data centers here,” Pandit says, adding that Meta could also introduce more encryption to how it stores data and maximize how much it keeps in the EU. All these measures would be costly, though. Jack Gilbert, director and associate general counsel at Meta, says that the issue “is in the process of being resolved.” Facebook did not respond specifically to questions about its plan to respond to the Irish decision.

European officials have twice ruled that systems put in place to share data between the EU and US don’t properly protect people’s data—the complaints have been ongoing since the early 2010s. European courts ruled that international data-sharing agreements weren’t up to scratch first in 2015 and then again in July 2020, when the Privacy Shield agreement was ruled illegal.

“All that the EU is asking for when organizations transfer data to other countries is to protect that data in line with the GDPR,” says Nader Henein, a research vice president specializing in privacy and data protection at Gartner. “The issue is that laws in the US that protect the data of ‘nonresident aliens’ are woefully insufficient and make it very difficult for organizations like Facebook to comply with local law and the GDPR.”

While Meta is the focus of the most high-profile complaint, it isn’t the only company impacted by a lack of clarity on how companies in Europe can send data to the US. “The data transfer issue is not Meta-specific,” David Wehner, Meta’s chief strategy officer, said in a July earnings call. “It relates to how in general data is transferred for all US and EU companies back and forth to the US.”

googThe impacts of the July 2020 decision to get rid of Privacy Shield are now being felt. Since January of this year, multiple European data regulators have ruled that using Google Analytics, the company’s traffic-monitoring service for websites, falls foul of the GDPR. Danish authorities went even further: Schools can’t use Chromebooks without restrictions being put in place. “There is a ton of legal uncertainty, and there is a significant compliance risk,” says Gabriela Zanfir-Fortuna, vice president of global privacy at Future of Privacy Forum, a nonprofit think tank.

Politicians are well aware of the problems. In March, US president Joe Biden and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework, which will change the way data is sent between the EU and US. The deal, which will be introduced by executive order, will limit what data US intelligence agencies can access and will create a new system where Europeans can complain if they think they’ve been illegally spied upon by US agencies.

However, since the deal was announced, no specifics—including any legal texts—have been published. In June, officials said the deal could be published in the coming weeks, but so far, there has been little public progress. The US Department of Commerce says discussions are still taking place, including a meeting between both sides last week. (A European Commission spokesperson says work on the new agreement is ongoing, but they do not have a timeline that can be shared.) The longer the negotiations take, the more blocking orders will drop. “Obviously, if that framework is not complete, we would be in jeopardy of being able to transfer data,” Facebook’s Wehner said earlier this year.

The deal is likely to take a while yet. “Realistically, at this point, we’re looking at a potential adequacy decision for this Trans-Atlantic data transfers framework sometime next year—maybe the first quarter of next year,” Zanfir-Fortuna says. Once the details have been published, EU officials will spend months scrutinizing the specifics to see if they fall in line with court orders.

And they won’t be the only ones pouring over it. Privacy activists and lawyers will also be looking at the agreement and could launch further legal challenges if they find that data moving from Europe to the US still isn’t protected strongly enough. “The continued challenges are not unwarranted, particularly considering the Snowden revelations and the prevalence of Big Tech firms coming out of the US,” Schroeder says. “As a whole, America really needs to make sure we rise to the challenge of showing that we can be good stewards of the industry that we’re trying to be leaders in.”

By:

Source: Will Europe Force a Facebook Blackout? | WIRED UK

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Meta’s Latest Privacy Scandal Includes Hospitals Sending Patient Data

You can’t see them, but Meta’s trackers are embedded in millions of websites all over the internet, collecting data about where you go and what you do and sending it back to Meta. A recent investigation shows that those trackers are on sites that even the most cynical among us might expect to be off-limits: those belonging to hospitals, including patient portals that are supposed to be protected by health privacy laws.

This week, the Markup, a nonprofit news outlet that covers technology’s harms, has been publishing the latest findings of its investigation into Meta’s Pixels, which are pieces of code developers can embed on websites to track their visitors. So far, those stories reveal how websites owned by the government, pregnancy counseling centers, and hospitals are sending data to Meta through Pixels, much of which would be considered sensitive to the users who unwittingly provided it.

It’s easy and understandable to blame Meta for this, given the company’s much-deserved, less-than-stellar reputation on user privacy. In Pixel and other trackers, Meta has played an instrumental role in building the privacy-free, data-leaking online world we must navigate today. The company supplies a tracking system designed to suck up user data from millions of sites and spin it into advertising gold, and it knows very well that there are many cases where the tool was implemented poorly at best and abused at worst.

But this may also be a rare case of a Meta-related privacy scandal that isn’t entirely Meta’s fault, partly because Meta has done its best to place that blame elsewhere. Or, as security researcher Zach Edwards put it: “Facebook wants to have their data cake and not eat the violations, too.” Businesses choose to put Meta’s trackers on their websites and apps, and they choose again which data about their visitors to send up to the social media giant.

There’s simply no good excuse, in this day and age, for developers that use Meta’s business tools not to understand how they work or what user data is being sent through them. At the very least, developers shouldn’t put them on health appointment scheduling pages or inside patient portals, which users have every reason to expect not to be secretly sending their data to nosy third parties because they’re often explicitly told by those sites that they aren’t. Meta created a monster, but those websites are feeding it.

How Pixel makes tracking too easy

Meta makes Pixel available, free of charge, to businesses to embed in their sites. Pixel collects and sends site visitor data to Meta, and Meta can match this to a user’s profile on Facebook or Instagram, giving it that much more insight into that user. (There are also cases where Meta collects data about people who don’t even have Meta accounts.) Some data, like a visitor’s IP address, is collected by Meta automatically. But developers can also set Pixel up to track what it calls “events”: various actions users take on the site.

That may include links they click on or responses in forms they fill out, and it helps businesses better understand users or focus on specific behaviors or actions. All this data can then be used to target ads at those people, or to create what’s known as “lookalike audiences.” This involves a business asking Meta to send ads to people who Meta believes are similar to its existing customers. The more data Meta gets from businesses through those trackers, the better it should be able to target ads.

Meta may also use that data to improve its own products and services. Businesses may use Pixel data for analytics to improve their products and services as well. Businesses (or the third-party vendors they contract to build out their sites or run advertising campaigns) have a lot of control over what data about their customers Meta gets. The Markup discovered that, on some of the sites in its report, hospital website appointment pages were sending Meta the name of someone making an appointment, the date and time of the appointment, and which doctor the patient is seeing.

If that’s happening, that’s because someone on the hospital’s end set Pixel up to do that. Either the hospital didn’t do its due diligence to protect that data or it didn’t consider it to be data worth protecting. Or perhaps it assumed that Meta’s tools would stop the company from collecting or using any sensitive data that was sent to it. In its most recent hospital investigation, the Markup found that a third of the hospitals it looked at from a list of the top 100 hospitals in the country had a Pixel on appointment scheduling pages, and seven health systems had Pixels in their patient portals. Several of the websites removed Pixel after being contacted by the Markup.

How can a hospital justify any of this? The only hospital that gave the Markup a detailed response, Houston Methodist, claimed that it didn’t believe it was sending protected health information to Meta. The Markup found that the hospital’s site told Meta when someone clicked “schedule appointment,” which doctor they scheduled the appointment for, and even that the doctor was found by searching “home abortion.”

But Houston Methodist said scheduling an appointment didn’t mean the appointment was ever confirmed, nor that the person who scheduled the appointment was the person that appointment was actually for. Houston Methodist might think it isn’t violating patient privacy, but its patients may well feel differently. But they’d also have no way of knowing this was happening in the first place without using special tools or having a certain level of technical knowledge. Houston Methodist has since removed the Pixel.

Another health system the Markup looked at, Novant Health, said in a statement that the Pixel was placed by a third-party vendor for a campaign to get more people to sign up for its patient portal system, and was only used to see how many people signed up. But the Markup found far more data than what was being sent to Meta, including medications that users listed and their sexual orientations. That third-party vendor appears to have made some mistakes here, but Novant’s the one that has a duty to its patients to keep their information private on websites that promise to do so. Not the third-party vendor, and not Meta.

This is not to let Meta off the hook. Again, it created the Pixel tracking system, and while it has rules and tools that are supposed to prevent certain types of sensitive information — like health conditions — from being sent to it, the Markup’s reports are evidence that those measures aren’t enough.

Meta told Recode in a statement that “our system is designed to filter out potentially sensitive data it detects.” But the Markup found those filters lacking when it came to data from at least one crisis pregnancy center’s website. Meta didn’t respond to Recode’s questions about what it does if it finds that a business is violating its rules. Edwards, the security researcher, was even less charitable about how much blame Meta should get here. “It’s 100 percent Facebook’s fault, in my opinion,” he said.

Meta also didn’t respond to questions from Recode asking what it does to ensure businesses are following its policies, or what it does with the sensitive information businesses aren’t supposed to send it. As it stands, it looks as though Meta is making and distributing a tracking tool that can materially benefit Meta. But if that tool is exploited or used incorrectly, someone else is responsible. The only people who pay the price for that, it seems, are the site visitors whose privacy is unknowingly invaded.

What you can do to avoid Pixel

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself here. Browsers like Safari, Firefox, and Brave offer tracker blockers. Todd Feathers, one of the reporters on the Markup’s hospital story, told Recode they used Chrome browsers with no privacy extensions for their tests. Speaking of privacy extensions, you can get those, too. VPNs and Apple’s paid private relay service can obscure your IP address from the sites you visit.

Finally, Meta has controls that limit tracking and ad targeting off of its platforms. The company claims that turning off “data about your activity from partners” or “off-Facebook activity” will stop it from using data collected by Pixel from being used to target ads to you. This means placing some trust in Meta that its privacy tools do what it claims they do.

And there’s always, of course, asking your lawmaker to push for privacy laws that would make some of these practices explicitly illegal, or forcing companies to inform and get user consent before collecting and sending their data to anyone else. A few new federal privacy bills or draft bills have been introduced as recently as this week. The interest is there among some members of Congress, but not in enough of them to come close to passing anything yet.

Source: Meta’s latest privacy scandal includes hospitals sending patient data – Vox

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Mozilla slams a big Safari privacy feature, calling it ‘a poor trade-off’

Didi makes privacy fixes to ousted apps in run-up to restoring them – SCMP

14:40 Wed, 15 JunFirefox Browsers Internet
20:19 Thu, 16 JunFacebook Meta Internet
16:39 Sat, 18 JunData Protection
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Facebook Rethinks News Deals and Publishers Could Lose Millions

Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook is re-examining its commitment to paying for news, people familiar with the matter said, prompting some news organizations to prepare for a potential revenue shortfall of tens of millions of dollars.

The company has paid average annual fees of more than $15 million to the Washington Post, just over $20 million to the New York Times, and more than $10 million to The Wall Street Journal, according to people familiar with the matter. The Journal fee is part of a broader Facebook News deal largely negotiated by parent company Dow Jones & Co., including annual compensation worth more than $20 million, people familiar with the partnership said.

At the heart of these deals is Facebook’s dedicated News section, which curates a selection of free articles for readers. Facebook, which pays news publishers to feature their content without a paywall, in 2019 agreed to three-year deals with various publishers that are set to expire this year.

Facebook hasn’t provided publishers with any indication that it plans to re-up the partnerships in their current form, or at all, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is looking to shift its investments away from news and toward products that attract creators such as short-form video producers to compete with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, according to some of the people. The company is also investing heavily in the metaverse, as highlighted by its recent name change to Meta.

Also, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been disappointed by regulatory efforts around the world looking to force platforms like Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google to pay publishers for any news content available on their platforms, people familiar with the matter said. Such moves have damped Mr. Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm for making news a bigger part of Facebook’s offerings, they said.

Last month, Campbell Brown, the former NBC and CNN journalist who was the architect of Facebook News, announced she took on a new, broader role overseeing global media partnerships, which encompasses tie-ups with everything from sports leagues to film studios.The Information earlier reported that Facebook was reconsidering its payments to publishers and shifting its emphasis.

If Facebook pulls back on its payments to U.S. news publishers, it would represent the end of a certain detente in the fraught relationship between online content makers and the social-media giant.

Publishers that have struggled to compete for digital ad revenue with Google and Facebook have criticized the tech giants for not paying for the news content that is featured and shared on their platforms. Dow Jones parent News Corp. was among the most vocal critics.

The Journal gets the bulk of the Dow Jones payments, which are made up mostly of cash but also include other forms of compensation, such as credits for marketing on Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal encompasses other Dow Jones publications as well as the New York Post, which is owned by News Corp.

Many other U.S. news publishers are getting payments from Facebook to have their content featured in its news tab, but they only get a fraction of the sums paid to the Washington Post, the New York Times and Dow Jones, according to people familiar with the matter. Facebook is paying more for access to paywalled content, while publishers whose stories are accessible for free are getting less money, a person familiar with the deals said. The smaller deals usually are for less than $3 million a year, the people said.

Dow Jones, the New York Times and the Washington Post declined to comment. The Times last year had revenue of $2.1 billion, while Dow Jones reported $1.7 billion in revenue for its last fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2021.

Facebook announced the launch of Facebook News—which users can find as a tab on the mobile app or website, similar to the Facebook Watch tab for video—in the fall of 2019, on the heels of widespread criticism about the impact that Facebook and Google’s growing share of the digital ad market was having on news organizations—particularly local ones. By 2018, Facebook and Google were getting 77% of the digital advertising revenue in local markets, and 1,800 U.S. newspapers had closed down since 2004.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
META n.a. 175.57 -8.43 -4.58%

All the while, Facebook was facing a continuing regulatory onslaught around the world. Regulators in the European Union, France, the U.K., Australia and the U.S. took steps aimed at forcing the platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay publishers for news content available on their services. Facebook opposed a law that passed in Australia so vehemently that it moved to block the publication of any news story on its platform in the country.

In the process, it also ended up shutting down the Facebook pages of many of Australia’s health, charity and emergency services for five days—a move that whistleblowers allege was deliberate and that Facebook described as an accident.

This spring, a revamped version of the U.S. legislation aimed at forcing the platforms to negotiate payment with publishers began circling in Congress, this time with a provision that would require the platforms to engage in baseball-style, “final offer” arbitration—the same measure that prompted Facebook to pull news in Australia. Canada, meanwhile, recently proposed a law modeled on Australia’s.

Source: Facebook rethinks news deals and publishers could lose millions | Fox Business

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B2B PR Tips: How To Leverage Earned, Owned, Paid, and Shared Media For Lead Generation

You’re always looking for positive ways to promote your B2B company. In your search, you’ve likely come across the following terms: earned media, owned media, shared media, and paid media. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you’re using at least one of these top PR strategies.

However, if you’re a bit fuzzy on what these terms actually mean, or if you just need a refresher course, read on — it’s coming your way.

In this post, we will:

  1. Define Earned, Owned, Shared and Paid media
  2. Discuss how to leverage each of them
  3. Give you some B2B PR tips on how to combine all four methods to generate leads
  4. Define the Top 8 tips to bring big ideas to your B2B PR strategy.

1. Earned, Owned, Shared, and Paid Media Defined

Earned Media

“A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

In a nutshell, earned media is:

Publicity gained from word of mouth, online reviews, and blogger, press, and influencer relations. It’s a third-party endorsement of your brand.

How to Leverage Earned Media:

We’ll start with earned media because it can be one of the trickiest to master. The reason is that you have less control over this type of media. You can’t simply ask someone to plug your product or service. As the name suggests, you must earn it.

How can you do this without sounding, well… sleazy, clingy, desperate?

Simply put, you need to to be a friend to get a friend.

If you want to get noticed by bloggers who will promote your brand, start by reaching out to those whose work you truly admire. These are the ones that whose email updates make it past your trash file. The ones who get you thinking about your industry and who inspire you.

Reach out to these bloggers via social media and leave comments on their posts. Next, join HARO (help a reporter out). This service notifies you when a reporter is looking for an industry expert to quote in a piece.

Lastly, make it easy for others to like you by responding graciously on social media sites, leaving positive LinkedIn endorsements for those you’ve collaborated with on projects, and promoting thought leaders on social media.

Owned Media

Owned media is content that you have created and that you own. Examples of owned media include:

Blog posts, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, case studies, ebooks, and your website.

How to Leverage Owned Media:

Owned media is your PR paradise. You have complete control over how to create and use each piece of content you create. However, there has to be a method to your madness.

“Think like a publisher, not a marketer.” – David Meerman Scott, marketing and leadership speaker

Here are a few tips to get your owned media going in the right direction:

  • Create a purpose for each piece of content. Are you trying to get new leads? Nurture existing leads? Increase brand awareness?
  • Include plenty of visual content, such as videos, images, GIFs, infographics. Mix it up a bit.
  • Write for both search engines and people. When you write a headline, ask yourself if you would click on it. Better yet, ask someone else.
  • Attach analytics to each piece of content in order to gauge interest in the topic you’re promoting.

Shared Media

Shared media, also known as social media, has become one of the most popular and cost effective PR platforms. It includes:

Postings to social sharing sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

How to Leverage Shared Media:

With new changes to social platforms coming in almost daily, it can be hard to keep up. However, there are a few good rules of thumb that remain unchanged.

This one isn’t too difficult to figure out! However, it has changed over the years. While you might think of paid media as print, TV, or radio advertising, it has evolved into something much more digital and direct.

Today, effective means of paid media include:

  • Native advertising
  • Social media campaigns
  • Google Adwords
  • Retargeting

How to Leverage Paid Media:

Paid media is the one method many don’t want to acknowledge. Perhaps it’s because they see so many other effective PR methods that are virtually free.

However, paid media is equally important. One reason for this is because paid media is a better bet when searching for new buyers that never heard of your brand.

Paid social media campaigns for example can reach those who are interested in your industry, not just in your personal brand. These prospects may not be searching for you online, but now Facebook has made them aware of your presence without their ever navigating off the same page they use to communicate with loved ones.

Likewise, paying to have your blog posts distributed via native advertising allows your expertise to reach a wide audience. Learn more about how that works in my recent blog post on native advertising.

Each PR method can certainly be used as a stand alone product. However, they really shine when combined into a single effort. Let’s take a look at how that might work.

Let’s start with a great piece of owned media, say a blog post. In a perfect world, this blog post would attract your best leads and prospects all on its own. However, the truth is that it’s unlikely to be noticed unless you put a little effort into its promotion.

Next, you’ll want to promote the post on social, or shared, media. This isn’t a one-time deal, either. Rather, you need to promote the post over the following days, weeks, and even months in order for it to gain decent traction.

Once you see that your piece of content has been well-received, you’ll know that you’ve hit a hot topic. You can then begin to promote it using paid media, in the form of Twitter or Facebook campaigns.

Carefully gaining traction in this way adds to your credibility as a thought leader in your industry. It’s then that you’ll start to see your earned media come through for you.

Top 8 Tips to Bring Big Ideas to Your B2B PR

1. Work Backwards from a Clear End Goal

Start with your end vision. What would you like to accomplish as a company? A great way to bring an idea to life is by starting with the end-product. A key component to your vision might be to write down that dream headline that you would like to see when your vision comes to fruition.

For instance, would you like to get press coverage for your involvement in charity? Then start big. Imagine the successful headline that will put you on the front page. It could be something like, “Local B2B Firm Meets Goal of Feeding 1,000 Hungry Families.”

Have you already thought of your dream headline? Once you have it, work back from there. Set smaller, more manageable goals that will help you reach that big headline. You’ll find it easier to get more people on board and involved when you have a set end-goal to pursue.

2. Invite Influencers to Contribute to Your Content

Influencers are a big deal in niche industries, and can amplify your content’s reach. While it may be difficult to get an influencer on-board for a full guest post, it’s a much easier task to get a blurb or pro tip from an influencer that you can then leverage within your content.
Imagine the power behind such blog posts as,

“15 Pro Tips From the Security Industry’s Leading Experts” or “[Influencer’s name] Weighs in on the Biggest Problem Facing the Security industry.”

Once you have this content locked down, you can leverage your influencer involvement to promote it. Build anticipation for the content by talking it up on social media before it is released. Once it’s out, tag the influencers involved on social media so that they can share it with their audience. Share it several times to ensure that the maximum amount of people get a chance to read it.

3. Make Your Content Recyclable and Magnetic

Your content shouldn’t have an end-date. Once you hit publish, there’s plenty you can do to extend its usefulness. For example, make it easily shareable. Create click to tweet links of several important snippets of your content that people can easily share on Twitter. Create social media images with influential parts of your content that others in your industry will be interested in sharing.

4. Find Content That’s Already Popular…and Make It Better

It can sometimes feel like your competitors have all the successful content. But you can use this to your advantage. Use programs like BuzzSumo and SEMrush to find what content is currently blowing up within your industry. Then take that piece of content and give it an all-star upgrade. Amplify its value with a more modern design, in-depth content, and even additional pro tips.

Once you have a superior piece of content, it’s time to distribute it like crazy. Use social media and email marketing to get as many eyes on it as possible.

And don’t forget to use this content to shine a light on new content. Include a link to just-published content within your popular post. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of hanging out with the popular kids. The goal is that some of that fairy dust will end up on the new content.

5. Focus on Big Pieces of Content

One large, high-quality piece of content is going to outperform 10 other lower quality pieces of content put together. To accomplish this, your content creation should begin with a solid content strategy that aims at truly high-quality content, as well as promotion of that content. In-depth content such as eBooks and guides may take more time to put together, but in the end, will lead to increased credibility and owned media potential.

6. Leverage Special Content for Visitors Who Share

Sharing isn’t just for kids. When readers share your content on their social networks, this is PR gold. But how do you convince readers to share?

Instead of your traditional gated content that requires the user to input his or her contact information, why not make special content downloadable in exchange for a social share? People get the free e-book (or video, or case study) once they share their download announcement on social media. This gives them the content they want, and boosts the recognition of your brand at the same time—a clear win-win situation.

7. Test the Waters for Big Events

Events are a key way to establish yourself as a thought leader and industry authority. But this is sometimes easier said than done — it can be overwhelming to jump feet first into a large-scale event. Make it easier on yourself by testing the waters first with a smaller event.

It doesn’t have to be a large, fancy affair. Make it more intimate and less structured. Invite a wide range of people to participate — perhaps include an industry analyst, someone from the media, a business customer, and an author, to speak on a current industry topic or trend. This kind of environment can foster many thought leadership quality discussions that you will have been responsible for creating.

Then, if all goes well, you can start planning a larger-scale event that will no doubt garner more attention.

8. Become Part of a Niche Community

While it’s great to participate in larger industry communities, don’t ignore the power that the smaller niche communities (such as on LinkedIn) hold for your content promotion. Oftentimes, participating in smaller, niche communities can give you more of a chance to engage with and provide value to others in your industry.

Participation in these communities allows you to establish yourself as an industry expert, create brand awareness, and share your valuable content. There’s even a chance that your content may be chosen for syndication by other blogs and publications in your niche. In short, these smaller communities are a great stepping stone on your way to bigger, thought leadership opportunities.

Key Points to Remember in Your B2B PR

  • Include influencer input in small ways to attract more attention from a wider audience.
  • Use popular content from competitors to create even better, more in-depth content.
  • Prepare yourself for hosting a large event by starting with a small, intimate one.
  • Get involved in smaller, niche communities where you will have more opportunities to engage and be heard.

Just because you are a small B2B business doesn’t mean that your B2B PR ideas have to follow suit. Use these 8 B2B PR tactics to start thinking big and you’ll amplify your content’s influence and achieve thought leadership success.

By: Wendy Marx

Source: Leverage Earned, Owned, Paid, & Shared Media

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How a Few Thoughtless Words About Privacy Led To Huge Political and Economic Headaches

 
 

One of the most surprising developments in recent years is how privacy – something that by definition is about small, intimate things – has become a major global force in the spheres of economics and politics. Perhaps the clearest demonstration of that transformation involves data flows across the Atlantic, and the Austrian lawyer and activist Max Schrems.

As the New York Times reported in 2015, Schrems was a 24-year-old student studying at the Santa Clara School of Law in California, when lawyers from Silicon Valley came to talk to students about their companies’ approach to privacy. Schrems was “taken aback” when he heard them say that they didn’t take Europe’s privacy laws very seriously, since companies rarely faced any significant penalties for breaking them.

What was probably just an off-the-cuff remark by a lawyer touched Schrems, an Austrian national, personally. It spurred him to investigate how Facebook dealt with EU data protection laws. In particular, Schrems asked to see all the data the company had collected from him, as he was entitled to do under EU privacy laws.

He was surprised to see that Facebook had retained information that he had deleted, including highly personal matters. Schrems filed various complaints with the Irish Data Protection Commission, which regulates Facebook in the EU because Facebook’s European headquarters are located in Ireland.

The revelation by Edward Snowden in 2013 that the US National Security Agency could access the personal data of EU citizens, thanks to the Prism program, led to another privacy complaint by Schrems, which concerned the transfer of his personal data from the EU to the US.

Under the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, which preceded today’s better-known General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), that was only permitted if the receiving country offered “an adequate level of protection of the data”. Schrems claimed that Snowden’s leaks revealed that the US did not offer the necessary level of protection.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s highest court, agreed with him, and ruled that the Safe Harbor framework agreed between the US and the EU to legalise the transfer of personal data was invalid. That ruling made the transfers to the US of personal data concerning EU citizens much harder, since companies could not depend on the Safe Harbor framework.

To remedy the situation, a replacement for the Safe Harbor scheme was agreed between the US and the EU. However, as PIA blog reported in 2020 the Privacy Shield was also sunk by the CJEU, largely on the same grounds as before.

Since then, the US and EU have been working hard to come up with a third framework to allow the smooth transfer of EU personal data in a way that is legal under the GDPR. Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic were becoming seriously concerned about the delay. The US Chamber of Commerce of Commerce and BusinessEurope issued a joint statement on the topic, which includes the following:

We call on the European Commission and on the U.S. Administration to swiftly conclude a robust new framework for data transfers, addressing the problems which led to the invalidation of the Privacy Shield, and upholding our shared transatlantic values of privacy and security.

Finalizing a new agreement will not only provide a legal mechanism that is accessible to small and medium-sized businesses but also will remove growing uncertainty around the role of standard contractual clauses, which are relied upon for the bulk of cross-border data flows. We are confident that a new agreement is within reach that can provide long-term legal certainty and will in turn yield increased innovation, cooperation, and growth across the transatlantic economy.

Indeed, the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has just announced that the EU and US have “found an agreement in principle on a new framework for transatlantic data flows.” However, there are few details yet. In particular, it is not clear whether it can deal with the fallout of an important recent judgment handed down by the US Supreme Court. An opinion piece in The Hill explains:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this month in FBI v. Fazaga, a case challenging FBI surveillance, will make it significantly harder for people to pursue surveillance cases, and for U.S. and European Union (EU) negotiators to secure a lasting agreement for transatlantic transfers of private data.

The justices gave the U.S. government more latitude to invoke “state secrets” in spying cases. But ironically, that victory undercuts the Biden administration’s efforts to show that the United States has sufficiently strong privacy protections to sustain a new Privacy Shield agreement — unless Congress steps in now.

The future “Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework” has “a new multi-layer redress mechanism”, and specifies that “intelligence collection may be undertaken only where necessary to advance legitimate national security objectives, and must not disproportionately impact the protection of individual privacy and civil liberties”.

However, without full details of how those will work in practice, it’s impossible to say whether it is likely that the CJEU would rule that the new framework is invalid, as it did for the other two. Max Schrems has already indicated that he or others will bring a legal challenge if the new framework seems to offer insufficient safeguards.

Without a valid framework, companies will be forced to come up with expensive and messy ad hoc solutions that will act as a significant obstacle to the frictionless flow of personal data across the Atlantic. And all because of a few words said by a lawyer in front of one particular student.

By: Glyn Moody

Source: How a Few Thoughtless Words about Privacy Led to Huge Political and Economic Headaches for the US and EU political and economic headache

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Critics:

By: Cameron F. Kerry

Recent congressional hearings and data breaches have prompted more legislators and business leaders to say the time for broad federal privacy legislation has come. Cameron Kerry presents the case for adoption of a baseline framework to protect consumer privacy in the U.S.

Most recent proposals for privacy legislation aim at slices of the issues this explosion presents. The Equifax breach produced legislation aimed at data brokers. Responses to the role of Facebook and Twitter in public debate have focused on political ad disclosure, what to do about bots, or limits to online tracking for ads.

Most state legislation has targeted specific topics like use of data from ed-tech products, access to social media accounts by employers, and privacy protections from drones and license-plate readers. Facebook’s simplification and expansion of its privacy controls and recent federal privacy bills in reaction to events focus on increasing transparency and consumer choice. So does the newly enacted California Privacy Act.

Our existing laws developed as a series of responses to specific concerns, a checkerboard of federal and state laws, common law jurisprudence, and public and private enforcement that has built up over more than a century.

It began with the famous Harvard Law Review article by (later) Justice Louis Brandeis and his law partner Samuel Warren in 1890 that provided a foundation for case law and state statutes for much of the 20th Century, much of which addressed the impact of mass media on individuals who wanted, as Warren and Brandeis put it, “to be let alone.”

The advent of mainframe computers saw the first data privacy laws adopted in 1974 to address the power of information in the hands of big institutions like banks and government: the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act that gives us access to information on credit reports and the Privacy Act that governs federal agencies.

Today, our checkerboard of privacy and data security laws covers data that concerns people the most. These include health data, genetic information, student records and information pertaining to children in general, financial information, and electronic communications (with differing rules for telecommunications carriers, cable providers, and emails).

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