Nov 26, 2018

IBM CEO argues web platforms should be liable for content

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said Monday that governments should rethink laws that shield “dominant online platforms” from being sued or penalized over the content they host.

Why it matters: Rometty is the latest tech leader to call for tighter regulation on the industry, especially when it comes to platform companies like Facebook and Google. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” this month that new rules were “inevitable.” Making platforms liable for user content is one of the most aggressive options available to policymakers.

What they’re saying: “On liability, new thinking is needed,” Rometty said in Brussels. “Platforms which tolerate dissemination of illegal content should not be shielded from liability.”

  • She said that the company supported making platforms responsible for taking down terrorist content, and praised recent U.S. legislation that makes platforms liable if they knowingly publish content that enables sex trafficking of children.
  • In the United States, web platforms have been shielded from legal liability for user-contributed content by a 1996 law. Policymakers in Europe have had an easier time pitching speech-related restrictions in the absence of First Amendment-style protection for free expression.

The bigger picture: Rometty, like Cook, is trying to differentiate her company from Google and Facebook, whose ad platforms earn revenue in fundamentally different ways from IBM.

  • She said that in addition to liability for web platforms, European policymakers should focus on bringing more transparency to artificial intelligence.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy