Apr 28, 2017

Microsoft hires former FTC Commissioner to oversee privacy

Kim Hart, author of Cities

Michel Euler / AP

Microsoft has hired former FTC Commissioner Julie Brill to oversee privacy and data protection issues, reporting directly to the company's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith.

Why it matters: Brill's hire signals how important big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning are to the tech giant's future, and the crucial role privacy and security play in keeping consumers' trust. Microsoft says Brill will work closely with its engineering teams to build privacy protections into cloud and other services.

Background: Brill served at the FTC from 2010-2016, and most recently co-led the Global Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group at law firm Hogan Lovells in DC. Her new gig will be based in Redmond.

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Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

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Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.

NYPD commissioner: "I'm extremely proud" of officers' response to protests

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea in February. Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a public statement Sunday that he is "extremely proud" of the New York City Police Department's response to protests over the death of George Floyd Saturday night, writing: "What we saw in New York City last night and the night before was not about peaceful protest of any kind."

Why it matters: New York City residents captured several instances of police officers using excessive force against demonstrators. In one video, two NYPD SUVs are seen ramming into protesters who were blocking a road and throwing traffic cones at the vehicles.