Rachel Emeis

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Contributing Author & Director, US Innovators Policy Council

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OPINION: A bad Android decision would hurt developers

Unlike the billionaires driving this case, independent developers and startups are not organized or equipped to effectively represent themselves before the European Commission, and so the Developers Alliance has taken up their cause. Google is a member of the Alliance, it’s true, as is Facebook, Intel, Ford and a pair of U.S.-based Internet service providers. But that short list discounts the much larger list of members from mid-size developers to startups. Vinje, on the other hand, does not — and should not — speak for the developer community on Android or anything else.

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Consumers Download Apps They Can Trust

We’ve all heard of the Good Housekeeping seal. What if there was a seal for trusted developers; a mark to help consumers spot those apps and websites that follow sound data management and privacy practices? That’s the thinking behind a new project from the Developers Alliance.

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Dear Californians: You’re being misled

Please don’t actually read the proposed Consumer Privacy Act … Because I HAVE read the Consumer Privacy Act that’s being proposed in California, I can say with certainty that parts of it are bizarre. If you were to read it, you might find it reaches way, way, WAY further than you think. The message here is that while intentions are important, the details matter. A lot.

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Say Goodbye to App Stores

Two related items crossed my desktop today, either of which will seriously disrupt how developers use app stores to get their software to market. In the U.S., the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on whether Apple can be sued by consumers for the markup it places on applications purchased through its​ App Store. Meanwhile, in the EU, Google is defending Android from charges that its licensing arrangements, which require device pre-loading of select Google apps, are anti-competitive. The overlap is that Google’s Android alternative is likely to mimic the closed ecosystem that has Apple under fire, and which might be open to class-action lawsuits from multiple directions.

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EU Copyright Directive Could Have Same Global Impact as GDPR

Imagine if Github, a web-based platform that allows users to upload and share code, had to filter through each content upload before it was posted to ensure some part of it wasn’t already claimed by copyright holders. Imagine having to do that on your platform for each piece of public user uploaded content. That future is not far off if the European Parliament passes a copyright Directive set for a vote in mid-late June.

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There Is No Privacy without Encryption, Say EU Data Protection Authorities

Interesting news out of Europe, as the EU’s data protection authorities (Working Party 29) resoundingly endorsed end-to-end encryption as a “necessity” to protect personal privacy, and specifically rejected backdoors and key escrow by authorities. Score one for the people.Developers know that user trust relies on principles of Transparency, Security and Stewardship, and that there is no security without strong encryption.

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Developers: Five steps you can take NOW to prepare for the looming data privacy reboot

What follows is an introduction to the data and trust project that the Developers Alliance began in late 2017. Throughout 2018 the project will deliver developer insights, best practices with data, educational material to demystify data for users and policy makers, and a dialogue series to bring in experts and outside voices on the topic of data and privacy.

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Guest Post: The GDPR deadline is coming fast! Is your back end ready?

For now, count yourself fortunate. The rules are limited to companies who have personal data of people from or in Europe. But don’t get complacent. With the recent news surrounding data security and privacy, the US may not be far behind in enacting data privacy laws of our own. But that’s a subject for another blog post, hopefully a little further down the road.

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What can developers learn from the Cambridge Analytica cluster?

It seems that every other week a story emerges alleging that someone, somewhere, misused or mishandled someone’s data. And whether the real problem is a hacker, a rogue developer, or a sloppy business partner, the casualty is user trust, and the whole digital ecosystem suffers. We suffer. You suffer. Our industry suffers.

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