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Hood meets with DOJ to discuss tech issues

Attorney General Jim Hood. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications.

Earlier this week Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood met with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, other AG’s from across the nation and the Department of Justice to discuss antitrust and privacy issues with big technology companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

As these companies continue to become a staple in everyday life, these parties are attempting to determine laws that protect personal information. Hood said as AG’s, they have privacy authority under ‘Consumer Protection Acts’ as well as ‘Antitrust Acts’ in the state, so that was their primary focus.

“It used to be the federal government was big brother; now it’s the tech companies,” said Hood. “They now know more about us than we know about ourselves.”

Hood’s discussion with Sessions focused on the ability to block out content such as child pornography on the internet. He said these companies have the capability to do it but are failing to do so.

“Germany makes you block out the word ‘Nazi’, so if you type in ‘Nazi’ you don’t get any results in Germany,” said Hood. “They have that capability, but the wizard behind the curtain manipulates that algorithm, so that any product or company that they own, they can’t buy. They will push them down in the search results and that’s the problem. ”

Hood stated that the internet is a dangerous place, and went on to describe it as the ‘wild, wild west’.

“There’s no federal agencies that just police the internet, so it’s fallen that we AG’s try to do as best as we can and not completely disrupt their business models,” said Hood.

The AG’s used certain cell phone applications as an example of a privacy issue they would like to fix. Hood said there is an app you can download to screen out unwanted calls. He explained that the unwanted calls will stop for that certain person who downloaded the app, but now all of their contacts will receive unwanted calls.

“When you click ‘I agree’ on that app, they get to go into your contacts and they mine all of your friends information, so it’s all about the information,” said Hood.

Hood added that they are optimistic that the Department of Justice will continue to discuss these ongoing issues.

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