Business

Business News at a Glance

Posted May 24, 2018 9:59 p.m. EDT

Europe, Enacting New Privacy Laws, Becomes World’s Foremost Tech Watchdog

Notices are flooding people’s inboxes en masse, from large technology companies including Facebook and Uber and even from parent teacher associations. “Here is an update to our privacy policy,” they say. All are acting because the European Union on Friday enacts the world’s toughest rules to protect people’s online data. And the regulations are set to have an outsize impact beyond Europe. Google, Facebook and others have been working for months to comply with the new rules, which restricts how businesses obtain and handle the information. Brazil, Japan and South Korea are set to follow Europe’s lead, with some having passed similar data protection laws.

Emergency Braking Was Disabled When Self-Driving Uber Killed Woman, Report Says

More than a second before a self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in March, the vehicle’s computer system determined it needed to brake to avoid a crash. But a built-in emergency braking system had been disabled while the car was in autonomous mode to ensure a smoother ride, according to the preliminary report of federal regulators investigating the crash. The findings, released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed that Uber’s cars are loaded with sensors and cameras that should have detected a pedestrian. But this one failed through a combination of a computer system not responding properly and a distracted safety driver.

Facebook and Twitter Plan New Ways to Regulate Political Ads

Facebook and Twitter announced plans Thursday to increase transparency of political campaign ads, changes aimed at preventing foreign manipulation of the midterm elections. Facebook said it would begin including a “paid for” label on any political ads in the United States. Clicking on the label will take people to a page where they can view the cost of the ad and the demographic breakdown of the audience that viewed the ad. Twitter said it planned to require those running political ads for federal elections to identify themselves and certify that they are in the United States. Foreign nationals will not be able to target political ads to people in the United States, Twitter said.

Deutsche Bank to Cut 7,000 Jobs

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, said Thursday that it would cut 7,000 jobs and “significantly reshape” its sales and trading business, the latest sign of the bank’s curtailed ambitions as it seeks to move past a series of crises. The job losses — equivalent to 7 percent of its workforce — come a month after Christian Sewing took over as chief executive, the fourth person in four years to hold the title or that of co-chief executive at the bank. Sewing has already said the bank will focus on Europe and shrink its operations in the United States and Asia.

Potential Auto Tariffs Prompt Warnings From Industry and Allies

President Donald Trump’s decision to begin a trade investigation that could trigger auto tariffs was met by surprise at home and abroad, and prompted warnings that it could destabilize global supply chains. Trump has argued that tariffs would encourage companies to move production back to U.S. soil after years of offshoring and he has seized on levies as a way to force trading partners to make concessions. But critics of Trump’s approach say the president is sowing uncertainty that threatens to undercut economic growth and send trading relations to a previously unseen level of disarray.

Trump Mulls Options on ZTE as Congress Tries to Force Tough Penalty

The Trump administration, over the objections of lawmakers, is continuing to try to soften its punishment of ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications firm that has emerged as a key sticking point in trade negotiations between China and the United States. The company is on the verge of shutting down after the United States barred it from buying American components. President Donald Trump’s willingness to reconsider the company’s penalty has drawn bipartisan backlash in Congress, and lawmakers fear the administration is unwisely linking national security and trade. Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, said the administration was considering placing a compliance team inside ZTE to ensure the company was meeting its requirements.