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The Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), which helps companies develop an export plan with the help of mentors, is getting $5 million; an additional $1.7 million will go to expanding TAP into Northern communities. TAP aims to help 1,000 Ontario companies export. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The funding is part of the government’s six-year $1.1 billion Export Diversification Strategy designed to increase exports by 50 per cent by 2025. When the strategy was announced in November 2018, the government said Canada has relied on a single trading partner, the U.S., for too long. Ng’s appointment to the new Export Promotion file in July 2018 came during a time of strained U.S. relations amid USMCA negotiations; that tension continues today as USMCA still has not been ratified. In Monday’s announcement, the government said its participation in USMCA, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership gives Canadians access to 1.5 billion customers abroad. Ng told The Logic that the TAP program received funding due to its track record; of the 530 businesses that have received support, 47 per cent experienced sales growth and 85 per cent explored a global marketplace.

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Fernández won 48 per cent to current Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s 32 per cent. The peso dropped over 30 per cent, and the country’s main stock market fell 35 per cent. (Financial Times, BBC)

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Talking point: If Fernández can maintain his current support levels, he’s on track to win the presidency during the October 27 general election; Argentine law grants victory to a candidate with over 45 per cent of the vote, or over 40 per cent with a 10-point lead. Fernández’s priorities include boosting workers’ rights, expanding pensions and undoing many of the austerity measures Macri has put in place since 2015. Macri has opened the country up to foreign investment and focused on a number of business-friendly policies. The election also has significant implications for the International Monetary Fund, which provided its largest-ever loan, US$56 billion, to Argentina and has backed Macri. Fernández has repeatedly suggested that loan should be renegotiated.

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Bond Capital has commitments for the full amount of the fund, which it disclosed in a Securities and Exchange filing. The venture capital firm was co-founded by Mary Meeker and other former employees of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a top Silicon Valley fund. (Axios)

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Talking point: Every May, Meeker releases an Internet trends report that’s a must-read for the industry. The 2018 edition, for example, mapped the increasing number of sectors in which Big Tech companies are competing, identifying Amazon’s big move into advertising months before it started to receive widespread coverage. At Kleiner Perkins, Meeker backed the likes of Slack, Uber and Spotify. Bond plans to spend more of its money outside the U.S. than Meeker’s former employer, but that likely means Asia rather than Canada—she devoted an entire 24-slide section of the 2018 report to China’s tech sector.

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The federal privacy commissioner announced that the company is indefinitely suspending its contract with the RCMP, which was its last remaining client in Canada, in response to an ongoing investigation by federal and provincial government privacy watchdogs. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Clearview AI offers a database of more than three billion photos through which users—which have included dozens of Canadian police forces—can find people’s names and home addresses. The investigation, which includes privacy watchdogs in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, is looking into Clearview AI’s collection of data on Canadians, and its deletion. In June, the company allowed users from some countries to request their data be deleted, but Canada was not among them. The privacy watchdogs are also looking to create guidelines for law enforcement on the use of biometric technology, including facial recognition.

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The antitrust watchdog’s other priority sectors for 2020–2021 are financial services and infrastructure. It’s also ramping up its own use of technology, including an automation pilot project to replace manual data entry, looking for potential uses for AI and hiring more data scientists and engineers to “advance analytics, algorithms, machine learning and data mining.” (The Logic)

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Talking point: The watchdog is increasingly focused on competition in the digital economy. In May, it struck a $9-million settlement and 10-year compliance agreement with Facebook over its privacy claims, which the bureau deemed misleading. However, its power over tech giants is limited by geography—very few are based in Canada. In June 2019, G7 competition agencies agreed to promote “greater international cooperation and convergence” in enforcing their rules. The plan released by Canada’s bureau on Monday also cites the need for closer links with foreign counterparts, and notes that its leadership of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network this year will “promote truth in online advertising and build consumer confidence in the online world.” EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is seeking to give the continent more direct jurisdiction by requiring tech giants to establish European business entities, as part of a package of legislative changes.

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The move follows China’s enactment of its national security law in the region, where social media platforms aren’t encumbered by the country’s Great Firewall. “We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions,” Facebook said in a statement. Encrypted- messaging service Telegram will also reportedly pause its cooperation with Hong Kong authorities. (The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong Free Press)

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Talking point: By reproaching the Chinese government, the platforms are forced to balance the risk of drawing Beijing’s wrath with the principles of free speech they claim to hold dear. Unlike their mainland brethren, Hong Kongers have long taken to social media to air their grievances with the Chinese government. Facebook has 4.5 million users in the region—and received 241 data requests from the government on users there in the last six months of 2019.

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The announcement comes in the wake of China’s legislative crackdown on the island region of 7.5 million—including some 300,000 Canadian citizens. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is considering further measures to accommodate those who wish to flee as a result of the legislation, which China imposed on Hong Kong this week. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Conceived in the wake of last year’s protests against Chinese rule, the new security laws hem in Hong Kong’s longstanding autonomy, under which the region has remained a liberal exception to the government’s rule. Exactly how the new laws—which dramatically increase China’s surveillance and intelligence-gathering powers—will affect the region remains unclear; so far, many businesses have said it won’t affect commerce. But they could soon offer another test of Big Tech’s principles.

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The social media giant has made several concessions in a bid to win back the 750-plus companies that have pulled their advertising from the platform for the month. But conversations with advertisers and promises to better police hate speech on the platform—including labelling politicians’ posts that violate its policies, but not removing them—have failed to thwart the campaign. (The Washington Post)

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Talking point: Civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate For Profit boycott plan to meet with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg early next week and press him for more sweeping changes. The group’s requests include adding a civil rights expert to the company’s executive team, cracking down on politicians’ false statements and refunding advertisers whose posts appear next to hateful content that’s ultimately removed from the platform. While critics argue the month-long boycott will have negligible impact on the company’s bottom line, others say it’s a turning point that may see big advertisers abstain from the platform until the company responds to their demands. Zuckerberg so far has expressed reluctance to do so, telling staff at a meeting last week he doesn’t intend to “change our policies or our approach on anything because of a threat to a small per cent of our revenue, or to any per cent of our revenue.”

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Sixteen associations, some of which are backed by Facebook and Google, are pushing back against a new feature in Apple’s iOS 14 that will require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them for personalized ads. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The groups claim the feature, which requires apps to alert users if they plan to track them when sharing their information with third parties, means users will have to give permission twice. According to the associations, the required pop-up notification, and reportedly limited customization, creates “a high risk of user refusal.” The groups also said the feature does not adhere to the ad-industry system of getting user consent under current European rules.