Your commercial news round-up: deepfake technology, TikTok in US, Spotify music videos, Airbnb security cameras

updated on 14 March 2024

Reading time: three minutes

What’s on your radar? We’ve picked out four stories from the past week, including the risks AI and deepfakes pose to lawyers and the potential banning of TikTok in the US, and summarised them for you below.

Don’t forget that commercial awareness is a key skill that you should be able to demonstrate in your applications and during an interview. So, check back every Thursday for these weekly round-ups and head to the Commercial awareness hub, to start building yours! For now, read this week’s summaries below. 

  • The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has released a warning about the use of AI in the legal profession, citing the risks that ‘deepfake’ technology could have on their work. The regulator has cautioned law firms to be aware of AI’s ability to create deepfakes. Among other things, the SRA’s warning states: “This increases the risk of relying on video calls to identify and verify your client. If you only meet clients remotely, you should understand whether your electronic due diligence protects you against this, or to explore software solutions to assist in detecting deepfakes.”
  • In other tech news, TikTok could reportedly be banned in the US after a landmark bill was passed this week. The bill, which still needs to clear Senate and be signed by the president to become law, would give TikTok’s parent company ByteDance six months to sell its controlling stake or the social media app would be blocked in the US. According to Mike Gallagher, co-author of the bill, the US can’t risk “having a dominant news platform in America controlled or owned by a company that’s beholden to the Chinese Communist Party”. President Joe Biden has said that he’ll sign the bill if it’s passed by Senate. However, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, has said the passing of the bill “could come back to bite the US”.
  • Full-length music videos are being launched on Spotify for its premium users, rivalling YouTube – the beta version roll out began earlier this week and includes videos from artists such as Ed Sheeran and Doja Cat. The UK and Brazil are among the 11 markets chosen for the launch, with the US omitted from the list. That said, the digital music service hopes to “bring the feature to more users and countries” in the future, while continuing to “innovate and iterate based on feedback from both users and artists”. Users can watch music videos on iOS, Android, desktop or TV by toggling on the ‘Switch to video’ option for supported music tracks. The move comes after the platform’s monthly active users (paying and ad-supported users) reportedly increased by 23% year on year to 602 million at the end of December.
  • Indoor security cameras will be banned in Airbnb rental properties across the world from 30 April, as the company says it’s continuing to “prioritise the privacy” of its community. Indoor security cameras have previously been permitted in common areas like living rooms but have never been allowed in sleeping areas or bathrooms. Where used, the cameras had to be clearly visible and their use disclosed in the property details. The updated policy makes it “clear that security cameras aren’t allowed inside listings, regardless of their location, purpose or prior disclosure”. The company has said it’ll “continue to seek feedback to help ensure” the policies work. Any breaches of the policy would result in properties being removed from the site, according to Airbnb.

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