Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by the Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:
Friend a Bot on Facebook? Messenger Launches Business Chatbots
At Facebook’s annual developers conference F8 this week, Facebook confirmed that Messenger will allow brands and companies to build bots that interact with Messenger users. To ensure users don’t get overwhelmed by spammy bots, Facebook is adding user controls that include the ability to block bots from which users don’t want to hear.
Data Protection Reform in the Digital Era
The European Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation rules this week. The regulations apply to any company with customers in the EU and violators may be fined up to 4 percent of worldwide revenue. In brief, the new rules include the right to data deletion, the right to be alerted if data is compromised, and require companies to obtain “affirmative consent” before collecting and storing customer data.
VR Films Showcase Limitless Possibilities for Storytelling
The Kaleidoscope Virtual Reality Film Fest 2016 wrapped up in Melbourne this week after its 10-day world tour. You can view all six award-winning films here.
DIY Mind Control
The new UltraCortex headset allows users to use their mind to control mechanical devices or computers with brain waves or facial movement using the open-source brain-computer interface OpenBCI. After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014, the developers have refined the initial prototype which is available for preorder, or you can 3D-print your own.
Congress Rolls Out the Most Anti-Crypto Bill of Anti-Crypto Bills
On Thursday evening, the draft text of a bill called the “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016,” was published online. The bill would force companies to provide technical assistance to government investigators seeking encrypted data “as is necessary” and require all license distributors to ensure all products, services, applications or software to backdoor any encryption to provide for law enforcement access.
Amazon’s ‘Aggressive’ Marketing Assurances are Music to Theater Owners’ Ears
At the national theater-owners’ convention “CinemaCon” this week, Amazon Studios sharply diverged from Netflix’s movie streaming model. Unlike Netflix, which thus far has released movies in theaters concurrently with streaming, Amazon assured theaters all Amazon-released films would be released “theatrically,” with an “aggressive marketing campaign” to encourage theater attendance.