The top 12 tech stories of 2022

The technology sector’s vulnerability to the vagaries of geopolitics and the macroeconomy became clearer than ever in 2022, as IT giants laid off workers en masse, regulators cracked down on tech rule-breakers, nations negotiated data privacy, the EU-China chip war widened, and the Ukraine war disrupted business as usual. Through it all the classic tech themes—including innovation and the fight to bolster cybersecurity—continued as ChatGPT was released, Broadcom sought to purchase VMWare, a Mac renaissance began to flower, and teen hackers brought major companies to their knees. Here are our editors’ choices for the dozen stories that rocked the world of tech in 2022.

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Is performance tracking about to go mobile?

Productivity and performance tracking have been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote and hybrid work. Now, as pandemic restrictions recede and more traditional work habits reemerge, it’s inevitable some organizations will want to extend tracking beyond the company PC to mobile devices.

That means IT could soon be involved in selecting, implementing, and supporting productivity and performance monitoring solutions that keep tabs on workers wherever they are — even if they’re not sitting in front of a computer.

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Q&A: How employee monitoring can sometimes do more harm than good

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 03:00:00 -0700

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Will new EU crypto rules change how ransomware is played?

Credit to Author: Evan Schuman| Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2022 05:55:00 -0700

Cryptocurrency has always been the payment method of choice for bad guys. Get hit with an enterprise ransomware attack and plan to pay? You’ll need crypto. The key reason cyberthieves love cryptocurrency so much is that it is far harder to trace payments. 

That is why a move being attempted by the European Union has so much potential. The EU — in a move that will likely be mimicked by many other regional regulatory forces, including in the United States — is putting in place tracking requirements for all cryptocurrency. 

If it is successful, and the EU has an excellent track record on precisely these kinds of changes, cryptocurrency may quickly fade as the thief’s payment of choice.

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European Parliament approves sweeping big tech antitrust laws

Credit to Author: Charlotte Trueman| Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2022 06:28:00 -0700

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Microsoft commits to ban non-competes and increase pay transparency in the US

Credit to Author: Charlotte Trueman| Date: Thu, 09 Jun 2022 04:21:00 -0700

Microsoft has launched four new employee workforce initiatives aimed at creating a more transparent workplace culture, including the banning of non-compete clauses in contracts and a commitment to improved pay transparency.

The four commitments have been categorized by Microsoft as:

  • Empowering employee mobility
  • Fostering a safe space for concerns
  • Increasing pay transparency
  • Conducting a civil rights audit

The new policies aim to address concerns raised by employees that current non-compete obligations are being used as a forced retention tactic. Consequently, the company will be removing non-compete clauses from US employee agreements and will not enforce existing clauses for workers outside of Microsoft’s senior leadership team.

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DOJ reverses itself, says good-faith security researchers should be left alone

Credit to Author: Evan Schuman| Date: Thu, 26 May 2022 03:02:00 -0700

In a move that could have a major impact on enterprise penetration testing and other cybersecurity tactics, the US Department of Justice last Thursday reversed one of its own policies by telling prosecutors not to prosecute anyone involved in “good-faith security research.”

This is one of those common-sense decisions that makes me far more interested in exploring the original DOJ policy (set in 2014, during the Obama era). 

The underlying law at issue is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which made it illegal to access a computer without proper authorization. It was passed in 1986 and has been updated several times since then.

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