Hillicon Valley: Biden overtakes Sanders in Facebook ad spending for first time | New HHS rules would give patients access to health data | Twitter flags edited Biden video retweeted by Trump

Hillicon Valley: Biden overtakes Sanders in Facebook ad spending for first time | New HHS rules would give patients access to health data | Twitter flags edited Biden video retweeted by Trump
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Welcome! Follow the cyber team, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and the tech team, Emily Birnbaum (@birnbaum_e) and Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills).



KICKING INTO HIGH GEAR: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE is spending more than Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Manchin: Biden told moderates to pitch price tag for reconciliation bill Biden employs flurry of meetings to unite warring factions MORE (I-Vt.) on Facebook ads for the first time this primary season.

Biden has spent $247,194 on Facebook ads for the March 17 voting states compared to Sanders's $134,559, according to data from the crowdfunding technology platform Booster that was first shared with The Hill. The March 17 states include Florida, Arizona, Ohio and Illinois.

In Florida particularly, the former vice president is spending almost three times more than Sanders on Facebook ads, with $110,929 compared to Sanders's $38,823.

Biden had previously only invested "heavily" in the next upcoming primary races, but his March 17 numbers show his campaign is moving to fund ads for future races.

Biden is also leading the polls in all of these states except Illinois. 

But the Vermont progressive is outspending Biden in the states voting Tuesday, which include Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Washington. Sanders has spent $106,012 on Facebook ads in these states while Biden has spent $76,711, according to the data.

Biden has previously lagged behind Sanders in fundraising, with Sanders hauling in $134,108,281 in 2019's fourth quarter and Biden taking $69,947,256.


Sanders also touted a successful fundraising month in February, raking in more than $46 million from about 2.2 million donations.

But after Biden's South Carolina and Super Tuesday wins and the shrinking of the Democratic field, he is experienced a boost in fundraising, earning $22 million in five days.

Facebook users on average tend to be of an older age group, the same demographic that typically supports Biden over Sanders, who dominates the younger vote. 

Read more on the data here.


HEALTH CONTROL: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) introduced two new rules on Monday that are aimed at giving patients more secure access to and control over their health data. 

The two rules, which HHS Secretary Alex Azar described in a statement as "the start of a new chapter in how patients experience American healthcare," require public and private groups to share health data with patients while also ensuring the security of the data. 

"President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE is delivering on his vision for healthcare that is affordable, personalized and puts patients in control," Azar said Monday. "From the start of our efforts to put patients and value at the center of our healthcare system, we've been clear: Patients should have control of their records, period. Now that's becoming a reality."

The finalized rules were issued by the department's Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

The ONC rule, which implements certain portions of the 2016 21st Century Cures Act, requires health providers to allow patients to electronically access their health data for free, and requires certain steps to be taken to secure this data. 

The CMS "Interoperability and Patient Access" rule also addresses security by ensuring the exchange of health information between providers is secure, and requires third-party groups to provide information on their data privacy policies before information is shared with them. 

In response to potential concerns that increasing access to health data would lead to security issues, CMS Administrator Seema Verma told reporters Monday that she understood privacy concerns, but insisted that the new rules would ensure the security of patients' medical records.

"Privacy and security are paramount," Verma said, noting that the rules would ensure developers are able to build secure interfaces and apps to enable patients to view data. 

"We are working with plans to educate patients [on] what to look for in terms of privacy," Verma added. 

Don Rucker, M.D., the national coordinator for Health Information Technology, said in a statement that new data interoperability options will modernize the health care industry and allow for more electronic access to data. 

"A core part of the rule is patients' control of their electronic health information, which will drive a growing patient-facing healthcare IT economy and allow apps to provide patient-specific price and product transparency," Rucker said. 

Read more on the rules here.


MANIPULATIVE: A tweet featuring edited footage of former Vice President Joe Biden that incorrectly made it appear as though he was endorsing President Trump's reelection has been labelled "manipulated media" by Twitter.

A spokesperson for the social platform told The Hill on Sunday that the tweet was "actioned" based on a policy it recently rolled out to prevent users from deceptively sharing "synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm." 

The tweet, which the president's social media manager Dan Scavino posted on Saturday, shows edited footage from a speech Biden delivered in Missouri earlier that day. 


The clip was edited to show Biden saying, "Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump," right before it ends mid-sentence. 

In a full clip of the moment, Biden says, "Excuse me. We can only reelect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It's gotta be a positive campaign." 

The edited video, which was later promoted by Trump and his campaign, racked up millions of views before Twitter labeled the media "manipulated" on Sunday afternoon in a first for the platform. 

Read more here.


DORSEY'S SAFE (FOR NOW): Twitter and activist investor firm Elliot Management have agreed on a deal that will see Jack Dorsey continue as the social media platform's CEO.

The deal, announced Monday, has Twitter buying back $2 billion in shares and appointing two new board members, one from Elliot and one from equity firm Silver Lake, which is putting up $1 billion for the repurchases.


Twitter will also continue work to identify a third new independent director.

Monday's deal follows reports that Elliot, which has a 4 percent stake in Twitter, was intent on forcing Dorsey out.

The firm's criticism reportedly involved Dorsey's dual role as CEO of Twitter and Square.

The agreement does not mean a leadership change isn't coming down the line; both of the new members, Elliot's Jesse Cohn and Silver Lake's Egon Durban, will be part of a committee considering a "CEO succession plan."

The new members released statements on Monday praising Dorsey. They will be joined on the CEO committee by three existing Twitter board members. The group is planning to publicly release findings and any recommendations by the end of the year.

Read more here.


LAWSUIT DOWN UNDER: The Australian information commissioner on Monday sued Facebook for sharing the personal data of Australians as part of the Cambridge Analytica controversy. 

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Frank said in a statement that the data of more than 300,000 Australians was "exposed to be sold" by Facebook to the political consulting group in the run-up to the 2016 elections. 

Falk alleges in charges filed in an Australian federal court on Monday that Facebook disclosed the personal information of users to Cambridge Analytica between 2014 and 2015 as part of an app. Falk noted that many users who had data compromised did not install the app themselves and that their data was exposed due to friends who had. 

Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of about 50 million Facebook users without their permission to pinpoint voters, part of the firm's role as consultants for the 2016 campaign of now-President Trump.

Cambridge Analytica accessed the data through the "This is Your Digital Life" app, which gathered information about Facebook users in order to pinpoint them for political advertisements without their permission, which Falk called a serious problem Monday. 

"All entities operating in Australia must be transparent and accountable in the way they handle personal information, in accordance with their obligations under Australian privacy law," Falk said. "We consider the design of the Facebook platform meant that users were unable to exercise reasonable choice and control about how their personal information was disclosed."

Read more here.


Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskUN secretary-general blasts space tourism Elon Musk promises upgraded toilets, Wi-Fi on next SpaceX flight Elon Musk mocks Biden for ignoring his company's historic space flight MORE WEIGHS IN: Tesla CEO Elon Musk dismissed concerns over the coronavirus on Friday, tweeting that panic over the disease was "dumb."

In a short tweet that was liked more than 1.6 million times, Musk wrote: "The coronavirus panic is dumb."

His tweet comes as top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that a large-scale outbreak of the disease occurring in the U.S. is possible in the coming weeks, and countries around the world have implemented quarantine and control procedures. More than 3,000 have died so far, with most of those deaths occurring in China, where the virus is believed to have originated.

Read more here.


A LIGHTER CLICK: The main attraction


AN OP-ED TO CHEW ON: Facial recognition could stop terrorists before they act



Surveillance firm Banjo used a secret company and fake apps to scrape social media (Motherboard / Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler)

Facebook banned medical face mask listings, and they're still littering the platform (Verge / Makena Kelly)

New documents show how Cyber Command reacted to 2010 WikiLeaks dump (CyberScoop / Shannon Vavra)