Compliance and Ethics in Review: November 8, 2018

The Latest and Greatest Industry News

GDPR-esque regulations in the U.S., Google employee demands, potential FCPA violations, and more.

Join the Convercent team for a weekly review of the top stories and most newsworthy events in the ethics and compliance industry. The focus is global, but you might be surprised by how relevant these stories are, both across borders and businesses.

How Congress Could Reign in Google and Facebook

The EU’s GDPR regulation has dominated our industry’s news cycle throughout 2018, and now U.S. lawmakers are gearing up to introduce their own data privacy bill. Industry insiders and consumer advocates are already arguing about key pieces of the bill, including whether it will allow states to enact their own rules and how sensitive, personal information will be defined. One of the GDPR’s trickiest provisions, the 72-hour disclosure window in the event of a data breach, is even identical to a bill proposed bill from Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).

This is just the beginning, and we don’t yet know when Congress will make definitive moves to protect consumers’ data. But, this story is worth a read if you want to be prepared for the future.

Here’s Why I Brought 2018 Election Candidates to Speak at My Company

The 2018 midterm elections are over in the U.S. Still, this Fortune article from Patrick Quinlan, Convercent’s CEO, remains relevant far beyond November 6th.

Patrick invited four politicians from both major political parties, including Colorado’s two main gubernatorial candidates, to join our team for four separate 45-minute, in-person policy conversations at our Denver headquarters.

In his commentary, he urges business leaders to, “create environments that encourage authentic and open conversations,” noting that, “we cannot close ourselves off from the broader world and attempt to separate our companies from society at large. We have a responsibility to effect positive change where we can.

We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands

Last week, news of the global Google employee walkout made headlines. Thousands of employees walked out, with a list of demands that included an end to forced arbitration, a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity, a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report, and more. This article was co-written by seven of those employees, and it delivers a strong message:

We’ve waited for leadership to fix these problems, but have come to this conclusion: no one is going to do it for us. So we are here, standing together, protecting and supporting each other. We demand an end to the sexual harassment, discrimination, and the systemic racism that fuel this destructive culture.”

Each of these demands represents a commitment to organizational justice. Every business leader should be committed to justice for all — click here to access an inspirational video that explains why and how.

2 Goldman Sachs Bankers Charged In Malaysian Financial Scandal

1MDB was a Malaysian financial scandal involving the misuse of billions of dollars in investment development funds, and two

Goldman Sachs bankers can be found squarely in the middle. It’s one of the largest scandals in the bank’s history, and was first brought to public attention in 2015. According to court documents, more than $2.7 billion was misappropriated in total.

The charges against the two bankers include bribery, money laundering, alleged embezzlement from a state-run investment fund that was meant for development projects, and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Goldman has released an update about the matter, which the FCPA Blog described as, “a model of clear and concise writing” that could be the basis of an eventual FCPA settlement. You can read the statement in full here.

Bribery Accusations Deepen Turmoil in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is experiencing a constitutional crisis. Last week, the island nation’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, abruptly fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place. Mr. Rajapaksa is widely known as a “strongman of Sri Lankan politics,” and human rights investigators have accused him of war crimes dating back to the country’s bloody civil war.

With two men now claiming to hold the title of Prime Minister, what will happen next is anyone’s guess. Protests have been peaceful so far, but bribery accusations against Mr. Rajapaksa’s party added fuel to the fire. Faith in Sri Lanka’s democratic stability is also being tested internationally — the U.S. and Japan have halted projects, and the EU could revoke Colombo’s trade privileges if the governmental progress on human rights stalls.