Facebook whistleblower’s day in Westminster

Damian Collins, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Online Safety Bills: “We need to ask for more data about the age profiles of users who think Facebook and Instagram are under the age of 13” © Bloomberg

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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen made a guest appearance in Westminster on Monday with a list of suggestions on how British lawmakers could better control their former employers.

Haugen was the spark that ignited the fusion of the public relations crisis that is now involving the social media empire. Former Facebook employees show tens of thousands of internal senior executives repeatedly failing to respond to internal warnings that the platform allowed the dissemination of false information and promoted violent and dangerous content. I leaked the document.

MP Damian Collins, who chairs the committee that asked Hogen, sat down with Madumita Murgia. FT European Technical CorrespondentDiscuss how testimony affects UK technology regulation.

Collins, chair of a joint committee of online safety bills, said Haugen’s evidence is that Facebook is not “too committed to an engagement-based business model” to self-regulate and secure online without law. He said he confirmed that he would never change practices to prioritize.

“Francis had some very useful and interesting ideas about how regulators calculate platform-related risks and the kind of data and information they should seek.”

Based on Hogen’s testimony, Collins said the commission recommends that the upcoming groundbreaking online safety bill introduce obligations to social media companies to keep users safe. “In particular, we need to request more data about a user’s age profile to see how many users Facebook and Instagram think they have under the age of 13.”

He also said the Commission would consider introducing a duty of care on social media platforms if it publishes ads that mislead users or contain harmful content. Platform, whether it is user-generated, a platform that actively promotes the content of others, or through advertising. “

Later this week, the committee will be contacted by Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global safety officer. Collins said he would ask Davis how the decision would be made at the top of the company and who would ultimately be responsible if things went wrong.

Murgia is one of the FT journalists who has been trolling the mountains of Facebook Papers last week.Read a summary of their main findings here..

Internet of Things (5)

1. THG Governance Reform
E-commerce group THG Appoint Part-time chair as part of an effort to improve transparency and move the listing to premium instead of the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange. Co-founder and CEO Matt Molding is the company’s executive chair that emerged last year. This is allowed by list rules, but it violates best practice guidelines.

2. Work from space
Jeff Bezos Space Exploration Company Blue Origin Announced We plan to launch a commercial space station in low earth orbit later in the decade. Blue Origin and its project’s main partner, Sierra Space, described the effort as a “multipurpose business park” in space, stating that it could accommodate up to 10 people in an area of ​​approximately 30,000 cubic feet. The station, called the Orbital Reef, is an ideal place for “space hotels,” “microgravity filmmaking,” and “performing cutting-edge research,” the promotional website says.

3. Amazon in the cloud
Three British espionage agencies, GCHQ, MI5, MI6, Have a contract AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing arm, hosts materials categorized by transactions aimed at facilitating the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence for espionage. Given that the vast amount of UK’s most secret data is hosted by a single US technology company, contracts can raise concerns about sovereignty.

4. Motorola hits British competitive watchdog
Motorola Solutions Said A UK competition monitoring agency’s investigation into favorable contracts for providing communications services to emergency service workers is “not guaranteed”. Authorities are investigating the role of US companies in the delayed deployment of emergency services networks that have come partially due to technical issues with Motorola’s technology, among other factors. The company rejects allegations that it has deliberately postponed the project. Watchdog estimates that Motorola could generate up to £ 1.2 billion in “excess profit” between 2020 and 2026.

5. European carmakers demand homemade chips
Chairman of the lobby group Oliver Zipse, a European car maker who is also the CEO of BMW, warning In a letter to the European Commission, continental automakers must either break their reliance on semiconductors in Asia or risk repeated crises leading to factory closures. Volkswagen, BMW and Renault idle their factories due to fierce competition for chips from the consumer electronics industry that flourished during the pandemic (everything from electronic windows to driver assistance systems depends on the car) It is one of the companies that was forced to. Automobile sales across Europe fell 23% last month to the lowest level since 1995 as automakers failed to meet demand.

Technical tools —

Last week, Huawei released a collection of GT3 watches for health and style-conscious consumers. The consumer technology division of Chinese tech companies has shifted from smartphones to smartwatches and headphones that are independent of high-end foreign chip technology after the supply was cut off when the United States was blacklisted in 2019. This reinvention produced the GT3 smartwatch. Claiming Mo Farah as a brand ambassador, it has a range of features to track your health and fitness, including a heart rate monitor. The company also advertises that the watch has an AI-powered running coach that offers a personalized fitness plan. The bulky GT3 46mm model has a longer battery life than the 42mm and can power the watch for about two weeks, depending on usage.

Huawei Watch GT The price of the 46mm is between £ 229.99 and £ 299.99. The Huawei Watch GT 3 42mm retails from £ 209.99 to £ 279.99.

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