Why is TikTok getting banned? Here’s the latest update as the U.S. mulls app shutdown

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Geopolitics has a massive role to play. Both India and the U.S. have incentives to stick it to China any way they can right now–including Chinese owned businesses. It hasn’t been a good few weeks for TikTok, the Chinese-owned app that has been the world’s hottest social media platform for the past few years. It currently has over 2 billion users. Despite its mass appeal, the app is coming under increasing scrutiny from powerful governments–which could spell disaster for TikTok’s future. Read Full Story

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In historic first, Portland bans corporations from using facial recognition tech on the public

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But Portland residents can still use facial recognition tech, like the kind found in iPhones and Nest cameras. Over the past year, several U.S. cities have taken steps to ban or limit the use of facial recognition technology to surveil people. Yet these bans were only applied to government departments and police. As of today, Portland, Oregon, has surpassed those bans in an effort to protect its citizens from surveillance. Read Full Story

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U.S. government and 48 states seek to pry Facebook from Instagram and WhatsApp in massive antitrust action

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Facebook’s general counsel blasted the lawsuit as “revisionist history.” In the what may be the most consequential U.S. antitrust action in years, the U.S. government and 48 state attorneys general have filed suit against Facebook, asking that the social media giant sell off its WhatsApp messaging app and the social photo platform Instagram. Read Full Story

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Zipline will bring its medical delivery drones to the U.S. to help fight the coronavirus

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It’s successfully helping the medical system in Ghana and Rwanda. Now the drone company thinks it can help streamline U.S. medical deliveries while maintaining social distancing. Zipline, a medical drone delivery company that launched in Rwanda , planned to come to the U.S. later this year. But as the coronavirus crisis grows, the company is now working with government regulators to try to launch as soon as possible. Read Full Story

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Google’s secretive ATAP lab is imagining the future of smart devices

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The consumer-electronics research arm has been quiet for years—but it’s also been busy. Its new mission: Make Google hardware as smart as Google software. In 2015, Dan Kaufman, the director of the information innovation office at the U.S. Department’s fabled DARPA lab, began talking to Google about joining the company in some capacity. Maybe he could work on Android. Or take a job at X, the Alphabet moonshot factory formerly known as Google X. And then another possibility came up: ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects), a Google research skunkworks that was “just like DARPA, but in Silicon Valley,” as he describes it. His reaction: “That sounds awesome!” Read Full Story

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Amnesty International attacks Palantir’s human rights record on the eve of its IPO

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The blue chip nonprofit released a report the week of the company’s expected IPO saying there’s a risk that Palantir’s software was used to enable human rights abuses against immigrants and their children. Two days before Palantir’s expected initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, Amnesty International released a report saying the secretive data analytics company presents a risk to human rights. The charge stems from Palantir’s relationship with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and its role as an enabler of the U.S. government’s ill treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers. Read Full Story

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