France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

Clearview AI, the New York-based facial recognition firm that is targeting 100 billion facial images in its database by the close of 2022, has been fined €20 million ($19.7 million) by France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, for what the agency says is the illegal collection and processing of personal biometric data belonging to French citizens. The fine comes after the CNIL last year ordered Clearview to cease data collection and delete its existing database, instructions the company reportedly ignored. This is Clearview’s third breach of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) pertaining to France. Continue reading France Sanctions Clearview AI €20M for Violating GDPR Rules

Twitter Roiled by Layoff Talk as Deadline for Musk Deal Looms

Employees at Twitter are reeling following revelations that the workforce may face massive cuts in the year ahead regardless of who owns the company. According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, Twitter’s current management plans to trim the payroll by about $800 million, representing nearly 25 percent of the company’s staff. However, Twitter denies that report. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, who is being sued to force consummation of his $44 billion Twitter purchase, is said to be contemplating elimination of three times as many jobs. Continue reading Twitter Roiled by Layoff Talk as Deadline for Musk Deal Looms

Snap Adds Users but Experiences Its Slowest Revenue Growth

Snap Inc. reported its slowest-ever quarterly growth, with revenue up 6 percent to $1.13 billion year-over-year in Q3. Due in part to a 25 percent spending increase, Snapchat’s parent logged a net loss of $359 million, far exceeding the $72 million loss a year prior. Interestingly, Snap increased daily active users by 19 percent, to 363 million (surpassing analyst predictions of 358 million). Snap, like virtually every social media platform, has struggled to maintain revenue growth since Apple’s 2021 privacy changes made it harder to target ads. Continue reading Snap Adds Users but Experiences Its Slowest Revenue Growth

Cybersecurity Labeling System Coming to IoT Devices in 2023

The Biden administration is implementing a cybersecurity labeling program designed to protect consumers using Internet of Things devices from “significant national security risks.” Beginning in the spring of 2023, IoT smart hardware will begin carrying a “label for products that meet U.S. government standards and are tested by vetted and approved entities,” according to the White House. The program will start with high-risk devices like routers and cameras. To jump-start the initiative, the White House hosted an IoT Cybersecurity Summit attended by national security officials, hardware manufacturers and representatives from consumer product associations. Continue reading Cybersecurity Labeling System Coming to IoT Devices in 2023

Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

Live-stream shopping has been slow to take off in the U.S., but some feel the sector is at a tipping point. U.S. revenue from the format is projected to reach $20 billion this year and grow to $57 billion in 2025 says Coresight Research. However, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the activity in Asia. McKinsey Digital says outlets like Alibaba can rack up more than $7 billion in 30 minutes. Estimates place the Asia-Pacific market at about $180 billion in live-streamed shopping for 2021. Now big players like Walmart, Target, YouTube and TikTok are getting serious about cracking open the U.S. market, too. Continue reading Retailers, Big Tech Get Behind Live-Stream Shopping in U.S.

Apple Rolls Out iPad Pro with Wi-Fi 6E, M2 Chip, Four Colors

Apple has unveiled two new iPads — the M2-powered iPad Pro starting at $799, and a reimagining of the flagship iPad that packs an A14 Bionic chip and comes in four colors (pink, yellow, silver or blue), starting at $449. Both ship on October 26, equipped with iPadOS 16, which Apple is making available October 24. The new operating system supports many new features including, on the Pro, a multitasking feature called Stage Manager. Later this year, Apple says the Pro OS will be updated to support external display resolutions of up to 6K. Continue reading Apple Rolls Out iPad Pro with Wi-Fi 6E, M2 Chip, Four Colors

Google Makes Family Link and Google TV More Child-Friendly

Google has redesigned its Family Link experience, launched five years ago to help keep children safe online. The most popular tools — screen time limits, blocking apps and content filters — are now easier to find, and there is a central place for viewing requests and notifications. A Controls tab has been added, enabling parents to set screen time limits for individual devices or specific apps, dial-in content restrictions and manage data permissions. With families in mind, Google is also adding new AI-powered features to Google TV, such as parent-controlled watchlists. Continue reading Google Makes Family Link and Google TV More Child-Friendly

Meta Says It Will Sell Giphy per UK Competition Unit’s Order

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has rendered a final decision ordering Meta Platforms to sell its Giphy marketplace for animated GIFs. Meta acquired the U.S.-based Giphy in 2020. The CMA subsequently found the purchase anticompetitive, determining the move would stunt innovation in UK display advertising and limit social media choices for consumers. After Meta failed to decisively win an appeal, the matter went back to the CMA, which this week reaffirmed its earlier decision and ordered Giphy sold. Meta said in a statement it is “disappointed by the CMA’s decision,” but won’t pursue further appeal. Continue reading Meta Says It Will Sell Giphy per UK Competition Unit’s Order

Lenovo Teases Rollable Display Concepts for Mobile Devices

Lenovo is among the companies developing early rollable mobile displays. At Lenovo Tech World 22, a virtual event hosted by the Hong Kong-based company, a rollable-screen laptop was showcased along some rollable smartphones, a format that is generating a great deal of interest. Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group president Luca Rossi previewed a concept ThinkPad laptop with a vertically extending screen, calling the potential of such a device “compelling,” taking “multitasking, browsing, and mobility applications to another level.” Continue reading Lenovo Teases Rollable Display Concepts for Mobile Devices

Netflix Tops Q3 Forecasts as the Service Schedules Changes

Netflix beat Q3 expectations, adding more than 2.4 million subscribers, more than twice the StreetAccount projection. The majority of growth was generated in the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for an additional 1.43 million paid accounts, while North America increased by 100,000. Improvements on the top and bottom lines sent Netflix shares surging more than 14 percent after Tuesday’s bell. Revenue was $7.93 billion, versus a $7.837 billion Refinitiv estimate. That was up almost 6 percent from Q3 2021, although the $1.4 billion in profit represents a 3 percent decrease from the same period last year. Meanwhile, Netflix will launch its ad-supported tier in two weeks and plans to start cracking down on account sharing in 2023. Continue reading Netflix Tops Q3 Forecasts as the Service Schedules Changes

TikTok Launches User Profile Kit and Intros Focused View Ads

TikTok is launching a new feature called Profile Kit that gives creators the option of displaying up to six videos on other sites. In-app access to off-site link-in-bio landing platforms is a feature of the Profile Kit, with freemium social media landing page Linktree announced as TikTok’s first Profile partner. Some are calling the Profile Kit expansion a savvy way for Tiktok to spread its influence with a light footprint during a time of regulatory scrutiny. Leveraging engagement, TikTok is also launching Focused View, an ad unit that advertisers will pay for only if users engage for at least 6 seconds. Continue reading TikTok Launches User Profile Kit and Intros Focused View Ads

Short-Form Video Platform Triller Creates a New Virtual World

Triller, a short-form video sharing app acquired in 2019 by Hollywood financier Ryan Kavanaugh’s Proxima Media, is launching a platform called Metaverz for immersive experiences ranging from sports and concerts to social events that take place “past the velvet rope” in virtual nightclubs populated with influencers, creators and celebrities. Right now, the company is previewing a video that showcases what looks like basic video game graphics, although Triller is touting a partnership with Singapore-based Epik, a blockchain-focused firm described in the Metaverz announcement as “a leading global platform for AR/VR and gaming experiences.” Continue reading Short-Form Video Platform Triller Creates a New Virtual World

Clippers Become First NBA Team to Host a Streaming Service

ClipperVision is the new direct-to-consumer regional streaming service for viewing Los Angeles Clippers basketball games and related content. The six channel options will make more than 70 of 84 regular season games available to fans located primarily in Southern California for $200 per season. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer purchased the LA Clippers for $2 billion in 2014 and has since been strategizing an improved television platform for the franchise. The new offering makes the Clippers the first NBA team to host its own streaming platform, accessible without any additional TV subscription. Continue reading Clippers Become First NBA Team to Host a Streaming Service

Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ Is Struggling to Attract New VR Users

There’s trouble in virtual paradise, according to The Wall Street Journal, which says internal Meta Platforms documents show that its initial goal of 500,000 monthly active “Horizon Worlds” users by the end of 2022 has been revised to 280,000, which is over 80,000 more than it currently has. Meanwhile, Forbes says the debut of avatar “legs” demoed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg at last week’s Meta Connect was actually “staged” using motion capture. However, a Meta spokesman explains that the company’s metaverse efforts were always expected to be a multiyear project, with ongoing improvements based on user feedback. Continue reading Meta’s ‘Horizon Worlds’ Is Struggling to Attract New VR Users

Robot Renaissance Triggers a Surge in Automaton Workforce

The world is experiencing a skilled labor shortage, and robots are stepping in to fill the void. Last year, some 500,000 industrial robots were added to the global workforce, bringing the total figure to about 3.5 million, according to a new report by the International Federation of Robotics trade group, which says the number of robots added in 2021 exceeds by 22 percent a record set in 2018. The pattern indicates the industrial robotics market will grow from $15.7 billion in 2022 to $30.8 billion by 2027, a CAGR of 14.3 percent, according to the report. Continue reading Robot Renaissance Triggers a Surge in Automaton Workforce