10 things in tech you need to know today

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

1. Mark Zuckerberg will spend the next two days explaining to US politicians how Facebook mishandled user data, and the company has released his prepared remarks ahead of his Wednesday congressional testimony. He apologised for Facebook’s mistakes, and revealed more about Russian interference.

2. Facebook is in the process of telling 87 million users that their data was accessed illegitimately by political research firm Cambridge Analytica. Users began seeing banner notifications on the News Feed on Monday.

3. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak told USA Today in an email that he was quitting Facebook, because the firm’s business model relies so heavily on collecting user data. Wozniak praised Apple for making money from hardware rather than user information.

4. Some Facebook employees are reportedly trying to switch over to to other divisions of the company, such as WhatsApp or Instagram. Some Facebook engineers have found it hard to stand by what they have built, as the platform comes under growing scrutiny.

5. Uber has bought an electric bike company in San Francisco called Jump, buying into the global bike-sharing trend driven largely by Chinese startups. The dockless bikes feature an electric motor for pedal-free riding.

6. Amazon spent almost $US23 billion on research and development last year, more than any other US firm, according to Recode.The money has gone into Amazon’s cloud business, Alexa, and its “Go” cashierless supermarket.

7. The cofounders and executives at sex ad website Backpage.com have been indicated for facilitating prostitution and conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to a Department of Justice indictment, the crimes allowed Backpage.com to run up $US500 million in “prostitution-related” revenue since its inception.

8. Alibaba founder Jack Ma has joined the queue of tech executives lining up to take a shot at Mark Zuckerberg, with Ma saying that senior management needed to take responsibility. He added that “we should not kill the company” because of its issues.

9. Bots are responsible for two-thirds of popular links shared on Twitter, according to research from Pew. It’s not necessarily foreign interference though – many news organisations rely on automated tweets to share stories, the research found.

10. TechCrunch has an early look at Instagram’s upcoming Nametags feature, its clone of Snapchat’s QR codes. The feature lets you create an image that other users then scan to follow you.

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