10 things in tech you need to know today


Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

1. Mark Zuckerberg largely managed to dodge awkward questions during his testimony to European lawmakers, thanks to the limited format of the hearing. Zuckerberg mostly retrod old ground in his answers to questions about shadow profiles and the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

2. A US civil liberties organisation has found that Amazon is marketing its powerful facial recognition tool to police. The tool is already being used by one agency to check photographs of unidentified suspects against a database of mug shots from the county jail.

3. Facebook is expanding its efforts to fight revenge porn, asking users in the UK, Australia, the US, and Canada to upload any intimate images of themselves which they fear might be shared without their permission. Those images would be shared with specially trained Facebook representatives and then be marked to prevent them being shared on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Messenger.

4. Google’s autocomplete feature on search reveals the names of victims in sexual assault cases, even though they are granted lifetime anonymity under UK law. Google said it was investigating instances where victims’ names had been revealed.

5. Europe’s top data protection official said it’s likely Facebook has many more Cambridge Analytica-style scandals to come, thanks to its policy of allowing developers to build on its platform. He also said it isn’t clear if Facebook would have been fined for the scandal under upcoming European privacy rules.

6. SoftBank is selling its entire stake in Indian ecommerce company Flipkart to Walmart, worth an estimated $US4 billion.The decision means Walmart is now the sole shareholder in Flipkart after it paid $US16 billion for a 77% stake.

7. Starbucks’ mobile payment system is so popular that it’s actually bigger than Apple’s. According to eMarketer statistics, 23.4 million US customers use Starbucks’ mobile payments compared with 22 million using Apple Pay.

8. Tesla has poached a senior engineer from Snap, which has seen something of an exodus of top talent recently.Stuart Bowers left his role as vice president of monetisation engineering at Snap to become vice president of engineering at Tesla.

9. HTC leaked details about its upcoming smartphone, the HTC U12 Plus, one day ahead of its expected launch. An HTC test site showing details about the phone was taken down.

10. Facebook’s executive leadership is surprisingly loyal, according to an analysis by the website Recode. Only one member of upper management, Mike Vernal, has left Facebook, while the average tenure of executives is almost ten years.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.