Canada bans TikTok on government devices

Canada will ban video app TikTok from all government-issued devices starting on Tuesday. The decision follows a review by Canada’s chief information officer, and the app “presents an unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security”, a government spokesperson said in a statement. A TikTok spokesperson said the company was disappointed by the decision. It comes just days after the European Commission announced a similar ban. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was enough concern about security around the app to require the change. “This may the first step, this may be the only step we need to take,” he … Continue reading Canada bans TikTok on government devices

Google’s Bard AI bot mistake wipes $100bn off shares

Google is searching for ways to reassure people that it is still out in front in the race for the best artificial intelligence technology. And so far, the internet giant seems to be coming up with the wrong answer. An advert designed to show off its new AI bot, showed it answering a query incorrectly. In the promotion for the bot, known as Bard, which was released on Twitter on Monday, the bot was asked about what to tell a nine-year-old about discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope. It offered the response that the telescope was the first to take … Continue reading Google’s Bard AI bot mistake wipes $100bn off shares

Microsoft unveils new Bing with ChatGPT powers

Microsoft has announced a new version of its search engine Bing, which incorporates the latest in artificial intelligence. The overhaul deploys OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology, which has taken the world by storm since its launch last year. The move is by far the biggest threat Google has seen to its dominance in web search – and marks the beginning of an AI arms race between the companies. “The race starts today,” Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said. Developed by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, ChatGPT uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to search requests. Mr Nadella said he thought it was poised to … Continue reading Microsoft unveils new Bing with ChatGPT powers

A quarter of global population used facebook daily in December

The number of people using Facebook daily grew to an average of two billion in December – about a quarter of the world’s population. The bigger-than-expected growth helped drive new optimism about the company, which has been under pressure as its costs rise and advertising sales slump. Shares in parent company Meta surged more than 15% in after-hours trade as boss Mark Zuckerberg declared 2023 the “year of efficiency”. He said he was focused on cost cuts. “We’re in a different environment now,” he said, pointing to the firm’s revenue, which declined in 2022 for the first time in its … Continue reading A quarter of global population used facebook daily in December

Google announces sweeping Android changes in India

Google has announced a series of changes to its Android system in India after the search giant lost a major anti-trust case in the country. This includes allowing users to choose their default search engine on Android. The move comes after India’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the country’s anti-trust watchdog that said the company had abused its market position. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined the company $161m, accusing it of “unfair” business practices. About 97% of smartphones in India are estimated to run on Android. Anti-trust proceedings against the tech giant started in October, when CCI asked Google … Continue reading Google announces sweeping Android changes in India

Facebook and Instagram lifts ban on Donald Trump

Donald Trump will be allowed back on to Facebook and Instagram, after Meta announced it would be ending its two-year suspension of his accounts. The suspension will end “in the coming weeks”, the social media giant said. In a statement, Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said the public “should be able to hear what their politicians are saying”. The then-US president was indefinitely suspended from Facebook and Instagram after the Capitol riot in 2021. The firm had taken action following Mr Trump’s “praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol”, Mr Clegg said. “The suspension was an … Continue reading Facebook and Instagram lifts ban on Donald Trump

Canadian billionaire settles defamation suit against Twitter

Canadian billionaire Frank Giustra has settled a long-running lawsuit against Twitter over tweets linking him to the pizzagate conspiracy theory. Mr Giustra, who founded Lionsgate Entertainment, first sued Twitter in 2019, over what he called “corrupt” and “criminal” tweets about him. They included links to pizzagate, a conspiracy claiming a DC pizzeria was the base of a child sex ring. The settlement terms were not disclosed. Lionsgate is one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, and is behind films like American Psycho, La La Land and Knives Out. In a statement, Mr Giustra’s lawyers said he had “started this action … Continue reading Canadian billionaire settles defamation suit against Twitter

Taliban start buying blue ticks on Twitter

The Taliban have started using Twitter’s paid-for verification feature, meaning some now have blue ticks on their accounts. Previously, the blue tick indicated “active, notable, and authentic accounts of public interest” verified by Twitter, and could not be purchased. But now, users can buy them through the new Twitter Blue service. At least two Taliban officials and four prominent supporters in Afghanistan are currently using the checkmarks. Hedayatullah Hedayat, the head of the Taliban’s department for “access to information”, now has the tick. His account has 187,000 followers and he regularly posts information related to the Taliban administration. He had … Continue reading Taliban start buying blue ticks on Twitter

Meta threatens to remove US news content if new law passes

Meta has threatened to remove news content from Facebook in the US. It objects to a new law that would give news organisations greater power to negotiate fees for content shared on Facebook. A similar law, passed in Australia, led to news on Facebook being briefly suspended last year. Meta claims their platform, in fact, provides increased traffic to struggling news outlets. It says publishers put their content on Facebook because “it benefits their bottom line.” The legislation, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA) was introduced in Congress by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and has bipartisan support. It … Continue reading Meta threatens to remove US news content if new law passes

Twitter ends Covid-19 misinformation policy under Musk

Twitter says it has stopped enforcing its policy on misleading information about coronavirus. According to the company’s website, it stopped taking action against tweets breaching its Covid-19 rules, on Wednesday, 23 November. Twitter had previously reported suspending more than 11,000 accounts for Covid misinformation as of September this year. Its other policies on false information remain on Twitter’s website, without a similar notice saying they will no longer be enforced. Under its Covid-specific policy, Twitter operated a “five-strike system” for accounts posting “demonstrably false or misleading” content that may “lead to significant risk of harm” – such as exposure to … Continue reading Twitter ends Covid-19 misinformation policy under Musk

Google to pay record $391m privacy settlement in the US

Google will pay $391.5m to settle allegations about how it collects data from users. The technology giant tracked the location of users who opted out of location services on their devices, 40 US states said. Google has been told to be transparent about location tracking in the future and develop a web page telling people about the data it collects. It is the largest privacy-related multi-state settlement in US history. A Google official said: “Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation, which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago.” Last … Continue reading Google to pay record $391m privacy settlement in the US

TikTok says staff in China can access UK and EU user data

Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok has told users that some of its workers in China have access to the data of accounts in the UK and European Union. The social media giant said the “privacy policy” was “based on a demonstrated need to do their job”. It has come under scrutiny from authorities around the world, including the UK and US, over concerns data could be passed to the Chinese government. Earlier this week, a US official called for the app to be banned in America. TikTok said the policy applies to “the European Economic Area, United Kingdom and Switzerland”. Elaine … Continue reading TikTok says staff in China can access UK and EU user data