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10 things in tech you need to know today, July 13
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Monday.
- Amazon sent an email to employees telling them to delete TikTok from their phones because of “security risks,” then said the email was sent in error. TikTok’s data-collection practices have come under scrutiny from US lawmakers.
- Facebook is reportedly considering a “blackout” on political ads in the days running up to the US presidential election. Facebook hasn’t officially decided whether it will introduce the ban and it’s not yet clear how long it might last, per Bloomberg.
- President Trump told the Washington Post he authorized a cyberattack on a notorious Russian troll farm to try to deter it from interfering with the 2018 mid-terms. This is the first time Trump or the White House has confirmed the operation took place.
- Three more executives are leaving French gaming company Ubisoft over allegations of sexual harassment, The Guardian reports. This brings the total of departed executives up to five after employees started detailing allegations of sexual misconduct on social media.
- Microsoft founder Bill Gates said COVID-19 drugs and vaccines should not go “to the highest bidder” at a virtual conference, Reuters reports. “One of the best lessons in the fight against HIV/AIDS is the importance of building this large, fair global distribution system to get the drugs out to everyone,” Gates said at the conference, which was hosted by the International AIDS Society.
- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says ride-hailing will make up only 50% of the company’s business moving forward. The coronavirus pandemic has decimated Uber’s core ride-hailing business, with trips plummeting as much as 94% earlier this year and the company losing $2.9 billion last quarter.
- The new CEO of Intercom, a $1.3 billion startup backed by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, says she’ll lead the company to profitability and an IPO in a ‘few years.’ In June, the former CIO of $1.3 billion customer messaging startup Intercom — Karen Peacock — took the role of CEO, replacing cofounder Eoghan McCabe.
- Tesla slashed the price of its Model Y by $3,000 on Saturday, Electrek reported. The cheapest version of the Model Y has now been reduced to $49,990.
- Tesla confirmed its annual meeting and highly anticipated “battery day” will be held in-person on September 22 at its Fremont factory. Both events have previously been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic that’s also forced shutdowns of Tesla’s factories in California and China.
- A document published by TikTok’s parent company ByteDance says its sister app Douyin uses facial recognition to keep foreigners out, The Telegraph reports. The system described in the document scans users’ faces and matches them with state ID cards, automatically booting out foreigners.
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