Amazon-Euro Anti-Trust Suits Coming; Amazon Suspending Cop Use of Rekognition; Apple Stock Sets Record; 5 States’ Online Voting Tech Flawed; Starbucks Closing 400 Stores- Going Pickup Only At MorePosted: June 11, 2020
European regulators are getting ready to file antitrust actions against Amazon for alleged use of using 3rd party seller data to compete with those retailers on its e-commerce platform. Geekwire.com reports that a Wall St. Journal investigation made public in April found that Amazon used seller data when considering new private label products. A formal statement of objections against Amazon could come from the European Commission next week or the week after.
In other Amazon news, the online giant has announced that it will suspend police use of its controversial facial-recognition tech, Rekognition, for a year. The company says it will still sell the tech to groups that help rescue victims of human trafficking. Businessinsider.com notes that Amazon Web Services has sold its facial-recognition software—Rekognition—to police departments across the country, but numerous studies have found bias in the software that disproportionately targets Black people and other people with darker skin.
The markets are back down today, but not before Apple stock hit a record. 9to5mac.com says the company surpassed a market cap of over $1.5 trillion, making it the first US company to do so. An analyst at Evercore ISI, Amit Daryanani, predicts that Apple could hit $2 trillion in market cap by or before 2024.
New research by a couple of computer scientists, Michael Specter of MIT and Alex Halderman from U of Michigan, find that Democracy Live’s OmniBallot election software has inadequate security protections, creating a serious risk to election integrity. According to arstechnica.com, the software is used by dozens of jurisdictions in the US. In addition to delivering ballots and helloing voters mark them, it includes an option for online voting. West Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey, have used the tech or are planning to in an upcoming election. Four local jurisdictions in Oregon and Washington state have used to online voting feature, too. Democracy Live defended its software in a statement. “The report did not find any technical vulnerabilities in OmniBallot.”
Starbucks will expedite the rollout of its new ‘Pickup’ store concept, powered by mobile ordering, and will close some 400 stores. Techcrunch.com reports that even before COVID-19, Starbucks hd found that over 80% of transactions at company owned stores were for ‘on-the-go’ orders. The pickup stores specifically cater to customers who order ahead and pay via the Starbucks mobile app. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Starbucks has accelerated its move to the new concept pickup stores.