Facebook’s Vaccination Tools; Disney+ Will Pass Up Netflix; Honda-Two EVs for 2024; Google Incognito Tracking Lawsuit Proceeds

Facebook has caught criticism for its failure to stop misinformation about COVID-19 and about vaccines, and now is stepping up its game to mitigate the damage. The platform is releasing new tools to make it easier for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Cnet.com reports one feature is a tool to find a time and place to get the shot. “The data shows the vaccines are safe and they work. They’re our best hope for getting past this virus and getting back to normal life,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement, noting he’s looking forward to getting the vaccine himself. Facebook has teamed up with Boston Children’s hospital on the tools, and is also partnering with health authorities and governments to get people registered for vaccinations via its messaging service WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Facebook says they will continue to label or remove false info about both COVID-19 and the vaccines. As with most new tools, expect there to be a rolling release…not everyone will have them available as of today.

As Disney+ continues its explosive streaming growth…powered in part by the big success of ‘The Mandalorian,’ the House of Mouse is now poised to pass up streaming king Netflix. According to the guardian.com, Netflix had 203.7 million subscribers as of last month. Disney+ launched in late 2019, and had originally predicted they would have 90 million subscribers in the next 5 years…but has already blown past 100 million. At this rate, Disney+ will be the top streaming service by 2024. Netflix has pumped millions into product…and has not only gotten lots of eyeballs, but critical acclaim for its original product. Disney is powered by the deep library of Disney cartoons and movies, the Star Wars franchise, and the Marvel Universe movies….a pretty formidable stable of products that cut across all demographics. Disney plans to add 100 new titles to its service each year. 

They are a bit late to the party compared to other brands, but Honda is now jumping into the ever growing EV market. Theverge.com says they will offer two full EV SUVs in the 2024 model year. The vehicles will use General Motors battery and electric systems in Honda designed vehicles. One will be a Honda, the other will be an Acura model. Honda is playing catch up here, as Toyota will have its first mass market EV out by the end of this year. Honda does note that both SUVs will be good-sized, and not mini-SUVs.

Google couldn’t get a class action suit dismissed over Incognito mode tracking, so they will have to defend the practice in court. Engadget.com reports that Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Google “did not notify” users it was still collecting data while Incognito’s privacy mode was active, giving the plaintiffs enough ground to move forward with their case. The search giant has been accused of continuing to collect data while users were in private mode. Google claims it warned that Incognito ‘does not mean invisible,’ and that site could still see search activity. As with most class actions, if the users succeed, they will likely get pennies….but maybe more importantly, Google would have to be very explicit in telling users that they are being tracked no matter what ‘mode’ they may select.



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