Ingrid van Engelshoven

Technology • Internet & Web
CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in misinformation hearing
CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter to testify in misinformation hearing
Credit: unsplash.com/Prateek Katyal

Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey will testify in a hearing on misinformation and disinformation on online platforms before US House lawmakers on March 25.

"Whether it be falsehoods about the Covid-19 vaccine or debunked claims of election fraud, these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety," so the Committee's chairs. "For far too long, big tech has failed to acknowledge the role they’ve played in fomenting and elevating blatantly false information to its online audiences. Industry self-regulation has failed. We must begin the work of changing incentives driving social media companies to allow and even promote misinformation and disinformation."

Technology • Internet & Web
Google to pay UK publishers for news
Google logo
Google logo Credit: Rajeshwar Bachu

Google has launched Google News Showcase in the UK and Argentina, offering selected paywall content to users for free. News Showcase is already available in Germany, Brazil and, as of last week, Australia. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, said the program would help the company pay $1 billion to publishers over the next three years.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US House Antitrust Subcommittee will question tech CEOs over dominance of online platform
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Credit: Anthony Quintano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The chief executives Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google) will be questioned today by the United States House Antitrust Subcommittee that currently investigates the into market dominance of online platforms.

Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the subcommittee has stated that "these platforms have been allowed to run wild and free from really any constraints" adding that the committee has to clarify "what the impacts are of the lack of competition in the digital marketplace".

Technology • Internet & Web
New Google data retention police will delete users' location, web history after 18 months
New Google data retention police will delete users' location, web history after 18 months
Credit: Cesar Solorzano (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Google is switching to an auto-delete setup as its default for web browsing and app history. The company will automatically delete some web and location history after 18 months for new users, and make it easier for existing customers to change their settings.

Previously users had ways to limit data collection and delete history — location history, search, voice, and YouTube activity data — but it was an opt-out experience.

In a blog post, Sundar Pichai CEO of Google stated: "Today, we are announcing privacy improvements to help do that, including changes to our data retention practices across our core products to keep less data by default."

Health
Google announces May 22 as a worldwide company holiday
Googleplex Campus
Googleplex Campus Credit: Google (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Google's Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced today the company has asked employees to take a day off on May 22. The announcement, via a memo sent to employees, stated: “I know many of us have been running hard non-stop for weeks now and may be experiencing some burnout,”.

The company said it would begin reopening more offices globally as early as June, but most employees would likely work from home until the end of 2020.