Reporting from hot and sunny Bucharest, the Digital Assembly is running on its second day now. Cambre has been live tweeting about the conference and listening in on the panels and the cocktail conversations.   

For those of you that didn’t fly over, what did you miss? With the new Commission coming in, everybody is wondering what the EU will do next on digital policy and that’s what has kept us all busy – trying to look into a crystal ball the past two days. No clear answer but also no real surprises as to what came up most: invest in new technologies like quantum computers, continue the regulatory trend and push for European champions across all digitalising industries. 

Let’s see if anything rings through early next year, but for now the networking, Eurovision-like stage for the plenary and Romanian delicacies are a wrap for yours truly! 

See you back in Brussels! 


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Tech Team

Facial recognition smart glasses are the new gadget [The Verge]
Already implemented in airports, stadiums and during public gatherings, facial recognition is reaching a new milestone. With this technology being implemented with smart glasses facial recognition could potentially be used by law enforcement and security services anywhere and anytime to identify individuals. One can already foresee the potential drift of such a devise in countries where political pluralism, free speech or media freedom are sometimes mishandled. This might be a new file on which International, European and national authorities will have to work to make sure civil rights are protected. 

How much do you know about GDPR? [Tech Republic] 

This week the Commission published the results of a “Eurobarometer” that shows that less than a third of European citizens are aware of all their rights under GDPR (by the way, do you know all six?). At the same time, threat management company ObserveIT surveyed corporate employees in the UK and in the US. While 83% of UK employees said they know their responsibilities for data protection compliance since GDPR became law, only 16% of US employees cited GDPR as a piece of law regulating how organizations deal with customers data. Somewhat reassuring: the UK is still close to the EU. Somewhat concerning: GDPR is supposed to apply well beyond the EU when data belongs to European customers. 

Catfishing with AI [AP 

After being warned for years that fake photos could be the next big threat to society, the AP has reported that they’ve found a real-life case of an AI-generated photo being used on a LinkedIn page to network with well-connected DC folks. The AI fake in question is Katie Jones, who is portrayed as a Russia and Eurasia Fellow at CSIS in DC (which seems a bit too ‘on the nose’). Experts say her LinkedIn activity is typical for a state-run espionage operation on the networking site. So the next time you get a random request to connect with someone you don’t know, you might want to think twice.  

It takes two to tango, and a fool to remain sane [Financial Times] 

There has been so much noise about the need to break up big tech that the foundation of competition has almost been forgotten. The best medicine to cure monopolies and improve competition, it turns out, is competition. Who would have thought? Most economists, but not those who seems to think big tech companies don’t compete. But they do, and what if Apple’s strong bet on privacy as a competitive edge was to force Google or Facebook to also embrace a “privacy by design” approach? Maybe the best check on companies’ power is their competitors. Before regulating left, right and centre, policy-makers may want to reread their Wilde: “To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.”

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In case you haven’t had enough… 

Using Smartphones to Pay? That’s So Yesterday in China [WSJ] 

Uber adds another air taxi vehicle partner to the mix [TechCrunch] 

What are you looking at? How eye-tracking became tech’s new gold rush [Financial Times] 

Have I been Pwned is looking for a new owner [TechCrunch] 

This Deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg Tests Facebook’s Fake Video Policies [VICE] 

The first murder case to use family tree forensics goes to trial [Wired] 

Privacy policies are still too horrible to read in full [TechCrunch]