It’s go (vote) time! EU elections kicked off yesterday in The Netherlands and the UK, and will continue today in Ireland and the Czech Republic. The TechAways team is encouraging all its readers to cast their votes in such a crucial election, and its great to see so many campaigns out there pushing EU citizens everywhere to vote. 

You still need a crystal ball (which we don’t have unfortunately) to determine what the EU elections outcome will mean for EU digital policy, but we will keep an eye on the analysis of the results and the political negotiations in the coming months. Stay tuned with us!  

Also, keep a close eye on our EUessentials app, which will be updating new MEP information over the summer. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, now’s the time!!! 

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Tech Team

An EU election propaganda deluge [Wired] 

a new report by Avaaz shows that a network of fake pages, groups and accounts have been spreading misinformation throughout Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Poland, and Spain as the EU heads into its elections. Volunteers flagged 500+ suspicious accounts to Facebook, which took action against 77. The problem is that those accounts had more than 6 million followers and the content spread was viewed 533 times over the last three months. While the group admits the company has gotten much better at removing content once flagged, it wants Facebook to take things a step further and consider how to stop the toxic content from spreading in the first place. They make the case for using algorithms to target those who saw the misinformation with an urgent correction. Is that easier said than done?  

Fly me home please [Forbes] 

Reality has caught up with sci-fi movies with self-driving cars and delivery drones already being tested to be deployedAnd now a new transport revolution is coming our way: flying taxis! Lilium, a German start-up, is gearing up for trials of its electric jet-powered five-seater taxi in cities around the world, with a full-scale commercial launch planned for 2025 (yes, that’s six years from now!). Energy efficient, super-fast (up to 300 km per hour), able to take off and land vertically: all music to investors ears flocking to them. Should the technology really work, it will for sure be a new challenge for regulators – well beyond e-bikes. 

Influencers fighting back [The Atlantic] 

Several cases of gamers and influencers have been trying to speak up about their contracts and work conditions previously but Turner Tenney, aka Tfue playing mostly Fortnite, is making serious waves in the gaming and social media industry by suing his video-game and online-creator collective FaZe Clan. His contract hands over 80% of his earnings to FaZe, living in a community house provided by his employer and he has very little legal protection as gamers don’t fall under the same rules as ‘traditional’ TV entertainment syndicates. With the influencers-marketing industry targeted to reach up to 10 billion$ by 2020, money doesn’t seem to be the issue but more the mindset of regulators. It’s time to start seeing influencers and esports gamers as professionals deserving a protected and regulated environment.  

Lidar for home care [Reuters] 

A goal of many people as they age is to stay independent for as long as possible. A big part of that is being able to continue to live in their own home. IBM and UK startup Cera Care have partnered to test whether lidar laser sensors, most commonly known as the tech that helps autonomous vehicles see, can help the elderly stay in their homes. By placing lidar sensors in 10-15 homes in the UK to help track the person’s routineIBM’s machine learning software should be able to detect any changes in patterns and behavior or falls to alert a caregiver. There is however the ever-present privacy issue, and while, lidar does not screen faces it does track a person’s daily pattern. Independence might come with a cost of losing some privacy, and we all know that debate will only continue to grow. 

Share #TechAways with your friends and colleagues. Ideas? Suggestions? Comments?  Send them our way! 

In case you haven’t had enough… 

The face-recognition panic [Wall Street Journal] 

Finland is winning the war on fake news [CNN] 

Slack co-founder on the power of emoji at the office [Wall Street Journal] 

Face-off in UK court over police use of surveillance technology [Reuters] 

Hospital System uses AI to predict deadly condition [Wall Street Journal]