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Tech Team

Happy Friday dearest readers, 

Alice Franchi speaking, your guest editor for the day. As a member of Cambre’s comms team, it is my duty and passion to follow the latest digital developments in marketing to inform our clients on the most efficient ways to deliver their messages. And yes, that includes opening a secret Tik Tok account to keep up with Gen-Z. 

Did you know that this year, January 28 marked both Data Privacy Day and the 40th anniversary of Convention 108, which shaped the protection of data in Europe? To celebrate this occasion, I am glad to witness privacy finally becoming cool. Goodbye, third-party cookies! Hello, tracking transparency! Even though we have yet to see a European regulatory framework making privacy the default in our digital spaces, these shifts are welcome news for online security nerds like me. 

And so, as we patiently wait for the post-COVID age, I am looking forward to more positive changes. As another Alice would say, “it’s no use going back to yesterday” because we are all a different person now. 

One last thing before you read on. For any trade geeks out there, we have a great opening in our stellar external relations and trade team. Spread the word! 

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy ‘Much Ado About Nothing ‘?  [The Guardian 

WhatsApp has lost millions of users after announcing its new privacy policy set to kick in on 8 February. The badly explained privacy policy update would have allowed parent company Facebook and its divisions to collect user data, including phone numbers and location. The announcement was not well received in the WhatsApp community and generated users’ migration to alternative messaging services such as Signal which gained 7.5 million users globally only in the first three weeks of January. After receiving backlash, the Facebook-owned messaging service clarified that the new terms of service will not compromise the privacy of user messages, and it has delayed the induction of the privacy policy. But is this enough to stop the WhatsApp exodus? 

Can AI cure racial disparities in healthcare?🧑‍⚕️ [Wired 

We know that AI has proven its racial bias in anything from reading job applications to medical records – and that this is often because traditional algorithms are trained by going through data provided and created by biased humans. But a recent study trained algorithms to read knee x-rays based on patients’ own reports instead of doctors and found that many radiologists were not properly accounting for the pain that Black patients were feeling. The hope is that by training AI to reveal what doctors are missing, instead of imitating their knowledge, healthcare could be made to be more equitable. A lofty, but extremely important goal.  

14 principles for healthy online spaces 🧘 [Fast Company] 

Researchers of a project named “Civic Signals” have conducted a study among 20,000 internet users from 20 countries on their usage and perception of different digital platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook or WhatsApp. They asked participants to rate their favourite platforms on certain characteristics that would contribute to creating healthy online spaces and the results showed that platforms had a long way to go on this front. To provide them with guidance on how to improve, the study outlines 14 principles that can be adopted for establishing healthy online spaces, for instance encouraging the humanisation of others or cultivating a sense of belonging. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the more time we spend online the more we need the online spaces to be healthy instead of harming.  

Are we slowly moving past podcasts? 🎤 [Bloomberg 

While many of us have increased our podcast listening hours the past year, some iPhone users have been making their way towards a new audio-based app, Clubhouse. It is a social networking app that aims to mimic in-person conversations by enabling users to drop in and out of conversations ranging from small chats with friends to large discussions held by expert panels on various topics. The start-up has been very choosy about their exclusive audience and their word-of-mouth strategy has proven to work, but it has also caused a lot of controversy. After receiving backlash about anti-Semitic, racial and gender discriminatory comments in the discussion rooms, Clubhouse may be better off investing in content safety measures while we continue listening to good old podcasts. 

About this week’s editor, Alice Franchi

I’ve been at Cambre for three exhilarating months as digital witch. Before landing in the bubble, I lived a short but intense career in NYC as a photo producer in the fashion industry 📸. I come from a place where the sun shines 170 days/year 🌞, but as you may have noticed by now, my passion for dance music often leads me to 🌚 obscure corners of YouTube (for better, worse, and sometimes treasures). Christine Lagarde and I both had successful synchronised swimming careers 🏊🏻‍♀️; and if we were in Wonderland, who knows, maybe I would end up at the top of the ECB. Please don’t cut my big head off just yet; but do say hi 🤏. 

In case you haven’t had enough… 

Valve and five game publishers fined millions for geo-blocking Steam games in EU [The Verge] 

U.S. lawmakers aim to curtail face recognition even as the technology IDs Capitol attackers [Reuters] 

WhatsApp-Facebook data-sharing transparency under review by EU DPAs after Ireland sends draft decision [TechCrunch] 

NASA Is Training an AI to Detect Fresh Craters on Mars [Wired] 

Tracy Chou launches Block Party to combat online harassment and abuse [TechCrunch] 

Zoom funerals, outdoor classes: Jails are evolving amid Covid, but what happens afterward? [NBC News] 

Is ‘Green AI’ the same as environmental AI? [Techwire Asia] 

Your Body, Your Self, Your Surgeon, His Instagram [Wired]