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Enterprise Tech Dispatch: Google halts facial tech research over $5 bribes

Enterprise Tech Dispatch: Google halts facial tech research over $5 bribes
Photo Credit: Reuters

Google halts the launch of facial recognition technology

Tech giant Google has halted the research on its new facial recognition feature after media reports claimed homeless people were being used to collect data for the application, Indo-Asian News Service reported.

Homeless people were reportedly being bribed with gift cards worth $5 in order to collect data for the new smartphone, Google Pixel 4. 

Google has now launched a probe into the research, which was taken up by a subcontractor company Randstad.

Cognizant's ex-CEO made $191 million in 12 years

Information technology services company Cognizant’s ex-chief executive officer, Francisco D’Souza made about $191 million as compensation during his 12-year stint as the CEO of the company, according to a post by US-based compensation research firm Equilar.  

A big piece of the pie, however, came from D’Souza investing in the stocks of the company. What’s interesting to note is that the compensation on paper last year showed only $104.3 million but the final amount increased due to stocks’ good performance.

During D’Souza’s tenure, the revenue of the company reportedly surpassed that of Wipro and Infosys.

Twitter used two-factor authenticated mobile numbers to sell ads

In another instance of misuse of information, Twitter admitted that mobile numbers collected for authenticating accounts were used by ad agencies to target customers.

Twitter uploaded a disclosure on Tuesday and admitted it had no clear numbers on how many users were affected.  The issue was reportedly due to a tailored audiences programme for the ad partners of Twitter. 

The programme had a flaw where somehow the two-factor authenticated email IDs and phone numbers found their way into advertisers’ lists. The social media giant said the issue was addressed on September 17.

Oracle eyes aggressive expansion; to hire 2,000 employees

In a piece of somewhat refreshing news amid ongoing corporate layoffs and economic crisis, Oracle has announced it will hire 2,000 employees across the United States and India as part of a drive to expand its business in new countries. 

However, the exact figure for India was not disclosed.

The US-based technology firm Oracle wants to expand business in an effort to up its game against rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. 

Oracle also plans to open 20 cloud ‘regions’ by next year in areas where its data centres are currently placed. This will be done in order to safely upload data for disaster recovery or in compliance with local data storage laws.

China-US tensions go up a notch

The National Basketball Association of the USA is facing stiff opposition in China, with three big Chinese sponsors cutting ties with the association over tweets that supported the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Smartphone giant Vivo, broadcast partner CCTV and internet giant Tencent officially announced that they were suspending ties with NBA after a member of an NBA team tweeted in favour of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, TechCrunch reported.

“Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” was the tweet that General Manager of team Rocket, Daryl Morey put via his handle. This apparently did not go well with Chinese authorities.

Instagram rolls out a new feature to counter phishing attacks

In an update, social media platform Instagram has added a new feature in the app where a user can check if the email received through the portal is authentic or a phishing scam, media website The Verge reported.

The new feature ‘emails from Instagram’ lists every email that the service has sent to its users over the past 14 days. The emails show up in two categories named security emails and others. Instagram also asked its users to follow instructions from its ‘help page’ in case they are worried that the email from the social media company looks like a phishing attempt.

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