What’s new in tech
Reckoning with Rekognition
Amazon shareholders are asking CEO Jeff Bezos to stop selling facial recognition technology to the government, said Mallory Locklear in Engadget.com. Five shareholder groups with $1.32 billion worth of Amazon stock last week filed a resolution to pause sales of the technology, known as Rekognition, until Amazon can prove that it is “effectively restricting the use of Rekognition to protect privacy and civil rights.” The resolution was put together by Open MIC, a nonprofit group that seeks to change corporate behavior through shareholder action. Rekognition is currently used by law enforcement groups, including police departments, and by some reports has been offered to ICE, the immigration enforcement agency. The Amazon shareholders plan to try to pass the resolution at the Amazon shareholder meeting in the summer.
Apple plans three-camera iPhone
“Apple is planning to do some catching up to rivals on rear cameras” when it debuts three new iPhone models in 2019, said Yoko Kubota and Takashi Mochizuki in The Wall Street Journal. Apple’s highest-end model will have a triple rear camera, improving image quality for zoomed photos. That still leaves most of Apple’s phones behind Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro, which each have three rear cameras, and Samsung’s Galaxy A9, with four. Falling behind in China, “the company has been studying some Chinese smartphone brands.” Analysts question whether the multiplying cameras will get Apple out of its rut. “What we want from Apple is something that makes us emotional,” said one.
A Google loss in Europe
A Dutch surgeon disciplined for medical negligence this week “won a legal action to remove Google search results about her case,” said Daniel Boffey in The Guardian. It’s a major test of Europe’s “right to be forgotten” regulations, which allow Europeans to demand that Google and other search engines remove negative information. The case balanced the public’s right to know about disciplinary records against the doctor’s right not to have a “blacklist” of doctors appear “every time someone enters their full name in Google’s search engine.” The court blocked Google from linking searches on the doctor’s name to the “digital pillory” of the blacklist, judging that the Dutch government’s own list of doctors on probation was enough—and overruling a Dutch privacy regulator that had sided with Google.