Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- Sony is making a $250 million “strategic investment” in Epic Games, the company behind “Fortnite,” the two announced on Thursday. That $250 million buys Sony a 1.4% stake in Epic Games, which puts Epic’s current valuation at just shy of $18 billion.
- Apple began rolling out the public beta of iOS 14, its next major software update for the iPhone, on Thursday. The update brings a bunch of new features to the iPhone that touch nearly all aspects of the operating system, from the iPhone’s home screen to Siri, as well as apps like iMessage and Maps.
- Twitter billionaire Jack Dorsey announced he will be funding a universal basic income experiment that could affect up to 7 million people. Jack Dorsey’s fellow Silicon Valley billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg think a universal basic income could help poor Americans, too.
- The UK and Australia are investigating Clearview AI, the facial recognition firm that scraped billions of photos from social media. The UK’s ICO and Australia’s OAIC are looking into Clearview AI’s “use of ‘scraped’ data and biometrics of individuals.”
- German authorities have seized a server that hosted thousands of sensitive police documents published as part of the BlueLeaks data dump. The German prosecutors behind the seizure were acting at the request of the US government, they told the Associated Press. The FBI and other US officials have not commented on the seizure.
- A surge in people signing up to streaming services and online shopping during lockdown risks the exposure of more personal data than ever. According to new research from data privacy firm Mine, the number of US consumers handing their information to ecommerce sites and others surged by 60% between January and April.
- An Uber-backed influence campaign against bike and scooter ‘rider surveillance’ lost the support of major privacy groups once they found out the company was involved. Communities Against Rider Surveillance, which Uber supports, is trying to influence the debate over how cities use shared bike and scooter data.
- Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former chief security officer, said Facebook’s approach to handling political speech has been “haphazard,” in an interview with CNBC. Stamos said Zuckerberg should be thinking more about the potential Facebook has to amplify speech when making such decisions rather than viewing interference with political content as being censorship.
- Chelsea Clinton is forming her own venture capital firm, according to a report from Axios. The firm, called Metrodora Ventures, was registered in April and has its own Twitter account, though it’s still in its early stages and Clinton hasn’t decided whether to commit to the firm full-time, Axios reports.
- Trading app Robinhood installed bulletproof glass after frustrated traders kept showing up at its office, according to the New York Times. An explosion of stock-market volatility as the global economy grapples with a pandemic, coupled with record unemployment, has caused a surge in interest for the app, which pioneered commission-free stock trading for a much younger audience than traditional brokerages.
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