The temperature’s getting hot out there, and so is the tech news. If you’ve been taking full advantage of the sunny summer weather, you may have missed some major stories this week. Luckily, our B2B PR teams have been paying attention for you. Here’s what we’ve been monitoring:
Prime Day pandemonium
Amazon’s Prime Day 2019 set records earlier this week as customers purchased more than 175 million items over the course of two days (bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday). This was obviously a huge success for the e-commerce giant, but all those discounted air fryers did come with some bad PR.
Amazon warehouse workers in Minneapolis went on strike, protesting alleged inhumane conditions. This was the first work stoppage for the company during a peak shopping time in the US, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see similar efforts as we approach the holiday season.
Cybercriminals were also busy trying to take advantage of unsuspecting Prime shoppers. Check out this article from WIRED’s Brian Barrett that explains how some of these phishing campaigns are being implemented.
FaceApp – harmless fun or privacy nightmare?
By now, we’ve all seen what we’re going to look like when we’re old and wrinkly thanks to the viral FaceApp, which completely took over everyone’s social media feeds on Wednesday. We assumed it was all fun and games at first, but then major privacy concerns came to light once people actually looked at the terms or service (turns out those are important). For a good breakdown of the issue, and some quotes from the app’s Russian CEO, I’d recommend this piece from The Washington Post’s Geoffrey Fowler.
Congress is very skeptical about Libra
Remember last month when I wrote about Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, Libra? Well, it turns out that the government has some questions. David Marcus, the head of Calibra, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday to provide more details – facing a tough, occasionally combative, line of questioning. For a full summary of what went down, check out Josh Constine’s piece in TechCrunch here.
America’s mayors are tired of ransomware attacks
More than 1,400 US mayors have taken a stance against the onslaught of ransomware attacks that have been impacting their municipalities over the last couple of years. The resolution was signed at the US Conference of Mayors earlier this month, and pledges to not pay the hackers who are holding their IT networks hostage.
Elon Musk wants to merge human brains with AI
This one’s interesting, and a little scary. This week, Musk said that the ultimate goal of his brain-machine startup Neuralink is to allow humans to “achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence” by “merging with AI”. Seems very far off – but a wild concept, nonetheless.
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