Facebook Doubles Down on Creating “Instagram Kids” Amid Criticisms

Despite concerns and criticisms from lawmakers and others, Facebook restated its intention to create a special Instagram platform just for children under 13 but also announced new updates to take care of concerns about the safety of young users on its social media platforms.

In one blog post Facebook claims it is developing the new platform to reduce the chances of children under 13 lying about their age to use the current Instagram platform. The new Instagram for kids, Facebook says, will allow parents and guardians to heavily manage their children’s use of the new platform.

Facebook wrote that kids this age are already online and using social media platforms and there simply isn’t yet a foolproof way to stop them. According to an internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed Instagram identified youth work as a priority.

Earlier this year 44 attorneys general signed a letter addressed to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO) to scrap the Instagram for kids project. They cited concerns over privacy and mental health. Child safety groups and Congress expressed similar concerns just weeks before this letter.

Facebook and Instagram have made a lot of promises about safety with their new platform and reiterated steps they’ve taken to help protect young users on their existing platforms.

uSky Testing Autonomous Public Transportation

Around the world traffic congestion is a problem for cities. Some tech-based solutions have included electric scooter systems or AI powered traffic lights. Another company thinks their solution to build a network of autonomous, high speed pods that would ride around a city suspended from a steel track might be a solution.

Belarus company uSky Transport has opened a 400-meter test line in Sharjah, located near Dubai.

Outside the electric power pods look are a promised-future glossy white. Inside they look more like a first-class airplane experience. This includes mood lighting, music, and windows. There are two padded armchairs and two folding seats, each pod being rated to carry four people.

uSky claims a fully executed whole city network could support 10k passengers an hour. The pods have a top speed of 93 miles an hour. However, due to safety concerns the test pods are not using their top speed.

uSky says it has a goal to free up roads and ground space that could be used for greenery, walkways and public spaces like parks.

 

Facial Recognition Coming to Unemployment Agencies

Facial recognition is a new but controversial technology that is beginning to be employed everywhere from law enforcement, security and as a way to lock/unlock personal smartphones.

27 states’ unemployment agencies have currently entered into contracts with facial recognition company ID.me, according to the company. 25 of these states are already using it. The company also claims they are talking to these agencies in 7 other states. They are already working with federal agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Veteran Affairs to verify the identities of their staff and or clients.

ID.me’s swift integration into state unemployment agencies is just the latest step towards a future where facial recognition will be used widely for identification.

ID.me uses facial verification style racial recognition that compares a photo ID with a video selfie the user takes on their phone when ID.me’s software prompts them. It is very similar to using facial recognition to lock and unlock a personal smartphone with your face. This is slightly different than what law enforcement would use where they would take one photo of person and the software would compare it to a database of known faces.

 

 

 

Experts Express Concerns With Increasing Internet Outages

Recently a widespread disruption of internet services took down range of major corporate websites. Some of those companies included Delta Air Lines, FedEx, HSBC and McDonald’s.

The disruptions came along with reported disruptions from internet infrastructure services provides Akamai and Oracle.

This is a third major internet interruption in just two months and the second Akamai has been involved in. In early June many large websites like a UK government site, the New York Times and Target went down with dozens of others. The outage lasted for about fifty minutes because of failed content delivery network, Fastly.

10 days later everything form banks, airlines, stock exchanges and trading platforms because of bugs at Akamai in a system meant to protect from attacks.

Major app and website outages happen occasionally, but typically don’t last long. While ISPs and other local and global services use backups and redundancies, however, experts are wary that the internet’s reliance what is a fairly small number of core infrastructure providers could put the internet at serious risk for bigger outages.