Roundup – Apple back to the drawing board and Google acts on misinformation in India
Apple scraps fully autonomous self-driving car
Apple has shifted the focus of its Titan car project after concluding that the technology just isn’t quite there to create a full autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals.
No automaker has released a car lacking those driving elements and Apple said it will not include both aspects in any design its Titan arm makes.
The new design aims to help drivers relax, by watching a movie or playing a game, for example, and be alerted to switch to manual control if they reach city streets or encounter harsh weather conditions. The planned design will only support autonomous capabilities on motorways, with aims to complete the process next year.
US to ease proposed curbs on Chinese chips
The move is the latest example of business efforts to undermine ideas meant to restrain China’s growing IT sector. Top senate Democrat Chuck Schumer and John Cornyn, a Republican China lawmaker, revealed a measure in September that would have required US federal agencies and their contractors to stop using semiconductors manufactured at China’s SMIC, as well as chips made by Chinese memory chip leaders YMTC and CXMT. The new version of the measure, dated December 1, no longer forbids contractors from “using” the chips and pushes back the compliance deadline to five years from the two-year deadline in the first draft.
Google unveils anti-misinformation campaign in India
Misinformation spreads rapidly across India, mostly through social media, creating political and religious tensions. In a bid to curb this, and after pressure from India government officials urging tech companies to take stronger action against fake news, Google’s Jigsaw subsidiary has launched a new anti-misinformation project. “Prebunking” videos will be used in the initiative to counter false claims before they become out of hand – circulated on the company’s YouTube platform and other social media sites. The initiative will deal with multiple local languages such as Bengali, Hindi and Marathi.
EU to restrict Meta from ads based on personal data
The Irish data protection agency has been given a month to issue a ruling based on the European Data Protections Boards (EDPB) decision. Only after, and if, users’ give consent will Meta be able to run advertising based on their personal data. The case against Meta was triggered by a 2018 complaint by Australian privacy activist Max Schrems. He said that Meta must allow users to have a version of all apps that do not use personal data for ads. The EDPB is likely to require the Irish body to dish out fines.
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