As you may have seen already, after three years of being our amazing colleague here at Cambre, Zachery Bishop has moved on to a great new opportunity and city! He joined the IBM communications team on AI in New York this week. We wish him all the best in his exciting new adventure!  Our CEO, Victoria Main, will remain Director of Technology at Cambre, and I am delighted to take on the coordination of the practice and TechAways. Feel to reach out with any ideas, recommendations and feedback on all things tech at cmatthysen@cambre-associates.com.

Next week promises to be busy, with the continuing post-election negotiations at the European Parliament, the Commission’s GDPR event  and the Digital Assembly in Bucharest. I will be representing Cambre at the Digital Assembly, so if you are going too, let me know!

Charlotte Matthysen

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Tech Team

How to face facial recognition if you don’t want it [The Guardian]

Are you against the use of facial recognition? Then, you might like this new tool. Privacy activists have launched a website that indicates which airlines use facial recognition to check passengers’ identity before boarding. Are you planning to travel to New York or San Francisco? The website also warns that the US Department of Homeland Security will store biometric data of US citizens for a minimum of 12 hours but if you’re not a US native, your face will be stored forever. Better think twice before choosing your airline company or destination for your holiday…

Mind the supply chain safety gap [Wall Street Journal]

After a malware sneaked into Apple’s supply chain, affecting machines at the heart of their data-analytics division, the tech giant acted immediately and took out the supplier. With devices becoming smaller and more sophisticated, companies need to rely on thousands of sub-contractors to deliver their parts. But it is an issue on the US government’s radar: how sure are we that the supply chain of technology devices is – and stays – clean from malicious intent/spyware? The tensions around Huawei are a manifestation of that fear. But is it that justified? Experts claim the real danger is not in spyware, but in low-quality components that can be easily hacked. That’s what’s keeping them awake at night. How long since you last upgraded your hardware?

Drones and…wine? [Bloomberg]

Wine making is getting more high-tech. French vintners are using drones to take images of their vineyards to create realistic 3D renderings so they are able to spot sick plants, predict output, and map vineyards down to the size of a grape. And this is not the only industry that has adopted drones – Swedish archaeologists are using drones to help map a 5th-century fort, Danish wind farms are using them to inspect windmills, and firefighters in California use them to help track how fire spreads. Drones help these industries increase safety and efficiency, even if they come with a hefty price tag (for now). So hopefully soon you can sit in your backyard and have your preferred wine delivered  within the hour by an Amazon drone.

Killing robocalls softly [Financial Times]

In May, Americans were spammed with 4.7 billion robocalls – those automated phone calls that play a recorded message (scams, alerts and reminders, payment reminders, telemarketing calls). Calling them annoying would be an understatement. To counter the rise of unwanted robocalls, the FCC adopted this week new rules to allow telcos to offer robocall blocking tools as a default option. In the past, this option was only possible in some cases and on an opt-in basis. Even though the blocking tool is not for free at this stage, it is a step in the right direction in getting rid of unwanted calls.

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In case you haven’t had enough…

Inside an all-white towns divisive experiment with cryptocurrency [Wired]

The coalition out to kill tech as we know it [The Atlantic]

Robocrop: world’s first raspberry-picking robot set to work  [The Guardian]

Hackers may soon be able to tell what you’re typing just by hearing you type [Wall Street Journal]