Some of you might already be on a beach somewhere relaxing after the busy year that we’ve had so far, and as things are winding down in Brussels so is #TechAways. The Cambre tech team is heading out for the summer but we will be back in September to discover alongside you what the new EU administration has in store for tech and digital policy.
Enjoy the summer and your holidays!
The Cambre Tech Team
The hottest virtual beach-ticket of the year [The Atlantic]
There are some pretty exclusive beach parties, with legendary VIPs, and atmospheres or location that make everyone envious. Of course, Instagram’s influencers couldn’t miss out on this trend. So last week, hundreds of Instagram influencers went to Malibu to be part of the most exclusive and most digitally ‘viewed’ event of the year. Instabeach was meant to be just for influencers to mix and mingle but this year, Hollywood teen stars and celebrities showed up, confirming that you can’t really be a teenage celebrity anymore without those digital followers. The average age of these influencers? Well, let’s put it this way: at the end of the night, an influencer with over 15 million followers wasn’t checking her phone to upload her latest picture but to wait for her mom to come pick her up instead. Feel old yet? We do.
An end to infinite scrolling? [The Guardian]
Aimlessly scrolling through Twitter/Facebook/Instagram -pick your poison- while on your daily commute or before you fall asleep may be a thing of the past if one US republican Senator has his way. Josh Hawley is convinced that the auto-scroll feature on popular websites like Facebook is feeding our social media addiction. He may have a point, it’s hard to control how much time you spend or content you consume when you can simply keep swiping without having to press a “show more” button. But it should be noted that Twitter does have this function in place, and it could be a challenge to force other sites to change their format at this stage, so let’s see how far this bill gets.
Thumbs up for…GDPR? [The Verge]
What’s in a like? Most of us collect them for our favorite picture or to support a comment but the EU Court of Justice sees a potential lawsuit in it. Websites that embed Facebook’s like button and transmit data to the platform may be liable for doing so without users’ consent. The transmission, it seems, is normal practice and automatic for sites using the famous thumb up icon, regardless of whether the visitor clicks on it or not. So, a bit more work for websites that want to use Facebook’s services, but another small piece of the big “how-do-we-deal-with-data” puzzle. Facebook replied thanking the EU for the decision and that they will improve – seems to ring a bell, no?
How data could help to assess the risk of getting infected with HIV [The New York Times]
It’s a fact that HIV infections increase during the summer. What if an algorithm could use personal data in electronic health records to identify patients at high risk of becoming infected? Well, American researchers made it reality. The algorithm identifies patients at risk and then steers them to preventive drugs. But it makes some uneasy to use such a tool as well as the level of personal data needed in order for it to work. There is also the issue of being able to explain the issue to a patient when there are often misunderstandings and misinformation spreading about what HIV is or how you get infected. In 2018, 1.7 million people became infected, so this summer make sure you keep it covered!
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In case you haven’t had enough…