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Briefing

Facebook met with Winklevoss twins to discuss Facebook’s new cryptocurrrency

Facebook has met with cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini—the latter of which was founded by the Winklevoss twins—to discuss its plans to create a cryptocurrency. A secretive unit of the social media company has been working over the past year to build a cryptocurrency that would allow users to exchange money within Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as buy things on the internet and in the real world. The twins sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 for allegedly stealing their idea for a social network; they ultimately settled for US$65 million. (Financial Times)

House ethics committee members studying San Francisco facial recognition ban

Bob Zimmer, Charlie Angus and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said the San Francisco example could inform legislation limiting the use of AI for facial recognition by police and local government agencies. The three MPs—who are chair and vice-chairs, respectively, of the House ethics committee—said the technology’s use should be prohibited if it is found to have negative outcomes, specifically on privacy and freedoms. (MobileSyrup)

Shopify buys e-commerce platform Handshake

Product wholesalers use New York-based Handshake to take orders from retailers. Customers include stroller brand Bugaboo, brewery Ace Hill and clothing manufacturer Dickies’ European division. Shopify did not disclose the acquisition price, but it is reportedly less than $100 million. Handshake CEO Glen Coates is now an executive at Shopify Plus, the company’s product group for larger merchants. (TechCrunch)

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