Archives: Briefings

U.S. probes TikTok for alleged child privacy violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department are investigating allegations made by the Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, among others, that the short-video platform failed to delete videos and personal information about users 13 and younger. (Reuters)

Twitter looks at creating a new subscription service

A job listing suggests that the social media platform is building a new internal team, codenamed “Gryphon,” that is “building a subscription platform, one that can be reused by other teams in the future.” The listing notes it is “a first for Twitter!” The company’s shares jumped by 7.34 per cent in response to the news. (Bloomberg)

Uber launches grocery delivery in Toronto and Montreal

The ride-hailing firm’s new service, which it’s offering in partnership with Cornershop, is also available in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru, and it intends to launch within the U.S. in the next month. “We look forward to expanding to more Canadian cities in the future,” Uber spokesperson Laura Miller told The Logic. Meanwhile, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, who had been trying to get Uber in his city since 2017, welcomed the company’s decision to finally launch there. (The Logic)

TikTok exiting Hong Kong over China’s national security law

The move comes after the U.S. government threatened to ban the video-sharing platform, and marks the second time in as many weeks that it has exited a country as a result of roiling diplomatic and security-related disputes. The Indian government has also banned TikTok (along with Shenzhen-based WeChat) after a border clash between Chinese and Indian troops. (The Wall Street Journal)

Indonesia introduces 10 per cent tax on tech platforms

The value-added tax will apply to non-resident foreign firms with US$41,667 or more in annual revenue in the country from digital products and services. The Indonesia tax office said it has assigned tax identification numbers to multiple Google subsidiaries, as well as Amazon Web Services, Netflix and Spotify. (Reuters)

Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime will launch this month

The big-box giant is reportedly set to release Walmart Plus, a subscription service that will cost US$98 a year and will include same-day delivery, Walmart fuel discounts and early access to promotions. Walmart declined to comment. (Recode)

Competition Bureau enforcement to target digital services and online marketing

The antitrust watchdog’s other priority sectors for 2020–2021 are financial services and infrastructure. It’s also ramping up its own use of technology, including an automation pilot project to replace manual data entry, looking for potential uses for AI and hiring more data scientists and engineers to “advance analytics, algorithms, machine learning and data mining.” (The Logic)