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Quick News #10

Monday, June 7, 2021

The 10th anniversary of Quick News is now live! We are in the right shape for the next challenge — to reach new heights in news and to do more training. And today we are going to start with a deeper dive into the technology news, which is an important part of the venture.

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

It has long been no secret that technology corporations collect an impressive amount of information about the users of their products. The question standing in this context is rather one of volume, which cannot be accurately estimated right now, even approximately. However, some events can give us approximate boundaries and whisper that the volume is enormous. For example, documents from the lawsuit against Google show that the company continued to retrieve geodata about users even when the geolocation-sharing feature was switched off. In addition, finding privacy settings was deliberately complicated even by pressuring smartphone manufacturers.

As part of the dispute over privacy and the limits of what is allowed in personal data gathering, Yandex has added the ability for its users to manage their collected data within the company’s internal services. At a minimum to see, at a maximum to irretrievably delete. The step is interested in the indicated context at least as a marketing move, but we are not going to enter the field of cyberethics yet. By the way, on the same topic, we already informed about the experimentof the confidential messenger Signal, which created highly personalized targeted ads based on the data collected by Facebook.

By the way, it is about advertising data and its illegal use by Facebook that the corporation’s representatives and the European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority will talk about in court in the long term. The latter launched an antitrust investigation into Zuckerberg’s company last week. It is said that the corporation used the collected data to promote its products at the expense of competitors.

Another court case involving an IT star ended with the latter losing. Just under a year ago, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Corporation, sued YouTube. The platform failed to remove, upon request, a video created by fraudsters, where the heads of well-known IT companies promised double profits to anyone who transferred bitcoins to a wallet. The video was created using deepfake technology, and the story mixed together all the major technology topics of recent times: from deeepfake to blockchain. Admittedly, not for a good cause, but we are not touching cyberethics today.

Speaking of another major technology topic of late: the frequent hero of all our digests, NFT tokens and the surrounding market is losing volume, according to the cryptocurrency portal Protos. The statement is based on a study of transactions involving the tokens: sales are down 90% in a month, Protos calls NFT a “bubble”.

The deals are sprouting up on technology soil. ElectroNeek, a service with roots and founders from Russia, has raised a $20M round. The lead investor was Baring Vostok, with participation from YellowRockets, Dragon Capital, I2BF, Angelsdeck and Softline Venture Partners, and business angels — deal terms were not disclosed. The company develops and provides a tool for automating routine tasks. By the way, Gartner estimates that the market for RPA solutions will reach $2B this year.

Remember the story of how the Reddit investor community all over the world raised the shares of GameStop? Now, private investors have “backed” the AMC cinema chain, raising its share price by 35%. The funds will help pay off the company’s debts, whose CEO even spoke to his newly minted investors via video link.

Have a productive week!


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