These 5 latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Zoom removes Facebook’s data harvester from its product
Popular video communications company, Zoom, has, in its latest upgraded version, reportedly removed a bunch of unauthorised codes that are sending data about its users to Facebook. Zoom explains that Facebook has been harvesting users’ data through the Facebook login feature on Zoom.
This removal, however, comes after a Motherboard analysis of the Zoom app revealed that a Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK) integrated into the app sent information like when users opened the app, their city, their timezone and device details to Facebook. Commenting on the discovery, Zoom apologized for the oversight, adding that it takes users privacy important and just recently discovered that the Facebook SDK was collecting unnecessary data. Analysts say this might lead Facebook to another sanction from regulators.
2. Africa’s Founders Factory accepts 4 startups into its accelerator programme
Founders Factory Africa, thriving accelerator and incubator platform, has announced accepting four new startups to its Venture Scale programme, which kicked off Monday, March 30, 2020. Founders Factory Africa confirmed this in a public notice published on Monday where it listed Truzo (from South Africa), RedBird (formerly Redbird Health Tech, from Ghana), MVXchange (from Nigeria) and WellaHealth (another startup from Nigeria) to make the new cohort.
According to Founders Factory, these startups will be engaged in its six-month programme. Foundry Factory Africa’s Venture Scale, which has provided African startups with £220 000 in tailored support services across product design, data science, engineering and business development, will invest £30 000 each in four African startups in its Venture Scale programme. As part of reward, these four startups will also have access to exclusive partnerships with Founders Factory Africa’s pan-African corporate investors — Standard Bank and Netcare — which includes access to distribution channels, customer acquisition, pilots, data, IP and expertise.
3. Twitter deletes Brazilian, Venezuelan Presidents’ tweets
Social networking site, Twitter, has deleted tweets by the presidents of Brazil and Venezuela for violating its ban on novel coronavirus-related content that “goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information.” According to Twitter, this is its company staying true and uncompromising to its pledge to crack down on tweets that contain false or misleading information about COVID-19 cures.
Following this, Twitter, has once again reinstated its commitment to deal with misinformation within its community. Twitter ruled: “We’ll continue to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules. This is an evolving global conversation and we’re committed to remaining vigilant.” President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil had, on Sunday, March 29, 2020 tweeted a video of him endorsing hydroxychloroquine and calling for an end to social-distancing efforts.
4. Videoconferencing apps record 62M downloads in 7 straight days
Videoconferencing Apps have recorded such a tremendous download rate in the month of March, hitting 62M downloads in just one week. Analysts have attributed this jump to the recent and new work culture that led to the formulation of work-from-home policies, the push for social distancing and enforcement of government lockdowns across countries of the world.
While this circumstances have increased the demand for video conferencing apps, for both business and personal use; it has influenced its incremental growth rate. Today, the data has peaked, reaching the biggest week ever in March, 2020 when it topped 62 million downloads during the week of March 14 to 21. Analysing the data further, reviewers have revealed that much of the growth in the category is due to the increased adoption of apps like Google’s Hangouts Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Cloud Meetings, where Zoom topped the charts worldwide in February and March, and continues to see high numbers of downloads in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere in Europe.
5. Ford unveils plans to produce 50,000 ventilators by July
Ford has reportedly licensed a ventilator design from Airon Corp and plan to produce as many as 50,000 of them at a Michigan factory by July. This comes as part of a broader effort by both company to provide a critical medical device to treat people with COVID-19. According to Ford, it will send a team of engineers to help boost production at Airon’s Florida facility, where it produces just three of its Airon Model A ventilators per day while Ford equally begins to ready its own Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan for large-scale production of the Airon Model A-E ventilator that is expected to begin April 20.
Ford further revealed, in its plans, that it will pay 500 United Auto Workers, who have volunteered to work at the factory. To this end, Ford is expects to produce 1,500 Airon ventilators by the end of April, and 12,000 by the end of May. It, therefore, projects that it should meet its 50,000 target by July.