These latest stories from the tech space will keep you updated with trends today.
1. Facebook sues two companies over data scraping operations
Social media giant Facebook, today announced filing a lawsuit in the U.S. against two companies that had engaged in an international “data scraping” operation. According to the social media company, the operation extended across Facebook properties, including both Facebook and Instagram, as well as other large websites and services, including Twitter, Amazon, LinkedIn and YouTube. Condemning the action, Facebook noted that the activity was in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Reports further revealed that the violating companies gathered the data of Facebook users for “marketing intelligence” purposes.
The businesses named in the lawsuit are Israeli-based BrandTotal Ltd. and Unimania Inc., a business incorporated in Delaware. According to BrandTotal’s website, its company offers a real-time competitive intelligence platform that’s designed to give media, insights and analytics teams visibility into their competition’s social media strategy and paid campaigns. Meanwhile, Unimania operated apps claimed to offer users the ability to access social networks in different ways. Facebook’s lawsuit is largely focused on two browser extensions offered by the companies: Unimania’s “Ads Feed” and BrandTotal’s “UpVoice.”
Pick the odd tech leader in the pack
A. Mark Zuckerberg
B. Jack Dorsey
C. Jack Ma
D. Allen Zhang
Answer: See end of post.
2. Kenyan water startup HydroIQ introduces smart billing app
HydroIQ, Kenyan water and utility startup, has introduced a smart billing app. The new app, according to reports, enables property managers and utilities to digitise their water metering, billing, payments and customer service without replacing their current infrastructure. The three year old company was founded by Brian Bosire and Victor Shikoli as the world’s first virtual water network operator (VWNO). HydroIQ, which took part in the Techstars Accelerator, received funding from Techstars and Partech.
According to reviews, the startup is building smart water grids using sensors, data analytics, and mobile and online payments to bring transparency in access and distribution of water. In addition, HydroIQ has also developed solutions to make every drop count, by ensuring zero error metering, transparent billing, and powerful analytics from source to consumer. Till date, the company has delivered more than three million litres of water through its network. With the launch of HydroIQ SmartBilling, a SaaS solution for the water sector, the startup claims to have once again positioned itself as the global leader in digitising the water sector and bringing it online.
3. Kenya’s Sokowatch emerges ‘Visa Everywhere Initiative’s Pandemic Challenge’ winner
In the just concluded Visa Everywhere Initiative – Pandemic Challenge, Kenyan retail-tech platform Sokowatch has emerged winner. The challenge was aimed at identifying solutions to help rebuild small businesses affected by COVID-19. The Visa Everywhere Initiative, according to review, is a global innovation programme by Visa that calls for startups and fintech companies to step up and provide solutions to tomorrow’s commerce and payment challenges. Speaking on the contest, Visa noted that this year’s edition was a Pandemic Challenge, which sought solutions to challenges faced by small businesses as a result of COVID-19.
The winner Sokowatch, uses tech-enabled solutions to improve supply chain inefficiencies and transform access to essential goods. “I’m incredibly honoured to have been selected as this year’s winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative. Sokowatch’s service is for the mass market, which is made up of many low-income families who have felt the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re glad to have been able to use our tech to quickly respond to the crisis in a way that directly supports the families and shop owners in the communities through our unique credit extension model and the e-voucher scheme,” said Daniel Yu, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sokowatch.
Tech Trivia Answer: Jack Ma
Jack Ma built an ecommerce product, Alibaba while other techpreneurs on the list built a social media platform. Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook, Jack Dorsey built Twitter while Allen Zhang built WeChat.
Jack Ma is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. According to his portfolio statement, he is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.
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