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Amazon shareholders push to halt sale of facial recognition tech

A group of activist shareholders are proposing that Inc stop selling facial recognition software to government agencies until its board determines the technology doesn’t threaten people’s civil rights.

The Amazon Web Services product has been used to identify celebrities at Hollywood events. It can also be used by law enforcement agencies to quickly identify suspects from jail booking photos or other sources. — AP

US appeals court will not delay net neutrality case

A US federal appeals court said on Jan 17 it would not delay oral arguments set for Feb 1 on the Trump administration's decision to repeal the 2015 landmark net neutrality rules governing Internet providers.

A group of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia have asked the court to reinstate the Obama-era internet rules and block the FCC's effort to pre-empt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open Internet. — Reuters

AirAsia postpones booking system upgrade, all systems to run normally

AirAsia customers will be able to make bookings and check-in normally this weekend, after AirAsia postponed its planned booking system upgrade.

Google spends US$40mil on watch tech to fight Apple

Google agreed to acquire smartwatch technology and personnel from Fossil Group Inc in a bid to boost the search giant’s nascent efforts in the category.

Google Wear OS watches at CES 2019. Google has provided free Wear OS software to other companies making their own Internet-connected watches, but sales of those devices have lagged well behind the Apple Watch. — AP

Line bets Mizuho and Nomura could help open 78 million wallets

Line Corp is betting that tie-ups with Japan’s biggest financial institutions will help convince its 78 million users to entrust the free texting app with their money.

Consumer giants spurn risks to chase online subscribers

Major consumer companies including Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Nestle are chasing consumers who want food and household goods delivered automatically, even though this kind of business has not always worked.

Government can’t force people to unlock phones using facial recognition, fingerprints: US federal judge

A federal judge in Oakland ruled that law enforcement agencies cannot force people to use biometric features such as facial-recognition to unlock their phones and other devices in a case that highlights the fight between Big Tech and law enforcement over users' privacy.

The US government can't force citizens to use any biometric features to unlock devices, Westmore ruled. — Dreamstime/TNS

Netflix and Amazon on different sides over self censorship in India

Leading streaming video platforms have signed an agreement to self-regulate content in the booming Indian market.

Netflix is currently facing a lawsuit over the portrayal of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in hit 2018 Original Sacred Games. — Reuters

Crowdfunded videogames saw a decline on Kickstarter in 2018

Videogame crowdfunding campaigns saw a sharp decline on crowdfunding website Kickstarter in 2018 compared to end-of-year data from the year prior, Polygon reports.

Kickstarter’s category for successful videogame projects reached only US$15.8mil (RM65.01mil) last year, a multi-million dollar drop from the US$17.25mil (RM70.98mil) reached the year prior. — Kickstarter

Want to buy ethical food? Scan with your phone for fast facts

Whether buying a fish fillet at a supermarket or ordering steak in a restaurant, consumers will soon be able to use their phones to check instantly whether their food is green and ethical.

OpenSC is a website that harnesses blockchain technology to allow users to scan a QR code on a product or menu that reveals the full history and supply chain before they buy. — OpenSC