Shareholders push Amazon to limit facial recognition sales / Vestager talks competition laws / Big tech attend Future of News Summit

By Luke Christou

3 THINGS THAT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD TODAY

Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Shareholders push Amazon to limit facial recognition sales

Amazon will today hold its annual meeting for shareholders, where the tech giant is expected to face increased calls to halt sales of its facial recognition technology, Rekognition, to law enforcement and government agencies.

Amazon has so far sold its technology to two US states, and has spoken to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding Rekognition. However, studies have found signs of both gender and ethnic bias that some privacy and civil liberties groups, as well as Amazon shareholders, feel could lead to racial discrimination against minorities.

Shareholders tabled a resolution earlier this year demanding that Amazon stops selling the technology to government agencies, and a second resolution today would force the company to undergo an independent review of the technology.

The shareholder meeting is taking place at Fremont Studios in Seattle, United States, starting at 9am local time (5pm London time).

Vestager talks competition laws after targeting big tech

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will deliver a keynote speech today at an event hosted by the Centre for European Reform, titled ‘Enforcing Competition Rules in a Globalised World’.

The speech will focus on the enforcement of the European Union’s competition and antitrust laws, which is aimed at protecting against the creation of monopolies that would lead to increased prices and reduced innovation in the EU market.

Vestager has, in particular, set her sights on big US tech companies in recent years. Search giant Google was handed its third anti-trust fine in two years in March for “abusive practices”, which took the total value of EU competition fines against Google to $9bn.

Facebook, Twitter and Google attend Future of News Summit

Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Google and Snap Inc. will take part in the Financial Times’ annual Future of News conference today, as internet companies and politicians continue to struggle with the spread of fake news.

The FT is bringing together executives, academics and tech leaders to discuss the risks and opportunities of digital disruption in the media industry.

Google’s Director of US News and Publishing Nathalie Sajous, Twitter’s Head of US News Partnerships Nick Sallon, Facebook’s Director of News Partnerships for North America and Snap Board Director Joanna Coles will all take part in sessions throughout the day. They will be joined by representatives from publications and platforms such as the Washington Post, the New York Times,  BuzzFeed and VICE.

The FT Future of News Summit is taking place at the Park Hyatt hotel in New York, United States, over the next two days.

Tuesday’s Highlights

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XY Chelsea: Inhumane treatment of Manning shines through disjointed documentary

Social media is fuelling sponsorship growth… but the Premier League isn’t taking full advantage

Political party cybersecurity still lacking ahead of key elections