Hashtag Trending – ZTE shuffles leadership team; facial recognition technology failing test run; the cost of doing business with Amazon


ZTE shakes up its leadership team. A London, England-based test run of facial recognition technology has only a two per cent success rate. And it’s a slow news day, so we get to praise the Guardian for researching Amazon’s impact on Seattle.

Trending on LinkedIn, Chinese smartphone giant ZTE is changing leaders, in accordance with new U.S. regulations that will let the telecom retain access to American components. According to Reuters, the telecom has named former Germany head Xu Ziyang as CEO, and has also appointed three new executive vice presidents and a new CFO. ZTE had promised that it would overhaul its management within 30 days after agreeing to a $1.4 billion settlement with U.S. authorities in June. Prior to the settlement, ZTE had been designated a threat to U.S. security until Donald Trump tweeted his support for the company in May.

On Reddit, users are talking about a July 4 hearing in which London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told the city’s assembly that she did not expect the force’s test runs of automated facial recognition (AFR) technology to result in lots of arrests. The reason? U.K.-based IT news site the Register said Dick acknowledged that trials have “not met with vast amounts of success to date,” though it was up to the Register to dig up figures that show in its current trials, the technology has a 98 per cent false positive rate and has only made two accurate matches. Dick also said the public expects the police to use such technology. As a member of the public, I’m going to guess that’s partly because movies and TV are lying about its accuracy.

Finally, also on Reddit, U.K. news institution the Guardian has taken a deep dive into Amazon’s relationship with the city it calls home, and turned up a fair bit of sludge. According to the Guardian’s research, despite Amazon’s claim that it’s helped Seattle’s revenue grow by approximately 50 per cent over eight years, it’s also helped increase the city’s population by 40 per cent since its creation; helped drive up housing prices by 70 per cent over the past five years; and helped create the third largest homeless population in the U.S., with more than 11,000 homeless, including 4200 children. Folks who make six figures – such as the majority of Amazon’s employees – can still afford living in downtown Seattle, but they represent only half the city’s workforce. Something for Toronto to think about as it competes for Amazon’s HQ2.


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