Trending in Tech: Facebook threatens news ban in Australia; Microsoft’s new deepfake detection tool; Apple’s Covid-19 update

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Facebook threatens news ban in Australia

Facebook is threatening to stop users from sharing news on its platform in Australia, as protest against a new law that will require it to pay publishers for their articles.

Australian lawmakers want to see Facebook and Google paying content creators for news shared on their platforms.
As a result, Google has already warned Australian users its search could be “dramatically worse”.

Now Facebook is threatening to block the sharing of news altogether, should the proposed bill become law.

The ban would also extend to Instagram, a Facebook subsidiary.

Facebook’s managing director for ANZ Will Easton says the bill “will do damage to the very news organisations the government is trying to protect”.

According to Easter, Facebook sent 2.3bn clicks from its newsfeed back to Australian news sites in the first five months of this year.

Microsoft’s launches new deepfake detection tool

Microsoft has created a tool to spot computer-manipulated images that use a person’s face to create a new fake image.

The images, called deepfakes, have been used in the spread of misinformation, which Microsoft hopes the tool will help fight.

The new piece of software analyses photos and videos and gives them a confidence score to determine whether they may have been created artificially.

iPhone to do Covid-19 tracing without the app

A new iOS update will allow iPhones to carry out contact-tracing without having a Covid-19 tracing app installed.

The new Apple scheme is called Exposure Notifications Express (ENE) and users who opt in will have a 14-day log of nearby smartphones, detected via Bluetooth. This will then be used to identify and trace anyone who’s been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Apple has announced the ENE rollout as part of its latest iOS 13.7 update.

The function will, however, not work without the involvement of health officials in different countries, who need to determine certain criteria for contact tracing, including how close the two people need to have been and for how long before they can be considered a close contact.

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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.

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