Around the world on 15 December 2020
It’s not a great day for Amazon, Facebook, and seven other social media and video companies whose data practices are now under investigation from the US’ Federal Trade Commission, Bloomberg reports. The probe, which is not linked to any legal action just yet, will also look at advertising and user engagement practices, as well as measures to protect children and teens. US tech companies have faced multiple legal actions in past months, including a lawsuit targeting Google’s search business, as well as a case against Facebook’s market monopoly that could force the company to separate its WhatsApp and Instagram services from the main business.
Our workflow hit a bit of a hiccup yesterday as multiple Google services crashed yesterday across the globe. Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Docs and more experienced outages for around an hour yesterday afternoon while smart home gadgets integrated with Google Assistant also experienced issues. While YouTube acknowledged the outage, Google has yet to explain what happened.
Sudan was removed yesterday from the US’ list of state sponsors of terrorism after 27 years, according to Reuters. This comes as part of the US-brokered agreement that saw Sudan normalize ties with Israel earlier this year. Sudan’s placement on the list had barred it from receiving financial assistance and investment.