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Fight for the Future

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

Amazon announced it’s going to suspend police use of its controversial facial-recognition technology for one year. Amazon Web Services has sold its facial-recognition software, called Rekognition, to police departments across the country, but numerous studies have found bias in the software that disproportionately targets Black people and other people with darker skin. Grubhub, following failed talks with Uber, is now planning to merge with European food delivery service Just Eat. Just Eat’s proposed stock-swap deal values Grubhub at $7.3 billion and comes after Uber abandoned talks due to antitrust concerns. Facebook worked with cybersecurity experts to quietly help the FBI hack a child predator. Facebook employees said the company felt it had no other choice, but the approach renews questions about tech’s cooperation with law enforcement. Twitter is trying out a new feature that gently suggests you actually read an article before sharing it. The prompt reads: “Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.”Amazon is investigating the arrest of one of its delivery drivers on Tuesday in Warren, Michigan. A top Amazon executive on Tuesday shared a news report with a video appearing to show a white police officer restraining a Black driver who was facedown on the ground.Brex, a three-year-old fintech that had skyrocketed to a $3 billion valuation, has laid off 62 members, or roughly 17%, of its staff. It had announced a $150 million fundraise less than two weeks prior.Microsoft has asked managers to cancel meetings and events on Juneteenth to give employees a ‘day of listening, learning, and engagement’. The decision comes as employees share personal experiences with the ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism. IBM has won praise after saying it would halt all sales of its facial recognition tech, but experts say it may have left itself a loophole. A researcher who specializes in IBM told Business Insider that ambiguity around what “general purpose” software means could leave the company wiggle-room to pursue custom-build facial recognition software for specific clients.New York-based data privacy startup Ethyca has raised $13.5 million from IA Ventures and PayPal cofounder Max Levchin’s SciFi VC. Founded in 2018, Ethyca helps businesses better assess their data privacy needs and comply with regulations around the use of customer data.Telemedicine app Babylon Health accidentally leaked videos of people’s medical consultations to other patients. Babylon Health is one of several telemedicine startups that have seen an influx of users amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for “Business Insider” in your Alexa’s flash briefing settings.You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick “10 Things in Tech You Need to Know.”

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