Zone’s Rianna Mitchell handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Steering clear of Tesla
Tesla has recalled over 40,000 vehicles over a software defect that can potentially cause a power-steering problem. The recall affects Model S and Model X vehicles from 2017 to 2021 after an update that included new calibration values for the electronic power-assist steering system was installed in October.
In a safety recall report, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the power-steering assist system may fail or require greater steering effort under certain conditions, increasing crash risk. The electric-car manufacturer has released a software update to fix the issue and has not received any reports of injuries or deaths related to the issue.
2. Age verification with selfie videos
Instagram has introduced a new age verification tool in the UK as part of a safety update to protect children. The social media giant partnered with UK software firm Yoti, which uses AI-powered facial age estimation technology to verify the age of teen users claiming to be above the age of eighteen.
Users who attempt to change their date of birth from under eighteen years old to over eighteen will need to provide proof of age through ID or a video selfie. The age verification system helps ensure users have age-appropriate experiences and to advance children’s safety online.
3. Etsy rolls out image search feature
Etsy has rolled out an image search feature to help customers search through marketplace listings. The new function allows consumers to upload a picture of a product on the Etsy app to locate similar products on the platform. Shoppers will now find it easier to source specific items or that of a desired style, as the feature helps create more accurate search results.
Etsy’s Head of Product, Han Cho, said: “We know that buyers often seek shopping inspiration outside of the marketplace, then turn to Etsy to discover items and make purchases. But sometimes they have trouble finding the right words to find the perfect items.” The feature is currently out on the iOS app and will soon arrive for android users.
4. Face search engine enables stalking
Privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch has filed a complaint to the UK’s data privacy authority against facial recognition search engine PimEyes. The face-scraping service allows users to find images of anyone on the internet alongside the URLs where they are hosted. The campaigners accuse PimEyes of unlawfully processing the biometric data of millions of UK citizens and claims it enables surveillance and stalking.
Madeleine Stone, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch, said “images of anyone, including children, can be scoured and tracked across the internet”. However, PimEyes Chief Executive, Giorgi Gobronidze, believes it poses fewer risks related to stalking than on social media or other search engines.
5. Empowering employees to be in charge of their well-being
The adoption of wearables in the workplace has become a valuable tool in supporting employee health and well-being. The data offered by wearables have the potential to unlock a new world of opportunity for both employers and employees, enabling a deeper understanding of the workforce to help increase employee satisfaction and support healthcare.
Zone’s Employee Experience Strategy Director, Lauren Coe, discusses how organisations can encourage employees to take responsibility for their well-being through wearables and its benefit in the workplace. Read more here.