Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Facebook has announced the first 20 members of its oversight board that will decide what controversial content is allowed on Facebook and Instagram. The “supreme court”-style body will make rulings over what controversial content will be allowed on the social network.
- Tesla is reportedly preparing to restart operations at its California factory in possible violation of local shelter-in-place orders. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has become increasingly vocal in his opposition to coronavirus lockdowns, calling them “fascist” during a call with investors.
- An Amazon VP hit back at former colleague Tim Bray, who quit in protest after the company fired workers who raised safety concerns. Brad Porter, a vice president and engineer at Amazon, responded to Tim Bray’s criticism, calling it “deeply offensive to the core.”
- Google employees have been told they can’t expense food and other perks while working from home, as they’re made to forego the company’s usual free meals. Employees also won’t be able to put their unused budgets towards any of these expenses, nor can they put the surplus cash towards a charity.
- An issue in Facebook’s code broke a ton of popular apps on iOS including Spotify, TikTok, Venmo, and Tinder. The issue was identified and resolved following the update to the social network’s software developer kit.
- New York Gov. Cuomo tapped former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to help invent a more tech-focused future for the state post-pandemic. Cuomo announced during his daily briefing Wednesday that Schmidt would chair a 15-member group to help New York “use technology in the economy of tomorrow.”
- The NYC Department of Education is reversing its ban on Zoom after the company addresses its security and privacy concerns. Zoom made several fixes to address the NYC Department of Education’s concerns about privacy and security for students and teachers using the tool.
- A city in India is ordering all of its residents to download the government’s controversial COVID-19 contact tracing app or face jail time. Police in Noida, a city outside of New Delhi, ordered all residents to download Aarogya Setu, a COVID-19 contact tracing app developed by the Indian government.
- Two of the UK’s largest telecom companies Virgin Media and O2 have combined. The deal between Liberty Global and Telefónica creates the UK’s largest phone and internet operator with the new company valued at £31 billion ($38 billion), per Bloomberg.
- 77 cell phone towers have been set on fire so far due to the continued spread of a weird coronavirus 5G conspiracy theory. Philip Jansen, CEO of British telecoms company BT, also said that one engineer had been violently assaulted while out maintaining network infrastructure.
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