Pentagon Stops ‘War Cloud’ Project

The U.S. courts postponed Microsoft’s military cloud contract which would cost $10 billion. Amazon sued in order to stop the project because they believe President Donald Trump’s “bias against the company hurt its chances to win the project” (Associated Press). Microsoft believes that they will be allowed to continue on with the project in the near future. If Amazon ultimately fails to win their case, they will have to pay $42 million for the damages they caused. The name of the project is called Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, also known as Jedi. Jedi will be used to “store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the US military to improve communications with soldiers on the battlefield and use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities” (Associated Press). President Trump has shown resentment for Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, because he owns the Washington Post which may have been involved with the President’s decision to choose Microsoft.

I believe that Amazon has the right to challenge the president’s decision to give Microsoft the project. The $10 billion payment is too big of a payout for Amazon to not challenge the decision. I do not particularly care about which company receives the contract because I trust that both of them would create an effective product.

This technology is important to the advancement and security of the U.S. military. While I believe Amazon has a right to challenge the decision, I do not appreciate that they are actually fighting it. The longer Amazon spends fighting the decision, the longer it will take for Microsoft to develop the technology. The project has the ability to make our military more advanced and better suited to deal with our enemies overseas.

European Parliament Will No Longer Use Facial Recognition Technology

Europeans parliament will not use facial recognition technology for security purposes. This was announced after a memo was leaked explaining the use of facial recognition for security purposes. The parliament posted the memo which explained the use of facial recognition on the website and removed it immediately. The memo stated that there will be “consequences on working methods, processes, staff profiles and the contracting of services” (Rankin). The parliament denies that there was even a discussion about using facial recognition technology. This memo showed up at a bad time for the European parliament after they were expected to announce a temporary ban on the technology in public.

Facial recognition technology is both beneficial and creepy. The use of the technology in public is fantastic when attempting to monitor terrorist activity, but it is also creepy for the common people. The government could use this to understand citizen’s habits in public spaces. If I was a citizen I would be outraged by the news because their government lied to them about their privacy. The European parliament needs to be held accountable.


Facebook Lawsuit

Facebook recently settled a $550 million Illinois internet privacy lawsuit. The article claims, “each Illinois Facebook user could get $200 or more” (Pletz). The reason for Facebook paying that much money is to settle a lawsuit regarding an Illinois biometric privacy law. According to the suit, “a Facebook feature that allowed users to recognize and tag friends in photos based on facial recognition violated the 2008 Illinois law that required consumers to give their consent for their biometric information to be gathered” (Pletz). The attorneys do not know how many users from Illinois will receive a payout but they will most likely receive at least $200. Facebook will also have to ask for permission to use biometric information such as facial recognition. This was not the only occasion where Facebook was sued for a violation of privacy. Last year, Facebook was required to pay $5 billion to settle an FTC lawsuit.

I am glad Facebook had to pay the people whose privacy rights they violated. The fact that Facebook used biometric information without the user’s permission is definitely a violation of privacy. I highly doubt Facebook is the only social media company that violates people’s privacy using biometrics. Platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, where users can post pictures, could potentially be guilty of the same crimes. Hopefully, all the other social media companies who use our personal information will also have to pay for their crimes.