Google Pilot Tests New Handsfree Payment System & Other News

Today's latest - Google Pilot Tests New Hands Free Payment System, Facebook VP Released from Detention Center & more!

Welcome March! We’ve been following up on Google’s new technology, the Facebook VP case and Apple’s FBI struggle, among others.

Google Pilot Tests New Hands Free Payment System

Although the world still has yet to adopt Android Pay, Google is already testing a new type of ecommerce system. The search engine giant is pilot testing a hands-free payment method without using credit or cash cards, wallets or even smartphones.

This is not surprising, as eMarketer predicts the mobile payments industry to go from $8.7 billion in 2015 to $27 billion by 2017.

Called Hands Free, the smartphone app (available on Android and iOS) uses a mix of WiFi, Bluetooth LE and location data to allow the user to know when a Hands Free-approved outlet is nearby. To pay, the user has to provide his/her initials, after which the cashier will verify the user’s Hands Free profile picture through facial recognition. In some outlets, Google plans to take a picture of the user and verify it against the user’s Hands Free profile using facial recognition technology.

The program is being piloted in some McDonald’s and Papa John’s food restaurants, amongst other local eateries in the South Bay area in San Francisco.

Facebook VP Released from Detention Center

Diego Dzodan, Facebook VP of Latin America, has been released from the Provisional Detention Centre in Sao Paulo, Brazil after spending one night at the facility. He was arrested in connection with an ongoing drug trafficking investigation.

The high-profile senior executive was taken into custody following a Judge’s court order that ruled against the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. However, a higher court overruled the order stating that Dzodan was not part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Samsung Releases 15TB SSD

Samsung has just released the 15.36TB PM1633a, the world’s largest solid-state hard drive with 15 TB of storage. The SSD can deliver a read and write speed of around 1200MBps. The company began work on the hard drive in August 2015.

ACLU and Digital Rights Groups Join Apple against the FBI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) along with Access Now and Wickr Foundation, two Digital Rights groups, have filed amicus briefs in the Apple v. FBI case on unlocking the iPhone used by Syed Farook in the San Bernardino attacks.

"The government’s theory threatens a radical transformation of the relationship between the government and the governed. Law enforcement may not commandeer innocent third parties into becoming its undercover agents, its spies, or its hackers… What the government seeks here is an authority that would undermine American and global trust in software security updates, with catastrophic consequences for digital security and privacy," ACLU said.

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