Hashtag Trending Aug. 19 – TikTok is ‘high risk’; Meta to ban political ads ahead of U.S. election; U.S. streaming tops cable TV viewing

U.S. lawmakers told by the House of Representatives that TikTok is ‘high risk’, Meta will ban political ads ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, and streaming surpasses cable TV viewing for the first time.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, August 19, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

The House of Representatives has urged members of Congress to avoid using TikTok due to privacy concerns. The House’s chief administrative officer issued a “cyber advisory” in relation to the video app. The CAO office of cybersecurity said the platform could pose a “high risk to users since the app isn’t transparent when it comes to protecting customer data.” The advisory listed some concerns that researchers had found in regards to TikTok. These include access to devise location, calendar, and photos. It also said the app could get other data, such as WiFi network name, MAC address, personal phone number, and more, Business Insider reported.

Source: Business Insider

Meta Platforms announced it will institute a ban on political ads ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterm election. The company said that it will implement a “restriction period” for ads about “social issues, elections, or politics” in the week leading up to election day. This means there will essentially be a ban on new political ads from November 1st to November 8th. Facebook is making a similar move to what it did during the 2020 U.S. election in the wake of the criticism it received after the 2016 election when misinformation flooded the platform. In a statement, Meta believes that the week-long ban achieves the right balance between giving the candidates a voice and scrutinizing the ads.

Source: Business Insider

Last month, streaming platforms, led by Netflix, surpassed cable networks for the first time to claim the largest share of U.S. TV viewing for the month. Data from Neilsen revealed that in July, streaming among American TV households represented a record 34.8 per cent share of total consumption, while cable and broadcast came in at 34.4 per cent and 21.6 per cent respectively. Streaming usage has surpassed that of the broadcast before, but this is the first time it has exceeded cable viewing at the same time. Netflix held the largest share of overall TV viewing among streaming platforms with eight per cent, a record high for the service, according to an article from Variety. That was driven by nearly 18 billion viewing minutes of “Stranger Things 4” alone for July along with almost 11 billion minutes of combined viewing of “Virgin River” and “The Umbrella Academy.”

Source: Variety

Social media is being prioritized everywhere— even in nature. Tanzania has installed high-speed internet services on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, now letting anyone share their journey on Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp. The state-owned Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation set up the broadband network early this week at an altitude of 3,720 metres. The country’s information minister noted that this was a historic event, and added that the high-speed service will also help protect climbers. “Previously, it was a bit dangerous for visitors and porters who had to operate without internet,” he said. Additionally, the information minister said that the entire stretch to the summit, a nearly 6,000m hike, will have internet connectivity by the end of the year.

Source: The Guardian

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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