Hashtag Trending – Montreal teen arrested in cryptocurrency scam; EU considering suspending facial recognition; Alphabet passes the trillion-dollar mark.

Welcome listeners, hope you’re all doing well this Monday morning. The top three stories to take in right now include a Montreal teen arrested in cryptocurrency scam bust, the European Union considering banning facial recognition, and Alphabet passing the trillion-dollar mark.

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Thank you for tuning in to Hashtag Trending, it’s Monday, January 20th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Trending on Google, a Montreal teen has been charged in relation to a series of cryptocurrency scams, in which he helped to steal over $50 million from the US and $300,000 from Canada. The SIM swapping attack–where attackers gain ahold of a phone number–involved dozens of victims. At just 19 years old, Samy Bensaci of Montreal has been charged with fraud and personate with intent. As an added note, the Toronto police warns everyone to call their cellphone providers immediately when they lose service.

Trending on Reddit, the European Union may ban facial recognition technology for up to 5 years. The reason? It needs time to figure out how to prevent it from being abused. According to Reuters, an 18-page proposal by EU’s executive recommended new guidelines for the use of AI–although exemptions may be made for security and research purposes. The proposal is set to undergo further reviews next month.

Lastly, trending on LinkedIn, Google’s parent company Alphabet as finally joined the one trillion dollar club. The company crossed the mark on Thursday, joining Apple and Microsoft in the trillion-dollar gang and becoming the third most-valued U.S. tech company. According to Reuters, Google’s share price spiked by 17 per cent in the past three months.

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 Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Tom Li, thanks for listening.

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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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