Daily Digest (9/14)

Oracle Picked Over Microsoft as TikTok’s US Partner; Judge Dismisses Suit Against Chicago Medical Center on Data to Google; US Marks Anniversary of 9/11 Amid Pandemic; Portland Issues City Ban on Facial-Recognition Technologies. Click “Continue reading” below.

Oracle Picked Over Microsoft as TikTok’s US Partner

Oracle said Monday that its Chinese-based owner, ByteDance, chose the company over Microsoft as its new U.S. tech partner for the TikTok video-sharing app.

Oracle’s spokeswoman, Deborah Hellinger, confirmed that the remarks made about the deal by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were true, The Associated Press reports. 

“We did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner with Oracle making many representations for national security issues,” Mnuchin said.

ByteDance’s deal with Oracle is still unclear, but Tik Tok said in a statement that the proposal should resolve the White House’s security concerns, AP reports.

Microsoft said in a Sunday statement that ByteDance had informed them that they would not be selling TikTok’s U.S. operations to the company.

Microsoft added that it was confident the company’s proposal would have been good for TikTok users while protecting national security, according to AP.

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Judge Dismisses Suit Against Chicago Medical Center on Data to Google

A federal judge in Illinois dismissed a lawsuit Friday against the University of Chicago Medical Center alleging that it had released patient medical records to Google without their consent.

An Illinois resident, Matt Dinerstein, sued in federal court in June 2019, contending that the information handed over to Google — without his written consent — contained too much patient data and that Google was using it to create its own health-records system, The Chicago Tribune reports.

In 2017, the university partnered with Google to predict patient medical issues based on patterns in medical records. To protect privacy, researchers said the records were stripped of personal information.

But Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, ruled that Dinerstein had not proven any financial loss from the release of the information, according to the report.

Jose Castañeda, a Google spokesperson, said the company took health care research seriously.

“We take compliance with HIPAA seriously, including in the receipt and use of the limited data set provided by the University of Chicago,” he said.

Dinerstein’s attorney, Jay Edelson, told the Tribune that he planned to appeal.


US Marks Anniversary of 9/11 Amid Pandemic 

While some Americans commemorated the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Friday, others were divided over the lack of COVID-19 precautions and social-distancing directions.

In New York, relatives of victims gathered at the World Trade Center’s Sept. 11 Memorial Plaza, The Associated Press reports.

Jin Hee Cho, who lost her sister in the collapse of the Trade Center’s north tower, said even with COVID, she would still celebrate her sister.

“It’s just hard to delete that in my mind — and I understand now that we have even COVID,” Cho told AP. “But I only feel the devastating loss of my flesh-and-blood sister.”

Around the country, others had mixed feelings about 9/11 ceremonies, with some communities making modifications and others canceling them, according to the report.

At the Pentagon, where 125 people died, the observance was restricted to only small groups visiting its memorial.


Portland Issues City Ban on Facial-Recognition Technologies

Officials in Portland, Ore., on Friday banned the use of all facial-recognition technologies in the city.

The city follows San Francisco and Boston in taking a hard approach to the technology, prohibiting use by police and local businesses, Infosecurity reports.

In a unanimous vote, the Portland City Council said the use of facial recognition degraded civil liberties and disproportionately affected minorities.

“Black, indigenous and people-of-color communities have been subject to oversurveillance and disparate and detrimental impact of the misuse of surveillance,” the city’s ordinance said. “Face-recognition technologies have been documented to have an unacceptable gender and racial bias.”

The council said that before the technology was used again, Portland needed to take precautionary action to ensure that the technology was unbiased, Infosecurity reports.


— By DPN Staff