Daily Digest (9/23)

Facebook Threatens to Quit Ireland Over Data-Sharing Decision; China Unlikely to Approve TikTok-Oracle Deal; Amazon Plans Location-Tracking Mesh Network; Walmart Sets Drone-Delivery Program for COVID Test Kits. Click “Continue reading” below.

Facebook Threatens to Quit Ireland Over Data-Sharing Decision

Facebook said that a preliminary ruling by Irish regulators over how it shared data with the U.S. could force the company to pull up stakes, leaving 410 million Facebook and Instagram users without its services.

In a court filing in Dublin on Tuesday, Facebook said that if the ruling by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission was upheld “it is not clear to (Facebook) how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the E.U.,” Vice reports.

Last month, regulators moved to stop the transfer of data on European Facebook customers to servers in the U.S., over concerns about U.S. government surveillance of the data.

Facebook sued, citing a lack of fairness and apparent bias in singling out the company by the Irish data-protection commissioner.

Yvonne Cunnane, Facebook Ireland’s head of data-protection and associate general counsel, said the company was given only three weeks to respond to the decision, a period that was “manifestly inadequate.”

She added that Facebook wasn’t notified about the inquiry before last month’s judgment was handed down.

Cunnane also raised concerns about the decision being made “solely” by Helen Dixon, Ireland’s data-protection commissioner.

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China Unlikely to Approve TikTok-Oracle Deal 

China is unlikely to approve the deal between Oracle, Walmart and ByteDance over the future of TikTok’s U.S. operations, the Chinese-backed Global Times newspaper said in a Tuesday editorial.

ByteDance claims that it will majority-own TikTok Global, but Oracle and Walmart have said that ByteDance’s ownership would be distributed to its investors — many of whom live in the U.S. — and that ByteDance would have no direct stake, Reuters reports.

Walmart and Oracle also claim that of the five-member board to be put in place at the new entity, TikTok Global, four would be American.

However, ByteDance has said TikTok Global would be its U.S. subsidiary with 80% ownership, Reuters reports.

“It is clear that these (terms) extensively show Washington’s bullying style and hooligan logic,” the Global Times editorial said. “They hurt China’s national security, interests and dignity.

“It caters to the unreasonable demands of Washington,” the editorial said. “It’s hard for us to believe that Beijing will approve such an agreement.”

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Amazon Plans Location-Tracking Mesh Network

Amazon said it would launch a networking and location system that would link smart-home devices and Amazon products using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) later this year.

The new Amazon Sidewalk would be operated at the scale of a neighborhood and used to turn smart floodlights and home assistants into network bridges, The Verge reports.

The product would pass along security updates and commands from a central Wi-Fi hub.

The system would be built into Amazon Echo and Tile, with Ring cameras also being added.

Amazon announced plans for Sidewalk last year but revealed more detail in a blog post and white paper on Monday, the Verge reports.

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Walmart Sets Drone-Delivery Program for COVID Test Kits

Walmart said Tuesday that it would run a pilot project to deliver self-collection COVID-19 test kits through automated drones at customer doorsteps.

Walmart has partnered with Quest Diagnostics and drone-services provider DroneUp to test-deliver kits in North Las Vegas, Nev., starting Tuesday.

They also plan to conduct a trial run in Cheektowaga, N.Y., early next month, the New York Post reports.

Walmart piloted drone delivery of groceries and home goods in Fayetteville, N.C., while expanding pickup and delivery services.

The drones will drop the kits on driveways, front sidewalks or backyards of homes within a one-mile radius of designated Walmart stores, the Post reports.

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By DPN Staff