Friday, 30 Oct 2020

GPay customer data not shared with third party, says Google

U.S., UK announce AI partnership: Axios

FILE PHOTO: Members of a ceremonial guard carry flags prior to the arrival of British Prime Theresa May at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

(Reuters) – The Trump administration is set to announce that the United States and the United Kingdom have signed a new agreement to cooperate on research and development on artificial intelligence, Axios reported bit.ly/3kPxxei on Friday.

Swiss add UK, Ireland, others to quarantine list

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland on Friday added several countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal to its list of countries and regions at high risk of coronavirus infection from which travellers must go into a 10-day quarantine.

The list also expanded to include the Liguria region of Italy; the Austrian provinces of Upper Austria and Lower Austria, and Bretagne in France.

The updated list takes effect from Monday.

Tokyo Olympics Organizers to Cut Staff, Events to Reduce Costs

The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee agreed to cut costs by simplifying next year’s games in 52 areas, including staffing and events.

The number of staff and stakeholders will be reduced by 10-15%, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said in a press conference Friday, following a two-day meeting with IOC executives on how to simplify the postponed games. Some events including opening ceremonies, as well as services such as food and transportation, will be scaled back.

“The opening ceremonies need to be inspirational, but not too festive,” Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer Toshiro Muto said in the same briefing. “We are starting to modify the details.”

The local sponsors of the Tokyo games have yet to extend their contracts, which are set to expire in December, Muto said. The total amount that will be saved from the simplification has yet to be estimated, as has the limitation to the number of spectators, he said.

IOC member John Coates, who also joined the briefing via teleconference, said he isn’t concerned about the athletes’ qualification process as the federations are managing it well.

Originally scheduled for this summer, the event was postponed by a year in March due to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed almost 1 million people worldwide. Organizers had earlier said they were considering cost-cuts in more than 200 areas.

Trump Refuses To Commit To Peaceful Transition Of Power

President Donald Trump refused to commit to facilitate a peaceful transition of power after the presidential election outcome is declared.

At a White House news conference on Wednesday, Trump was asked, “Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here, today, for a peaceful transferal of power after the election.”

“Well, we’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” he replied.

“There won’t be a transfer, frankly; there’ll be a continuation,” Trump told reporters subsequently.

While many states are in support of mail-in voting over coronavirus concerns, Trump repeatedly cast doubt on postal voting.

Media reports say that this is an indication that he may not relinquish his office in case he loses in the November election.

Sen. Mitt Romney, who criticizes Trump despite being a Republican, said, “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus.”

“Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable,” he tweeted.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden described Trump’s remarks as “irrational.”

Trump was trailing Biden in recent national polls.

Why so many people are hopeful about an mRNA coronavirus vaccine

The whole world is watching — including investors and public health specialists — as more than 30 biotech and pharmaceutical companies race to develop a safe Covid-19 vaccine.

But there's a big question lingering over the process: How do we balance safety with speed?

The process is moving quickly with several vaccine candidates entering late stage trials in a matter of months. Pfizer and biotech Moderna are two of the companies the White House has chosen to fast track through the FDA's regulatory process. Both companies are attempting to use messenger RNA, or mRNA, to produce their vaccines, a technology that has never before received regulatory approval.

To see why, watch the above video to learn about the new vaccine technology, the regulatory process and what a post-vaccine world may look like.

Watch more:
How the back-to-school debate looms over the economy

GPay customer data not shared with third party, says Google

Tech giant backtracks on affidavit in Delhi High Court.

Google on Friday said its digital payment application Google Pay does not share customer transaction data with any third party outside the payments flow.

The clarification comes a day after the company told the Delhi High Court that its Google Pay, being a third-party application provider, is allowed under the law to share customer’s UPI transaction data with third parties and group companies.

“This is to clarify that press reports on the basis of the affidavit filed by Google before the Delhi High Court, do not represent the complete facts. We would like to put it on record that Google Pay is in full compliance with Unified Payment Interface (UPI) procedural guidelines, issued by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the applicable laws, and does not share customer transaction data with any third party outside the payments flow,” a Google spokesperson said.

In an affidavit, Google India said the NPCI’s ‘procedural guidelines’ do not impose an absolute prohibition or restriction on a third-party application provider’s ability to share data or information, if it was done with prior permission of the NPCI and the bank concerned.

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