Uber’s biggest competitor, Lyft, is expanding outside of the U.S. for the first time, facial recognition could soon find itself in airports across the U.S., and Facebook launches a new app called Facebook Local.
From Twitter – Uber’s biggest competitor, Lyft, is expanding outside of the United States for the first time, announcing yesterday that the service is now available in Toronto. According to Lyft General Manager Tim Houghton, Toronto was an absolute no-brainer considering that fifty thousand people in the city have already downloaded the Lyft app, despite the fact that it didn’t work outside of American cities. The San Francisco-based company has been working with Toronto city regulators to comply with the regulations that were made for ride-sharing in 2016. While Houghton didn’t name Uber directly, he spoke about the culture at Lyft, saying that the company differentiates itself on diversity and inclusivity. Lyft has had a strong surge in users in 2017, while Uber has been bogged down by allegations of sexual harassment and drawn-out legal battles. Pricing for Toronto is yet to be determined, but will be comparable to other options. And, it is currently unclear when Lyft will become available in other Canadian cities.
From Reddit – A new proposal released by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has revealed that the Department of Homeland Security plans to introduce facial recognition technology to the current TSA Pre-Check program.According to the proposal, the DHS wants to expand the Pre-Check program from just fingerprints to other biometrics such as face recognition and iris scans. While for now this will be limited to just those travellers who have chosen to use TSA Pre-Check, other agencies like Customs and Border Protection have also been experimenting with facial recognition to capture picture of travelers boarding a flight out of the country and walking across a U.S. land border to compare with previous recorded photos from things like passports, visas, etc. So far all of this has been limited to pilot programs, with the CBP saying it deletes any data of U.S. citizens, but an update to that program says that it will retain photos of U.S. residents and permanent residents for two weeks and information about their travel for 15 years, while non-American data will be retained for 75 years. It is important to note that the U.S. congress has yet to provide the TSA or CBP with the statutory authority to support any of these plans.
And from Google Trends – Facebook’s latest app, Facebook Local, is a TripAdvisor-style app that let’s you see only your Facebook friend’s reviews for things like bars, restaurants, tourist attractions, and events. Essentially, it is a beefed-up version of the Events capabilities of Facebook, with the goal to make it easier to plan events with your friends. With Facebook Local, you’ll be able to import your calendar from your phone so that you can view everything at once, and then plug in different events that you might be interested in. You can also search for reviews of places and events in your area, and if you go on vacation you can switch your location to see what is going on in the area. Currently, Facebook Local is just available in the U.S, with a global release to be announced.
That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cogeco Peer 1, the company that enables businesses to unlock their IT potential. Learn more at CP1.com.