Today’s Cache | Britain to use AI for age verification; Spotify cuts 1,500 jobs; Hackers target Microsoft Exchange accounts

December 05, 2023 03:25 pm | Updated 06:15 pm IST

Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration [File]

Artificial Intelligence words are seen in this illustration [File] | Photo Credit: Reuters

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Britain to use AI for age verification

Britain proposed new age-check guidance to protect children from accessing pornography online, including a suggestion to use AI-based technology to see if a viewer looks to be of legal age. The British regulator described its suggestion on facial age estimation as using AI to analyse a viewer’s features. That would likely require taking a selfie on a device and uploading it.

The watchdog said its proposed guidance also included photo identification matching, requiring a user to upload a photo ID such as passport or driving licence to prove their age, and credit card checks. The British government’s newly passed Online Safety Act requires sites and apps with pornographic content to ensure that children are unable to encounter pornographic content. The legal age to watch porn in Britain is 18 or over.

Spotify cuts 1,500 jobs

Spotify, in one of the biggest layoffs this year cut 17% of the workforce. The move will impact 1,500 employees. The layoffs are part of the company’s effort to turn it “right sized”, and to align with the company’s future goals.

Earlier this year, Spotify cut 6% of its workforce, with the company’s CEO stating they were too ambitious in investing ahead of revenue growth. In all the company has laid off more than 2,000 people this year.

Hackers target Microsoft Exchange accounts

Russian state-sponsored threat actors were found to be actively exploiting a bug in Microsoft Outlook to hijack Exchange accounts and steal sensitive information. Hackers were using the flaw to target government agencies, along with organisations in the energy, transportation, and other key sectors.

The attacks were largely focused on organisations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Earlier this year, Microsoft had issued a similar warning against State-sponsored Chinese hackers. At the time the company said hackers infiltrated critical U.S. infrastructure networks. Microsoft along with the United States, and its Western allies also said that similar espionage attacks could be occurring globally.

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