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EU to restrict political advertisements online; Facebook, Google will be fined if they do not follow the rules



EU to Limit Political Advertisements Online; Facebook, Google to Face Fine if They Don

Concerned about the misuse of political ads to undermine elections, the European Union unveiled plans on Thursday to help people better understand when they see such ads online and who is responsible.

The proposals, designed to ensure fair and transparent polls or referendums, would also ban political targeting and “amplification techniques” used to reach a wider audience if they use sensitive personal data such as ethnic origin, religious beliefs or sexual orientation. without a citizen’s consent.

“Digital advertising for political ends is becoming an uncontrolled race of dirty and opaque methods,” said Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission. “A large number of data analytics and communication agencies work with our data on a daily basis to find out the best way to convince us to buy something, vote for someone or not vote at all.”

She said people “need to know why they see an ad, who paid for it, how much, what microtargeting criteria were used. New technologies should be tools for emancipation, not manipulation.”

The committee, the EU’s executive, hopes that the 27 member states and the European Parliament have discussed and approved the proposals in national law by 2023, in time for next year’s European elections.

Companies like Facebook and Google, the two dominant players in the digital advertising industry, would face fines if they did not follow the rules.

Facebook, which has been heavily criticized for its lack of transparency about political ads, has welcomed the move.

“We have long pushed for EU-wide regulation of political advertising and are pleased that the Commission’s proposal answers some of the more difficult questions, particularly when it comes to cross-border advertising,” said the company, which recently renamed itself Meta. . a press statement.

Google said in a blog post that it supported the proposals and recommended that the committee clearly define political advertising and outline responsibilities for technical platforms and advertisers, while still keeping the rules flexible.

Twitter, which banned all political ads in 2019, said it believed “political reach should be earned, not bought” and noted that it has also restricted and removed microtargeting from other types of ads, such as charity-based ads.

Under the EU plan, political ads should be clearly labeled and the sponsor’s name prominently displayed, with a transparency notice explaining how much the ad costs and where the money is coming from to pay for it. The material should have a direct link to the relevant vote or poll.

Information should be available about what an individual, or group of people, is being targeted by the ad, and what reinforcement tools are being used to help the sponsor reach a wider audience. Advertisements would be banned if such criteria cannot be met.

Jourova told reporters that “the sensitive data people decide to share with friends on social media cannot be used to target them for political purposes.” She said that “companies like Facebook are able to say publicly who they’re targeting, why and how, or they won’t be able to do it.”

The system would be monitored by data protection authorities in each of the EU Member States. National authorities would be required to impose “effective, proportionate and dissuasive fines” when the rules are broken.



A Warmer, Wetter Sunday – CBS Miami




A Warmer, Wetter Sunday - CBS Miami


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RRB NTPC’s first CBT result will be released on January 15; view the official announcement here





RRB NTPC Update: Railway Recruitment Board has announced that the results of the first computer-based test will be out by January 15, 2022. The announcement was made on December 5, 2021. Candidates who qualify for this exam must appear for the second CGT. It will be conducted between February 14 and February 18, 2022. The RRB NTPC result will be published on the official websites of the sixteen RRBs. Here is the direct link to view the official notification.

CBT Details

“The 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-1) was held in 7 stages from December 28, 2020 to July 31, 2021. The result of the 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-1) is currently being processed and the results are tentatively scheduled to to be published on RRB’s official websites by January 15, 2022,” the RRB informed candidates.

“The 2nd Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-2) exam for the candidates shortlisted in CBT-1 is tentatively scheduled from February 14-18, 2022, subject to prevailing conditions and government guidance issued from time to time with a view to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic,” the RRBs also said in the official notification. Official notice further reads: “Candidates are advised to refer only to RRB’s official websites for the latest updates on the recruitment process. Do not be misled by unauthorized sources.”

On December 1, #JusticeForRailwayStudents was ranked #1 on Twitter in India with over 3.5 million tweets. Railroad candidates expressed concern about RRB Recruitment. Hansraj Meena, who calls himself a writer, blogger and socio-political activist, is among the users who tweeted about the demands of railway aspirants. He tweeted: “Railway aspirants basic requirements. 1. Railway NTPC and group d training n merged data 2. Exam date of group D railway 3. new vacancy in railway 4. Conduct IRMS exam. #JusticeForRailwayStudents”


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Amazon Alexa is accessible to people outside the US; here’s how




Amazon Alexa is accessible to people outside the US;  here's how

(Photo: unsplash/Matthew Ball) Amazon App

Alexa fans outside the United States long to access the technology in their own country. Alexa was initially launched as an exclusive service in the United States in 2014.

As for 2021, the voice assistant will be accessible in over 40 countries, but you’ll have to take a different route.

Can you use Alexa in unsupported countries?

You can access Alexa outside of the United States, but Amazon has added so many barriers that it will take so much effort for it to work, according to android authority.

For starters, you’ll need an international version of the Amazon Echo Dot, a first-generation Amazon Echo Plus, or a second-generation Amazon Echo.

It should be possible for you to buy one or more of these devices on Amazon, but chances are you will have to order the device from Amazon UK, Amazon US or Amazon Germany, and it will cost quite a bit, especially at shipment.

Also read: How do you turn Amazon Alexa into Ziggy? Male counterpart now available for voice exchange

You also need to download the Alex app for iPhone, iPad or Android. You can set up the device through Alexa’s official website However, the app is needed for full control over routines and settings.

If the app isn’t available in your area, you’ll need to temporarily change the location and billing settings for the Google Play Store on Android or Apple App Store for iPads and iPhones.

Please note that this step is not practical as there is a possibility that it will harm the other app subscriptions you have signed up in front of.

Some Alexa features are blocked on Amazon Echo international models. These Alexa features include shopping, news, business, and traffic.

Also, some skills will not work, such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Audible, which are exclusive to the United States.

In different regions, you can use TuneIn Radio, Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited. Smart home features do work, such as timers, alarms, calendar, weather, and to-do list. You can also access newsletters, as long as they are region specific.

Before purchasing an Alexa-enabled device, please check the product pages to find out what restrictions apply in your country.

Keep in mind that Alexa can speak Spanish, German or English on international Echo models, so you can only choose between the three.

Which countries support Alexa?

The countries that support Alexa are United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Japan, Canada, India, Belgium, Chile, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Colombia, Cyprus, Estonia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Greece, Finland, Iceland and Hungary.

The Alexa service is also accessible in Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Malta, Peru, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, Portugal, Uruguay and Sweden.

Alexa has several abilities that are beneficial to the user, including the Alexa Guard which protects your home as it uses the microphone in the Echo devices to listen for signs of intrusion.

You can also use the Audible skill so that you can hear an audiobook read aloud. There is also a free book that you can read monthly, according to Business Insider.

Related Article: Amazon Alexa Hacks Every Alexa User Should Know

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Sophie Webster

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


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