Welcome to the penultimate Saturday of the month—make it a good one.
Happening in the World: French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron’s government has come under criticism from lawmakers for its plans to develop and release an app called “StopCovid.” The app would alert citizens if they had been in close proximity with others known to have the coronavirus. Critics worry that the app could infringe on users’ privacy and civil liberties, especially given the app’s use of cellphone data tracing. Though a debate on the app is scheduled in the Parliament for the end of April, the Secretary of State for the Digital Economy has announced that the app will not be ready by then. (France24)
Happening in the US: Yesterday, CEOs of both Vox Media and Airbnb independently announced reductions of their respective workforces. Around 9% of Vox Media’s staff will take a temporary leave of absence while retaining health benefits, with its CEO and president taking a 50% cut in salary. Airbnb, meanwhile, will lay off contractors and stop all undergraduate internships/hiring until 2021. Senior staff at the company will take a 50% cut in salary, while Airbnb’s co-founders will forgo salaries for the time being. (TechCrunch, Protocol)
Happening in NYC: The NYPD barred a photojournalist from documenting a mass burial on Hart Island in the Bronx. Citing NYC Administrative Code § 10–126 (which prohibits drone lift-offs and landings within New York City limits), officers confiscated the journalist’s drone and tried to confiscate his phone. Responding to criticism of the NYPD’s actions, Mayor Bill de Blasio firstly asserted that the burials were not, in fact, “mass burials.” Tweeting further, he appeared to support the decision, saying, “We shouldn’t sensationalize the suffering and loss of our neighbors.” (PetaPixel)
Have a great weekend.
Unrelated header via Bwarchives