IBM says U.S. should adopt new export controls on facial recognition systems By Reuters


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© Reuters. A man wearing a protective mask walks past an office building with IBM logo amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – IBM Corp (N:) said on Friday the U.S. Commerce Department should adopt new controls to limit the export of facial recognition systems to repressive regimes that can be used to commit human rights violations.

The company said in a statement the United States should institute new export limits on “the type of facial recognition system most likely to be used in mass surveillance systems, racial profiling or other human rights violations.”

In July, the Commerce Department had sought public comments on whether to adopt new export license requirements for facial recognition software and other biometric systems used in surveillance. Comments are due by Sept. 15.

Christopher Padilla, IBM’s vice president for government and regulatory affairs, told Reuters the U.S. government should focus on “one to many” systems that could be used to pick dissidents out of a crowd or for mass surveillance, rather than “facial identification” systems that allow a user to unlock an iPhone or board an airplane.

IBM said the Commerce Department should control “export of both the high-resolution cameras used to collect data and the software algorithms used to analyze and match that data against a database of images” and argued it should “limit the ability of certain foreign governments to obtain the large-scale computing components required to implement an integrated facial recognition system.”

The company’s written comments did not identify specific governments but said “controls on the most powerful types of facial recognition technology should be focused on those countries that have a history of human rights abuses.”

The Commerce Department’s July notice said China “has deployed facial recognition technology in the Xinjiang region, in which there has been repression, mass arbitrary detention and high technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups.”

The department has added dozens of Chinese companies and entities to an economic blacklist that it said were implicated in human rights violations regarding China’s treatment of Uighurs, including video surveillance firm Hikvision (SZ:), as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology.

China has denied mistreating people in Xinjiang.

IBM said the Commerce Department should also restrict access to online image databases that can be used to train facial recognition systems.

In June, IBM told the U.S. Congress it would stop offering facial recognition software and opposes any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling. The company also called for new federal rules to hold police more accountable for misconduct.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Rio Tinto may need to tap outsider for new chief By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rio Tinto CEO Jean-Sebastien Jacques poses for photographs before announcing Rio Tinto’s 2017 first-half results in London

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Four years after mining giant Rio Tinto (NYSE:) swept out its veteran managers to make way for a new generation of business heads, its leadership team has come unstuck.

The world’s biggest iron ore miner is looking for a new chief and iron ore boss after they allowed the blasting of ancient Aboriginal rock shelters to expand a mine in Western Australia against the wishes of the traditional owners.

Investors and analysts saw no clear internal candidates and said following the damage done to the company’s reputation, it was likely Rio would tap an outsider to replace Frenchman Jean-Sébastien Jacques.

“Clearly from the comments of the chairman they want to reset the culture, which would imply an external candidate would be more likely than an internal one,” said Macquarie analyst Hayden Bairstow.

Chairman Simon Thompson said on Friday the company was determined to “re-establish our reputation as a leader in communities and heritage management”.

Potential external candidates that analysts and investors pointed to included Anglo American (AX:) CEO Mark Cutifani, Orica (AX:) CEO Alberto Calderon, former Fortescue Metals Group (AX:) boss Nev Power, and ex-Shell Australia chair Zoe Yujnovich, who previously ran Rio’s Canadian iron ore business.

“Zoe has the relevant mining background, international management experience, government relationships, acute sensitivity to indigenous and remote community engagement, and strong Australian roots,” said one analyst, who declined to be named as he does not cover Rio.

If the company wants to overhaul its culture, it might be tough to turn to former Rio executives, although several were seen as potential candidates: Newcrest Mining (AX:) Chief Executive Sandeep Biswas, Aurizon CEO Andrew Harding, OZ Minerals (AX:) CEO Andrew Cole and Fortescue Chief Operating Officer Greg Lilleyman.

However analysts said the company may want to look beyond mining expertise to set a new vision for the company.

“You don’t need to be able to do a mine plan for an iron ore pit to run Rio Tinto. Look at (former travel industry executive) Elizabeth Gaines’ success at Fortescue,” Bairstow said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Samsung touts ‘best salesman’ Lee’s role in $6.6 billion Verizon deal as trial looms By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee arrives for a court hearing to review a detention warrant request against him at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul

By Joyce Lee and Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL (Reuters) – As Samsung Electronics’ (KS:) leader Jay Y. Lee readies for a new trial next month, the tech giant has quietly ramped up a public relations campaign touting Lee’s deal-making expertise including in winning a $6.6 billion contract from Verizon (N:).

Lauding the Samsung heir as ‘the best salesman’, the firm has over the past year released a flurry of statements and photos of his visits to its many business sites, showcasing a side of the normally-reserved Lee whose public image has taken a battering over a lengthy bribery scandal.

The mounting legal travails for Lee, which have cast a cloud over the leadership of one of the world’s biggest tech companies, coincide with the reformist drive of President Moon Jae-in, elected three years ago after the impeachment and jailing of his predecessor Park Geun-hye.

Lee was indicted last week on suspicions of accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. A trial is scheduled to start on Oct. 22.

The stakes are high, and Samsung’s public relations machine has stepped up a charm offensive, telling local media in a message this week that it expected cutting-edge network equipment business to grow into “the first flagship business of the Lee Jae-yong era,” using the Vice Chairman of Samsung Electronics’ Korean name.

According to the message seen by Reuters, Samsung said Lee actively engaged Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg on his visit to South Korea last year, and made several video calls with him ahead of clinching a $6.64 billion contract.

Samsung on Monday announced the contract to provide network equipment to Verizon in the United States, considered a major win as the firm seeks to narrow the gap in the 5G network market with frontrunner Huawei, which is grappling with U.S. restrictions.

“Samsung keeps exposing Lee to the media, to give the message that Lee plays a big role, so if he goes to jail or faces lengthy trials, this would disrupt management, put Samsung in difficulty, and Korean economy in difficulty,” said Professor Park Sang-in of Seoul National University, a governance expert.

In the message, Samsung also highlighted Lee’s role in its 5G deal with Japan’s KDDI (T:) last year despite the worsening bilateral relations.

In a statement to Reuters, Samsung said: “Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee has played a key role in developing new growth businesses and relationship with global clients and partners.”

“The company responded to media requests and inquiries about his role and client relations,” it added, saying that this “was part of normal communications with journalists.”

REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE

The fresh charges against Lee has further scarred the 52-year old Samsung scion’s reputation and come at a time the world’s biggest memory chip maker and No.2 smartphone manufacturer navigates intensifying competition and the coronavirus pandemic.

Lee is also facing a separate trial on charges of bribing former president Park in an influence-peddling scandal to take control of the business empire from his father, group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, who has been incapacitated since suffering a heart attack in 2014.

President Moon has pledged to curb the power of South Korea’s chaebol, or family-owned conglomerates.

In the past, convicted business tycoons were shown leniency by courts for their economic contributions, but in a departure, Lee was jailed for nearly a year over the scandal involving Park.

Lee’s father was convicted previously of breach of trust and tax evasion charges, but later received a presidential pardon.

In June, while refuting media reports on Lee’s alleged wrongdoings, Samsung said such reports are “never desirable not only for Samsung’s future but the future of the Korean economy.”

Samsung Electronics, the crown jewel in the Samsung group, reported annual revenue in 2019 equivalent to 12% of South Korea’s economic output.

“Samsung’s PR efforts seem to be to build Lee’s good image,” said Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score.

“If Lee cannot serve his role then it could adversely affect the economy, seems to be the nuance.”





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Elliott’s Cohn steps off eBay board, two newcomers join By Reuters


© Reuters.

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Elliot Management is giving up its board seat at eBay Inc (O:), the company said on Thursday, less than two years after laying out a blueprint for improvements at the ecommerce company that included divestitures and led to a doubling of the stock price.

Elliott partner Jesse Cohn, who runs the hedge fund’s U.S. activism practice, resigned his seat 18 months after joining the group on March 1, 2019 as part of a settlement that gave Elliott and another activist hedge fund a bigger say in the company’s operations.

LinkedIn (NYSE:) executive Mohak Shroff and Carol Hayles, a former chief financial officer at CIT Group (NYSE:), are joining the board, eBay said in a statement. Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar will step back from board responsibilities and become a director emeritus.

Early in 2019, Elliott, which now owns 1.4% of eBay’s stock and ranks as one of its biggest investors, had publicly asked the company to review its portfolio, revitalize its core marketplace business, make operational improvements, return more capital to shareholders and overhaul its leadership.

Since then, eBay has sold its classifieds unit and its StubHub ticket-reselling platform, introduced its first ever dividend, expanded margins and installed a new chief executive. Shares closed at $52.32 on Thursday, after closing at a high of $59.27 on July 10. Before Elliott’s position became known in January 2019, the stock traded at $28.97.

“Jesse brought strong leadership skills and a technology investor’s perspective to the board. His input was extremely helpful with eBay’s operating and portfolio reviews,” board Chairman Paul Pressler said.

“EBay is a tremendous company and has been a terrific investment for Elliott Management. It was a pleasure to serve on eBay’s Board for the past year and a half,” Cohn said in a statement.

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Citigroup’s Fraser shows Wall Street playing catch-up on woman CEOs By Reuters


© Reuters. Citigroup Latin America CEO Fraser addresses Brazil-U.S. Business forum

By Jessica DiNapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc’s (N:) appointment of Jane Fraser as its next chief executive on Thursday was celebrated on Wall Street as the first woman to lead one of the top U.S. banks. Yet this is a glass ceiling that corporate America shattered decades ago.

It was 1972 when the Washington Post, then a Fortune 500 company, named Katherine Graham (NYSE:) as its CEO. While progress for female leaders has been slow, 36 of the Fortune 500 companies are now run by women, including automaker General Motors Co (N:), chocolate maker Hershey Co (N:) and Northrop Grumman Corp (N:), according to corporate governance services firm BoardEx.

The male-dominated financial services industry has fared poorly. Even beyond the major banks, only four of the 200 largest public U.S. financial services companies – Synchrony Financial (N:), Franklin Resources Inc (N:), Nasdaq Inc (O:) and CIT Group Inc (N:) – have female CEOs, according to BoardEx.

“These are really positions that women have not pursued because of the work-life balance. We have seen years and years of struggle for women who have to choose,” said Charlotte Laurent-Ottomane, executive director of the Thirty Percent Coalition, which encourages diversity in corporate boardrooms.

CEO candidates typically come from roles in finance, operations or running a business line, where there are few women leaders, according to a study from accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.

Women have higher representation in roles that historically have not been heavily recruited for the top job, such as in legal or human resources departments, according to the study.

Fraser, 53, has been a rising star in the financial industry, with a career that spans investment banking, wealth management, troubled mortgage workouts and strategy in Latin America – a key business for Citigroup. She was being groomed for the top job after she was elevated to Citigroup president last year.

Among the Citigroup board directors who tapped Fraser as CEO, 8 of 17 are women, compared to about a quarter at most other U.S. banks.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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