Tech Digest daily roundup: Eurostar trials biometric recognition

Image: Eurostar

Continental rail operator Eurostar is set to trial a new biometric identity verification technology that promises seamless travel across borders. Created by identity, payments and data protection developer Entrust, the system allows travellers to register their face and passport ahead of travel for a touch-free journey through border checks. Once at St Pancras or other Eurostar hubs, passengers will have their face scanned in order to board trains and move through passport control. It means that holidaymakers no longer need to show passports, boarding passes and other travel documents at every stage of their journey, enabling them to move much more quickly through train stations and airports and reduce contact with staff and security. Independent

Nick D’Aloisio was 12 years old when he began coding on Apple’s App Store. By 15, he became the youngest person ever to receive venture capital funding.  By 17, he had quit King’s College School in Wimbledon and sold his first company to Yahoo for £20m, joining the company and becoming a millionaire in the process.  Now, aged 25, D’Aloisio has sold his second company, Sphere. The 20-person technology start-up, which was developing a group chat app, has been sold to Twitter. Telegraph 

More than 2,000 Amazon warehouse workers in New York City hope to hold a vote to unionise, in the latest labour push at the firm. It’s the second organising effort at the online shopping giant this year, and comes amid a pick-up in union activity across the US. The workers, from four Amazon sites in Staten Island, want higher wages, safer working conditions and longer breaks. Amazon said they were free to unionise but it was not the “best answer”. The employee group, called the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), said it will file a petition to the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, asking it to formally allow a vote. BBC 

Huawei P50
The Huawei P50 will be released in the UK in 2022. Image: Huawei

The Huawei P50 and P50 Pro – the brand’s top of the line, flagship phones – hit the Chinese market in July this year, and they’re coming soon to a store near you. The company has confirmed to TechRadar that it plans to release them in other markets in 2022. During a briefing on the new Huawei Nova 9, the company confirmed it would bring its flagship series of phones for 2021 to other markets in 2022. It has yet to share which markets those will be. Huawei didn’t give a specific date on when we can expect the smartphones. A representative for the brand said, “I can confirm that, early next year we will bring P50 series to consumers overseas.” Tech Radar 

Britain is to phase out a tax on revenues made by the likes of Facebook, Google and Amazon – which was expected to have raised billions – after global reforms were agreed. The UK last year launched a 2% digital services tax on sales by search engines, social media services and online marketplaces, which netted the Treasury £300m in the 2020/21 financial year. That was a response to concerns that multinational tech giants making money in the UK were shifting their profits overseas where they could be taxed at lower rates.  But the government said at the time that it would scrap the tax once a global solution was in place. Under a deal agreed by 136 countries earlier this month, expected to come into force in 2023, the largest and most profitable multinationals will be expected to pay a “fair share” of tax in the markets where they do business and not just where they have their headquarters. Sky News 

Chris Price
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