Hashtag Trending March 23 – U.S. pays devs well; online scams on the rise; and Ukraine uses Clearview AI facial recognition

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The U.S. offers the highest pay to software developers, online scams are still on the rise, and Ukraine’s ministry of defence employs Clearview AI’s facial recognition tech.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, March 23, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

The U.S. has always stood out with a bustling tech sector and a latest survey reinforced that image. The report, culled from a community of two million developers, revealed an average software engineer earns $95,000 in the U.S. More than 40 per cent of developers in the U.S. earn more than $100,000 a year and 5 per cent earns more than $200,000. That’s way above what devs get paid in Canada, which sits at an average of $71,000. Surprisingly, Germany, Spain and France all had lower income. Note that while developers do earn more in the U.S., the survey doesn’t factor in the massive difference between the cost of living.

The FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report revealed that online crimes stole $6.9 billion from people in 2021, a $2 billion increase from 2020. More than 800,000 online crime reports were filed in the year, a 7 per cent increase from 2020 but an 81 per cent increase from 2019. The report says phishing scams, non-payment and personal data breaches were the most common forms of attack. The FBI also warned that online scams may become even more prevalent in the future, and that support fraud for cryptocurrency is on the rise. Other scams include romance scams, tech support fraud and of course, ransomware. 

Ukraine’s defence ministry has adopted Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology. According to the company’s chief, Ukraine is receiving free access to Clearview AI’s search engine for faces. Reuters reports that the system could potentially be used at checkpoints to vet people of interest and identify the dead. Clearview allegedly has stored more than 2 billion images scraped from Russia’s social media platforms. How Ukraine will use Clearview AI’s technology is currently unknown.

It’s rare for someone to not have a smartphone nowadays, especially for younger people. But that’s exactly what 17-year-old Robin West decided to do. She isn’t phoneless, per se, but she chose a “dumb” phone, a basic handset without a touchscreen or sophisticated apps. Handsets like these are typically touted for their battery life, reliability, and simplicity, and is an excellent option for an emergency option. Some experts attribute the revival of basic handsets among younger people to their presence in social media. And Profession Sandra Watcher, a research fellow at the University of Oxford, explained that people choose basic handsets to reduce distractions. That’s de-facto for Robin, who said she didn’t realize how much smartphones have taken over her life until she made the switch.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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