Hashtag Trending Sept. 23- Apple Wallet for vaccine proof; U.S. Internet freedom; Amazon’s tech dressing rooms

Ontario volunteers create a tool to add vaccine records to Apple Wallet, internet freedom in the U.S. declines for a fifth year in a row and Amazon’s rumoured department stores are implementing high-tech dressing rooms. 

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Thursday, September 23, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

With the implementation of Ontario’s Vaccine passport on Wednesday, Apple users can now add their proof of vaccine to their Apple Wallet with a new tool. According to a report from CTV News, some software engineers and healthcare workers have volunteered to develop a tool for Apple users while the province awaits an official app. All users have to do is download their vaccination receipt from the Ontario Ministry of Health website and save it as a PDF to their phone files. After that, users can go to grassroots.vaccine-ontario.ca which outlines the simple instructions. Users are instructed to select the PDF from their phone and click “add to Apple Wallet” or “Save as photo.” The website outlines that all user information remains private and a version for Android users is currently in development. Apple has also announced that the iOS 15 update will soon bring verifiable COVID-19 vaccine cards to Apple Wallet. 

A new report from Freedom House reveals that internet freedom has declined for the fifth year in a row in the U.S. The report said the lack of regulation on big tech has allowed companies to grow beyond reproach, resulting in more misinformation. The Freedom House report also said that an increasing lack of diversity of online news and information in the U.S. has led to conspiracy theories filling up the internet. The report especially noted this issue regarding information surrounding the 2020 Presidential Election and the January 6 Capitol Hill attacks. The report said that “The spread of false and conspiracist content about the November 2020 elections shook the foundations of the American political system.” An article from The Guardian explains that the study uses a standard index to measure internet freedom. It questions government control, internet infrastructure and content regulation. Freedom House is a Washington DC-based democracy advocacy group. 

Amazon’s planned department stores will include high-tech dressing rooms according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The upcoming department store will be a marketplace for Amazon to sell its own clothing labels with a mix of a few other brands. But what sets it apart from other stores are the technologically advanced change rooms. Some of the ideas include an app to scan QR codes of clothes customers want to try on. Another idea, according to the WSJ, is a touch screen for shoppers to use if they want to ask for more items. The touch screen might also be able to recommend clothing based on pieces customers liked. Clothes can be brought by workers and handed to shoppers through sliding doors for optimal privacy. Rumours of Amazon’s department stores began to surface last month. 

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 Briefing 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 Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at Channel Daily News. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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