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Facebook fined, Alphabet lament, TikTok plots
The state of your digital destiny
An investigation into infamous Facebook practices that continued through 2018 has resulted in a $9-million fine from Canada’s Competition Bureau. The social network won’t contest the penalty, although it doesn’t believe it did anything wrong by allowing third-party developers to override what was perceived by users as a privacy setting.
Sweeping up Sidewalk Toronto
Manhattan Institute director Michael Hendrix was among those lamenting Alphabet deciding not to pursue its project in Toronto, saying that the proposed Sidewalk Labs intervention seemed necessary to bring the city into the future. The death of the idea brought on some ruminating over what can be built along the Quayside instead.
TikTok’s new boss has to show that he’s not some kind of spy for China. Disney’s head of streaming, Kevin Mayer, was tapped as CEO of the short-form video app, in a move that seems designed for navigating its regulatory challenges. TikTok has also been building a staff in Canada, which includes looking for a director of government affairs.
School’s out as retail returns
The announcement that Ontario classrooms will remain closed until September and that overnight camps are off-limits comes has some wondering how kids will spend summer. Meanwhile, permission for all street-facing storefronts to reopen comes with tales of resolve to do things right, even if that means buying records while masked:
Apex Da Barber confesses to giving haircuts around the clock. COVID-19 has kept the hairstylist preoccupied with house calls—about which the Toronto black-market barber was willing to speak under his pseudonym. The volume of complaints about salons remaining open appear to be rivalled only by reports of stunt driving events.
Finally, undoing Hanky Panky
Kent Monkman issued an apologetic statement about his recent painting, which depicts a sexual assault of Justin Trudeau in front of laughing Indigenous women and anguished former prime ministers. While the artist’s studio asked the Globe and Mail to not reprint the piece, it was by La Presse, and remained on Monkman’s social media: