Facebook and Instagram to restrict advertisers’ access to teenagers’ data

Facebook and Instagram to restrict advertisers’ access to teenagers’ data

Facebook and Instagram are to tighten restrictions around the data available to firms to target ads at teenage users, the platforms’ parent company, Meta, has said.

From February, advertisers will no longer be able see a user’s gender or the type of posts they have engaged with as a way of targeting adverts to them. Under the enhanced restrictions, only a user’s age and location will be used to show them advertising, Meta said.

The social media firm also confirmed that new controls would be introduced in March enabling teenagers to go into the settings in both apps and choose to “see less” of certain types of adverts.

Many online safety campaigners say social media platforms need to do more to control the types of advertising shown to younger users, saying inappropriate ads can cause as much harm as offensive or abusive content posted by others.

Meta has previously added restrictions that stop advertisers from targeting teenagers with adverts based on their interests and activities, and the company said the latest updates came in response to research on the issue, direct feedback from experts and global regulation.

“As part of our continued work to keep our apps age-appropriate for teens, … Read More

UK employees say working from home made them less productive

UK employees say working from home made them less productive

New research has revealed a greater proportion of employees would prefer to work in the office with flexible hours than work from home with structured hours.

The survey of full time office workers across the UK and Ireland to learn how their experience working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic compared to their usual work practices – with many citing negative accounts.

Two-fifths of employees noticed a decrease in support from management and team members while working from home, meanwhile slightly more said there was a lack of conversation.

For almost four in 10 employees, this resulted in loneliness. The employees worst affected by loneliness were those at organisations that employ 100 or more people and new joiners. Some employees felt the lack of social interaction was reflected in their work output, as a quarter said it made them less productive and a similar proportion said it contributed to burnout.

Concerningly, one in 10 employees said working from home had a negative impact on their career progression and only 36% were asked about their preferred work environment before being told to work from home.

Anton Roe, CEO at MHR, that conducted the research, said: “What is clear from our research is … Read More

Indonesia-linked investor in talks to save Britishvolt in £160m deal

Indonesia-linked investor in talks to save Britishvolt in £160m deal

The battery startup Britishvolt is in talks with an Indonesia-linked oil and gas investor for a £160m rescue deal that would almost wipe out the value of existing shareholders’ stakes.

The investor consortium is led by DeaLab Group, a UK-based private equity investor that has been involved in several fossil fuel and renewable energy transactions in Indonesia, and an associated metals business, Barracuda Group.

A takeover of the project, if completed, would provide welcome relief for employees and enable the company to continue its ambitious effort to build a factory capable of making 30 gigawatt hours of batteries every year – enough for hundreds of thousands of cars. Building gigafactories is seen as a key aim by the UK government, which pledged £100m in financial support to the project.

Britishvolt’s site, near Blyth in Northumberland, is seen by many in the automotive industry as one of the UK’s best potential locations for a gigafactory because of proximity to power lines carrying renewable energy and a deep-sea port. However, the startup reached the brink of collapse in October as it ran out of money, with building work on the factory mostly halted since the summer.

Under the terms of the rescue … Read More

Goldman Sachs to cull 3,200 jobs as part of cost cutting exercise with UK workers to be hit

Goldman Sachs to cull 3,200 jobs as part of cost cutting exercise with UK workers to be hit

Up to 3,200 jobs are to go at Goldman Sachs as part of the biggest restructuring efforts at the company since the global financial crash.

The US-based multinational financial services company and investment bank is embarking on a series of cost-saving measures after the deal making and market boom of the COVID-19 pandemic dried up and net profit dropped 44% in the first nine months of this financial year.

It is understood job cuts will be made to the company’s global workforce with UK staff to be impacted as a result.

More than 6,000 staff are employed by Goldman Sachs in the UK.

Reports say the majority of employees are to hear of their fates from Wednesday and that more than a third of cuts are likely to be from core trading and banking units.

The job losses are to be equivalent to about 6% of the 49,100 total work force recorded at the end of September.

Earnings for the final quarter of the year are to be published next Tuesday with analysts forecasting earnings per share to have fallen around 8% during the three-month period compared to a year earlier.

The company recruited extensively during the pandemic years and … Read More

European electric carmakers apply the brakes on costly revolution

European electric carmakers apply the brakes on costly revolution

British and European manufacturers are slowing down production of electric vehicles because they are too expensive for the vast majority of motorists, an industry body has said.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre, which disburses taxpayer money to push the automotive industry towards a zero-emission future, said in its latest quarterly review of the market that British factories would produce 280,000 fully electric cars and vans in 2025, out of a total production of 1.1 million.

It previously forecast 360,000 battery-only vehicles to be produced out of a total one million. If correct it would mean only a quarter of UK assembly output will be electric within two years, compared with the prior forecast of more than a third.

In its report, the centre said: “An uncertain economy is expected to drive buyers towards cheaper models and reduced BEV [battery electric vehicle] production is planned on that expectation. Buyers are expected to stick with cheaper options for longer. Although BEV production is reduced, overall production is increased, with more plug-in hybrids and hybrid vehicles [both of which include petrol engines].”

This is not just a UK phenomenon, the centre said. It is now expecting electric vehicle production across Europe to be 1 … Read More