Social media companies face ‘humongous’ fines, UK falls in ‘digital quality of life’ index

Social media firms could face “humongous” fines
if they fail to block the accounts of under-13s, the technology secretary has said. Michelle Donelan made the comments on the eve of the long-awaited online safety bill returning to parliament for its final stages on Wednesday after numerous delays. Donelan said she wanted a “zero tolerance” approach to children using social media, telling the Daily Telegraph: “If that means deactivating the accounts of nine-year-olds or eight-year-olds, then they’re going to have to do that. The Guardian 

Virgin Media O2 has bought up a broadband business from a fund set up by a sanctioned oligarch, after the Government ordered the sale on national security grounds. The telecoms giant has reached a deal to buy Upp from LetterOne, an investment group founded by Ukrainian-born billionaire Mikhail Fridman in 2013. The sale, understood to be valued at tens of millions of pounds, was ordered last year by then-Business Secretary Grant Shapps. Telegraph

Surfshark’s 5th annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks the United Kingdom 15th in the world, dropping by six places from last year. Out of the Index’s 5 pillars, the United Kingdom performed best in e-government, claiming 8th place, while facing challenges in internet quality, ranking 32nd. The nation ranks 13th in e-infrastructure, 22nd in internet affordability and 23rd in e-security. In the overall Index, the United Kingdom surpasses Ireland (23rd) and the US (19th). Overall, European countries lead the world in their digital quality of life, the United Kingdom taking 14th place in the region. Tech Digest

Emily Rudd in ‘One Piece’. Image: Netflix

Live-action anime adaptation One Piece has set a new record for Netflix, surpassing one set by previous hit series Wednesday and Stranger Things. The first season of the show – adapted from the long-running Japanese cartoon – was released on the streaming service last week. In the first few days of its release, One Piece has risen to become the No 1 ranked TV series in 84 different countries around the world. Independent

Google celebrated the 25th anniversary of its launch this week – and it’s hard to envisage what life was like before. Few companies have become so integral to society that they become a verb, but the search giant remains the shorthand for looking something up online despite AI threatening the habit. Google has of course seen off plenty of would-be rivals before (any Ask Jeeves aficionados out there?) – it would be foolish to write off one of the world’s best-known brands after all it’s been through. Sky News 

Google announces its latest set of additions and features for the Android ecosystem as we kickstart September and head into fall. According to Google’s blog post, the September Feature Drop starts by bringing an updated Assistant At a Glance widget on Android devices. Using AI as its centerpiece, Google states this updated widget will bring “high-precision” weather alerts, dynamic travel updates, and upcoming event reminders to a user’s home screen. Android Alert

The biggest threat to future Intel-based laptops isn’t the MacBook, but another Apple device – the much-rumored iPhone 15. Ahead of the expected iPhone 15 launch at Apple’s September Event, which is on September 12, a new supply chain report, highlighted by 9to5Mac, suggests that major chip maker, TSMC, will exclusively make 3nm chips for Apple, for the rest of the year. While this might not sound like the most thrilling of news, it could have big ramifications for numerous devices – not just smartphones. Tech Radar

Chris Price