Europe’s New Privacy Rules Could Protect U.S. Users Too

people walking by a Google sign

The General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect in Europe on May 25. That means that companies that collect your personal data must ask you if they can use, keep or share it. They can’t include disclosures in lengthy disclaimers either.

Rayna Stamboliyska, a data protection specialist based in Paris, says that under the new rules, the Internet is a place where no means no. She compares digital consent to sexual consent. She explains, “Before you even put your cookie on my computer, or in my mobile device, you have to make sure I consent to being followed.”

Companies that violate the new rules may be fined up to four percent of their global annual revenue or 20 million euros (about $25 million), whichever is higher. NPR reports that Facebook plans “to make all the same controls and settings available everywhere, not just in Europe.” Microsoft and Google have also indicated they are also extending Europe’s privacy rights to users around the world. Read more about it at NPR.

Build your AI skills at Microsoft

AI in the classroom

Microsoft recently announced that Microsoft Professional Program in AI is now open to the public. “The program provides job-ready skills and real-world experience to engineers and others who are looking to improve their skills in AI and data science through a series of online courses that feature hands-on labs and expert instructors … That program includes both general educational tools for developers looking to expand AI capabilities and specific guidance on how developers can use Microsoft’s tools and services.”

Learn how you can take advantage of this program and a multitude of other educational programs at Microsoft.

Farmers are starting to use ‘Cow Fitbits’ and AI

Cow with Ida tracker

Due to the shortage of workers, many aging farmers are relying on AI technology to help them run their farms.

The AI that Richard Watson uses is called Ida, for “The Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant.” It “tracks his cows’ tiniest movements through their collars and then graphs and dissects them en masse. Those ‘real-time cattle analytics’ are then used by the AI to assess diet and movement and predict health issues of concern, such as lameness or udder infections.”

Learn more about AI on farms at The Washington Post.

Wi-Fi turns school buses into rolling study halls

bus with wi fi

In 2016, educators in Caldwell County, NC and Googler volunteers installed Wi-Fi on 11 school buses in the district. They also put educators on the buses who provided support and helped out with assignments, “because bridging the “digital divide” isn’t just about providing access and devices—it’s also about using that technology effectively.” Learn more about how it’s working at

Educational technology helps students learn

digital trends study

The fourth annual Digital Study Trends Survey by McGraw-Hill Education finds that most students value digital learning technology and feel technology has improved their grades.

A few things the study discovered:

  • Ninety-four percent of students said digital learning technology has helped them retain new concepts (with 30 percent indicating that technology was extremely helpful), and more than half of the students think digital learning technology helped them better understand concepts they didn’t know.
  • A solid majority (60 percent) of students feel that digital learning technology has improved their grades, with a fifth saying it “significantly” improved their grades. Students in STEM majors were the most likely to say technology positively affected their grades.
  • Approximately 60 percent of students agree that digital learning technology increased their engagement with course materials.

It’s Emancipation Day for Washington, D.C.

Emancipation Proclamation articleDid you know today is Emancipation Day? On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act that prohibited slavery and entitled District slave owners to $300 per slave.

“The United States is the only nation in history to end slavery through Civil War. Nations as diverse as Russia, the British Empire, France, Brazil, and others around the world ended their reliance on slave labor through legislative means that included some form of compensation to slave owners for their lost “assets.” Here, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the front page that Lincoln presented a special message to Congress with a plan to end slavery through compensation. There would be no takers among the slaveholding border states.”

Learn more about the history and look at the historical documents at