What’s Trending: Emirati Women, WhatsApp & Apple

The week began with celebrations in the UAE as brands and companies utilized the Emirati Women’s Day platform to connect with leading ladies – both within companies and consumers. This day was launched last year by Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, who holds the distinction of being the Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, the President of the Family Development Foundation, as well as the Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. On this day, Sheikh Mohammed met around 150 Emirati women, which included various ministers, FNC members and women from the civil and military sectors to mark these celebrations. A website that was launched on this occasion, The General Women Union’s (GWU), has already attracted more than 100,000 visitors. Marking this year’s celebration was also the release of the video of ‘What The National Dress Means to Me’.

With this happening closer to home, globally the week has been about controversies of the tech world.

WhatsApp and Facebook informed that WhatsApp would now be sharing user data with Facebook for the social major to use in targeted advertising. If all goes well on this, there is no denying that it will increase Facebook’s advertising prowess even more. Many see this as a ‘U-turn’ of WhatsApp’s ideology on advertising, especially from what it had said at the time of its set up. Jan Koum, Founder of WhatsApp, had said at the time: “Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data…” – Jan Koum

While regulatory bodies are still closely looking at whether this data sharing should be allowed at all, Apple found its way in leading news stories when it was asked to pay 13 billion Euros plus interest by the European Union to Ireland. The Union claims that the company benefited from selective tax treatment given to it by Ireland, which gave it an unfair advantage over other businesses. As a result, Apple saw its share price fall by around 1.6 percent in pre-market trading. Officials from both Apple and Ireland have denied any ‘special deals’ between the two parties. The final outcome of this dispute is yet to be seen, but whatever be the ruling it is likely to trigger one of the world’s biggest tax disputes and a political showdown between Europe and the US.

As fun times begin for the tech world, here is wishing all some restful time over the weekend.

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