1. High-level executives from Facebook, Google, Huawei, IBM, and Microsoft met at the Global Digital Summit to seek agreement on ethical guidelines related to data and artificial intelligence. They joined leaders from global enterprises, as well as scientists and academics, in launching the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) that will develop concrete projects to support the ethics effort. This could include the development of a "transparency label." The EU, the IEEE and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization that represents 37 countries for economic concerns and world trade, also are trying to create standards for the ethical use of AI and automated, data-driven systems. - TECHEXPLORE
2. Seven mobile payment services providers are building a network to allow cross-border transactions for as many as 25 million users. Large banks are among the providers of these services. The pan-European network will be created to help traditional lenders counter the growing competition from fin-techs and tech companies like Apple, which offers the Wallet app. The newly formed association, dubbed the European Mobile Payment System, currently includes Danske Bank A/S's Mobile Pay, Belgium's Banccontact Payconiq, Germany and Austria's Bluecode, Portugal's SIBS, Sweden's Swish, Norway's VIPPS, and Switzerland's TWINT. More mobile payment systems are expected to join, given increasing user demand. - BLOOMBERG
3. French police took down a botnet of more than 850,000 computers that were being used to mine the Monero cryptocurrency. The botnet, first detected in 2017, used the Retadup worm to target Windows systems via phishing emails. The botnet operates globally, but its command-and-control (C&C) server was located in France. The identity of the person or group behind the botnet has not yet been revealed by authorities. The police were able to hijack the malware after security frim Avast discovered a flaw in the C&C server and instructed police on how to repurpose the botnet to turn it into a disinfection server. - SILICON ANGLE
4. The US and Poland signed a joint declaration saying that suppliers of 5G network equipment should be rigorously evaluated for foreign government control. The announcement is largely targeted at Chinese vendor Huawei, whose equipment has been banned in the US for providing backdoors for Beijing's intelligence agencies, and has a strong presence in Poland. It remains under scrutiny there. Authorities in Poland arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei and a former Polish security official on spying allegations in January. All countries must ensure only trusted and reliable suppliers participate in networks, the declaration says. - REUTERS
5. Authorities say a Brazilian criminal gang cloned customer Mastercard debit cards to steal more than $1.65 million from customers of the German bank Oldenburgische Landesbank. The cards were protected by EMV (chip-and-PIN) technology but the thieves were able to use the cards to cash out user funds across Brazil. The bank said that only 2,000 customers were impacted and that it already refunded the money to them. The bank has blocked all Mastercard debit cards and it is in the process of issuing replacements. - ZDNET
6. Oyo, the largest hotel chain in India, has acquired Copenhagen-based data science firm Danamica for its machine learning and business intelligence technology that dynamically prices rental properties. Oyo says it made the acquisition to help it scale its technical expertise as it expands its footprint in overseas markets. It wants to be more accurate with pricing in order to create higher efficiencies and yield for its real estate owners --TECHCRUNCH
7. A new report predicts the automotive and healthcare IoT market will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020. The automotive market will grow by 31 percent and the healthcare sector by 29 percent, according to the report from research firm Gartner. The report, Scenarios for the IoT Marketplace, says that vehicles embedded with IoT connectivity will be supplemented with add-on devices for purposes such as fleet management. In healthcare, most IoT endpoints will be used for chronic condition monitoring. - IoT TECH NEWS
8. AWS, Azure, and Google are facing competition from small cloud startups. Micro-services architecture, a software development technique that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled service, is driving the trend. The reason is that developers who split their workloads into different parts don’t need to limit themselves to one cloud. - INFOWORLD
9. A Cisco senior VP says that AI and machine learning will create higher-value employment for workers who keep their skills up to date. VC Gopalratnam, Cisco senior vice-president, IT and CIO, International, says that rules-based jobs – work that applies human-made rules to store, sort and manipulate data – likely will go away. AI is probably the fastest growing technology area due to the hyper generation of data that is coming in from all parts of a business, from all parts of the world, he says. - FINANCIAL EXPRESS
10. An upgrade to Excel's VLOOKUP, the spreadsheet's third-most used function, is now available to Office 365 beta testers. XLOOKUP is one of the biggest feature updates to Excel in years. It provides an easier, more flexible way to display information in spreadsheets. Microsoft will make the feature more broadly available over time. - CNBC
Jennifer Zaino is a freelance writer and editor specializing in business, technology, healthcare and education.
Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).