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Google Receives EMI License To Operate in EU

Google's EMI license is the 45th such the Bank of Lithuania has issued so far

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Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms, the company said in a statement.

A company controlled by Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. has received an electronic money institution (EMI) license in Lithuania that will allow it to offer payment services across the European Union (EU).

Amid the country’s efforts to become a regional fintech licensing hub, the Bank of Lithuania issued the EMI license to Google Payment Lithuania, UAB on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Our regulatory environment and the benefits it offers have been acknowledged by both start ups and world-class fintech companies,” a statement quoted Marius Jurgilas, a member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, as saying.

The EMI license authorises the company to issue and redeem electronic money and provide payment services.

“We are constantly working to develop payments products and support our customers. We applied for a payment license in Lithuania as part of these efforts,” Google spokesman Adam Malczak told local media on Friday.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Google’s EMI license in Lithuania was issued around a week after Revolut, a UK-based fintech start-up received European banking license which was facilitated by the Bank of Lithuania, paving the way for the company’s banking services throughout Europe.

“The end of this year reflects our efforts and experience of the past few years in actively developing a fintech-conducive ecosystem in Lithuania,” Jurgilas said.

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Google’s EMI license is the 45th such the Bank of Lithuania has issued so far.

In total, more than 100 fintech companies, mostly in payments, electronic money issuance, peer to peer lending, crowdfunding, are licensed in Lithuania, according to the Bank of Lithuania. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Cracks Whip on Political Debates at Workplace

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”

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FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

Google has cracked down on its employees who encourage political speech and internal debates at workplace, restricting the company’s historically open work culture.

In an email sent to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained the company’s revised community guidelines.

“While sharing information and ideas with colleagues helps build community, disrupting the workday to have a raging debate over politics or the latest news story does not.

“Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics,” the new guidelines read.

The new rules come as Google faces increasing scrutiny from politicians, the public, and its employees on a number of issues, reports Vox.

“Don’t troll, name call, or engage in ad hominem attacks — about anyone. Be respectful in your comments about (and to) your fellow Googlers,” the guidelines read.

“Working at Google comes with tremendous responsibility. It’s critical that we honour that trust and uphold the integrity of our products and services. The guidelines are official policy and apply when employees are communicating in the workplace,” Google said in a statement given to The Verge.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google has been hit by a couple of walkouts and sit-ins in the past over workplace policies.

In November, nearly 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out following the company’s mishandling of sexual harassment allegations.

Six months after they staged a walkout against workplace harassment, Google employees on May 1 staged sit-in protest at the IT major’s offices across the world. The group “Google Walkout For Real Change” organised the sit-in protest.

The search engine giant in 2017 fired the author of a controversial memo on gender diversity that went viral inside the company.

Also Read: Facebook Downplayed Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal

Authored by James Damore, the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” claims that when it comes to technology, there is a biological difference between men and women.

Before his firing, Damore had filed a complaint with the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that charged Google with “misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints”. (IANS)