Belgium in Brief: Not OK Google, Furious farmers and Archaeological finds
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Belgium in Brief: Not OK Google, Furious farmers and Archaeological finds

Thursday, 11 July 2019

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News about Google listening in to private conversations through smart devices shocks Brussels, farmers plead with tourists who destroy their crops in the search for the perfect selfie and an Archaeological dig in Brussels reveals a host of past treasures.

Here’s a recap of the news you should know in Belgium this morning:

1. Brussels climate will be like Canberra’s in 30 years time: study

By 2050, everyday temperatures in Brussels could be very similar to current ones in Australia, according to a new study published Wednesday suggesting that an overwhelming majority of the world’s cities are set to undergo major climate shifts in the coming years. Read more.

2. Google listens to conversations recorded by its smart home devices

Google hires people to listen to recordings and conversations of users of the tech company’s smart home devices and applications, with some of those recordings collected without users’ consent.  Read more.

3. Belgium considers investigation into leaked Google Home recordings

Belgium’s Data Protection Authority will “probably” launch an investigation into Google after leaked recordings showed that the tech company keeps conversations of users of its smart home appliances, chairman David Stevens said Thursday. Read more.

4. Refugees more likely to stay in Flanders than Wallonia

Asylum seekers who acquire refugee status in Flanders will likely remain in Flanders, according to Flemish administrative statistics published on Thursday in De Tijd. Those who acquire the staus in Wallonia are less likely to remain. Read more.

5. French farmers tell tourists to keep off their fields

As summer approaches and lavender fields bloom, French farmers are making a plea to tourists ruining their plants – Stop taking selfies in our lavender fields. Read more

6. ‘Far-right party’s campaign posters turned into pro-refugee messages

The plan to install facial recognition cameras at airports lacks legal basis, a legal expert said on Wednesday after a federal police commissioner announced plans to install the devices at Brussels Zaventem airport. Read more.

7. Archaeologists find fishing traps, other artefacts, under former car park

Archaeologists excavating the site Parking 58 have found a number of artefacts that represent life in Brussels hundreds of years ago. Some of the artefacts found include a dagger, wooden combs, cannonballs, pottery, and more from between the 10th and 16th or 17th centuries. Read more.

Jules Johnston 
The Brussels Times