Europe’s first nationwide facial recognition programme and why lie-ins and gender diversity are good for business. Our round-up of provoking thoughts, penetrating insights and digital curiosities…

France to launch facial recognition ID

France is planning to use facial recognition technology to give its citizens secure access to everything from their taxes to utility bills, Bloomberg reports. The government intends to roll out a nationwide ID programme this year but faces a court challenge from a privacy group as well as questions over security.

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Sleep more for better ideas

If you need an excuse for a lie-in, a new study has found that entrepreneurs who sleep more are better at spotting good ideas. The Harvard Business Review says that worn-out business owners analyse opportunities differently to their well-rested counterparts – meaning they could miss out on the next big thing. It could even mean the difference between success and failure, it said.

Watch: Gender diversity, technology, and 24/7 working

Gender diversity boost to share prices

Gender diversity is good for business – and for investors, a new study has found. Researchers measured a link between when a company made an announcement relating to gender diversity and how its share price moved, according to Stanford Business. They analysed the technology and finance sectors and concluded that shareholders also penalised firms which did not hire enough women.

Read more: Is diversity a competitive advantage?

Ocean device starts to clean up

A huge floating device has been successfully used to collect plastic waste from the ocean for the first time, The Guardian reports. A 600-metre long boom designed by Dutch scientists aims to help clean up what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, without disturbing marine life. The device is fitted with sensors that can communicate to a vessel to collect the rubbish it has gathered every few months, the paper said.

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To weigh a whale: Use a drone

How do you weigh a whale? That conundrum has now been solved via the use of drones. Aerial photographs have been used to calculate the mass of whales off the coast of Argentina – which will allow researchers to track how they change and grow. This could have important implications for conservation, the BBC said.

Read more: Biodiversity crisis: Species extinction and what it means for investors