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Updated 2020-05-25 11:24
Dyson's UK staff revolt against order to return to work
Engineering firm cancels order for staff to return to the office after employee mutiny
The Zoom boom: how video-calling became a blessing – and a curse
Video calls have become part of daily life since the pandemic hit, helping the locked-down, especially elderly and disabled people, keep in touch. But there are downsidesJust before lockdown, 29-year-old Ala Uddin became ill with coronavirus-related symptoms and had to self-isolate in his London flat. “For 23 days I was relying on video calls,” he says. “I hardly used them before, but now it was the only way I could see anyone and communicate with my housemate, even though we were living in rooms next to each other.” Uddin was also regularly video-calling his parents and siblings in York, as well as family members in Bangladesh, all of whom were checking in to make sure he was coping. “Without video calls I don’t know how I could have got through that time,” he says.Since the pandemic hit, Zoom, FaceTime, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams and all manner of other video-calling apps have become so engrained in our lives. As one of the only safe ways to communicate, it’s hard to imagine living without them. None of these have taken off quite like Zoom. At the end of December, the app reported a maximum of 10 million daily users. By March, 200 million people were on it each day to work, socialise, view lessons and lectures, sing in choirs, attend church, birthday parties and weddings, meet new babies, say final words to dying family members and observe Ramadan and Easter. So embedded are these apps in all parts of life now that when Zoom went down last weekend, it made headlines around the world and even halted the Downing Street press conference. Continue reading...
Google Australia paid $133m in tax in 2019 in major victory for ATO
Tech giant’s tax turnaround follows a government campaign to force multinationals to pay more taxGoogle’s Australian arm paid $133m to the Taxation Office last year as it caught up with back taxes.The company, one of the ATO’s most high-profile targets in a campaign to get tech giants to pay tax in Australia, declared a profit before tax of $134m in 2019, down from $156m the previous year. Continue reading...
Don't click on the traffic lights: upstart competitor challenges Google's anti-bot tool
New charges for reCaptcha spur web security firm Cloudflare to seek out an alternativeThe days of clicking on traffic lights to prove you are not a robot could be ending after Google’s decision to charge for the tool prompted one of the web’s biggest infrastructure firms to ditch it for a competitor.“Captcha” – an awkward acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart” – is used by sites to fight automated abuses of their services. For years, Google’s version of the test, branded reCaptcha, has dominated, after it acquired the company that developed it in 2009 and offered the technology for free worldwide. Continue reading...
Lawsuit raises questions about source of Jeff Bezos's affair revelation
In lawsuit, Michael Sanchez has accused AMI of plot to ‘scapegoat’ him, and has cast doubt on claim that he was the ‘sole source’A top executive at the tabloid publisher behind the National Enquirer said in a private email that he was “saving for my tombstone” the untold story of how the tabloid uncovered a 2019 exclusive about Jeff Bezos’s extramarital relationship, according to a lawsuit against the publisher.The claim raises new questions about how American Media Inc (AMI) discovered the Amazon CEO’s relationship, and how it obtained knowledge of explicit sexual photographs that Bezos, one of the world’s richest men, has alleged were used against him by the publisher for “extortion and blackmail”. Continue reading...
In lockdown, parents are mastering the art of the meme. What could go wrong? | Eleanor Margolis
Who thought the family WhatsApp group would alleviate our existential dread? Make no mistake: we’re in strange times• Coronavirus latest updates
Call for social media platforms to act on 5G mast conspiracy theory
After a spate of fires, the government is stepping in to halt the spread of linking coronavirus to the mobile network
Trolls exploit Zoom privacy settings as app gains popularity
‘Zoombombers’ broadcast explicit imagery or abuse other users in video hangouts
'Andrew, I'm sorry': ABC's Andrew Probyn becomes TikTok meme after coronavirus press conference
Videos riff on 15-second clip of Scott Morrison admonishing Australian journalist
Telling stories: how LinkedIn took on office banter
The professional platform is the latest social media site to offer a service where posts expire after 24 hours. But do we really need this kind of fleeting work-based chat?There will soon be yet another way to connect on LinkedIn, as the professionals’ platform trials a version of “Stories” – posts that expire after 24 hours – pioneered by Snapchat and popularised by Instagram.Pete Davies of LinkedIn says that the feature is intended to replicate the “similarly ephemeral and light … cubicle and coffee-shop banter” that characterises interactions in the business world. “Sometimes, we want a way to just make a connection, have a laugh with our colleagues and move on.” Continue reading...
Six grand and a Rolex: lure of riches sucked me into online fraud
As hacking gangs use more and more young fixers for their internet scams, one 18-year-old reveals how he and his friends made a fortuneLike most 18-year-olds, “Carlos” is never far from his phone, using it to catch up on his social media feeds and scroll through friends’ pictures. Unlike most teenagers though, he posted photographs depicting a level of affluence unlikely for someone who left school after GCSEs and is now a junior employee at a central London restaurant.The pictures showed a life of excess – Carlos and his friends holding wads of cash, clad in designer clothes, Rolex watches on their wrists, and driving around London in a Mercedes. Continue reading...
US campaign against Huawei's 5G role in UK set to continue
Issue raised by Trumps chief of staff Mick Mulvaney in meeting with Dominic CummingsThe White House campaign against Britain’s decision to allow Huawei to supply 5G network technology is expected to continue after a critical UK-US meeting at Downing Street broke up without reaching agreement on the issue.Sources said that the American delegation, led by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, were unimpressed with attempts made by the prime minister’s chief aide Dominic Cummings to persuade them to work together on developing alternatives to the Chinese supplier. Continue reading...
Goodbye, blue eyes: why an Instagram filter had to be altered
Lil Icey Eyes gave users cold stares and thick eyelashes – and also seemed to persuasively slim noses and enlarge lipsSome online fads are “blink and you miss ‘em”, but I couldn’t help noticing the viral ascent of Lil Icey Eyes – an augmented reality face filter that became central to a popular TikTok and Instagram trend this week.It seemed like every time I opened the app over the last 72 hours I encountered a flawless face with the cold stare of a Siberian husky – albeit one wearing fairly intense false eyelashes. The faces would pout and pose for a second, and then the filter would disappear, leaving the user howling with laughter over the contrast between their glamorous virtual visage and their real self. Continue reading...
Soaring rents and noisy parties: how Airbnb is forcing out Barcelona locals
Holiday listings have shot up in Sant Pere, altering the character and economy of the neighbourhood
Revealed: the areas in the UK with one Airbnb for every four homes
‘Out-of-control’ dominance of rentals in some communities depriving locals of homes, critics say
US ‘very concerned’ over Huawei’s role in UK 5G network
Trump’s chief of staff gives clear warning about using Chinese firm to supply equipmentDonald Trump’s acting chief of staff has warned there could be “a direct and dramatic impact” on the sharing of intelligence between the US and UK if Boris Johnson’s government goes ahead with allowing Huawei to supply equipment to build the British 5G mobile phone network.Mick Mulvaney’s remarks represent one of the most forceful warnings yet by senior Trump administration officials, who have repeatedly made clear their concerns about the British decision to allow the Chinese company to supply its technology. Continue reading...
Sonic the Hedgehog is designed for fans – no wonder movie critics hated it
Video game movies get bad reviews but are working to different criteria from other filmsFrom the moment the Paramount ident appeared on the screen with Sonic’s trademark gold rings replacing the usual stars, I knew this movie was for me. Taking my sons to see Sonic the Hedgehog last night, I was aware of the film’s less than effusive reviews, but we are fans of the games, and my boys have grown up watching cartoons such as Sonic Underground and Sonic X, so let’s just say we knew what we were getting into. The Stuart family came here for silly quips, blue skies, speed and mechanised boss battles and we were not disappointed.Sonic the Hedgehog is no masterpiece. Its story of a young magical hedgehog being sent from his dangerous home planet to stay on Earth, and there discovering friendship while being pursued by sinister government forces, borrows almost all its beats from ET, without much of Spielberg’s gift for lush sentimentalism and overpowering childhood nostalgia. Continue reading...
Kshama Sawant wants to tax Amazon so people can afford to live in Seattle. Can she pull it off?
New tax proposal by the socialist city council member would affect about 825 companies and is expected to raise $300m each yearJust a few months after going head-to-head with an Amazon-backed rival to claim her third term on the Seattle city council, Kshama Sawant has proposed a new tax on the trillion dollar giant and other large Seattle businesses, which she says will “stop at nothing” to try to defeat progressive proposals like this one.The proposal, which was unveiled last week, would involve a 1.7% payroll tax on the top 3% of companies (based on their payroll) operating out of the city. Sawant estimates the tax will impact about 825 companies, each with about $7m or more in annual payroll. All non-profit organizations, public employers and grocery stores would be exempt. Continue reading...
Not so white, male and straight: the video games industry is changing
BAME and LGBTQ+ representation is above the average for the UK’s creative industries, while the number of women in the games industry is creeping upwardsThe old stereotype of video game players as spotty, socially isolated boys in basements is finally disappearing after decades, but the popular image of game developers is enduring. They are imagined to be white and beardy, with glasses and a probable fondness for sci-fi and fantasy, and this is hardly unjustified. Cast an eye over the development floor of pretty much any major game developer in the western world and there’s an undeniable homogeneity. The same can be said about video games industry executives. Whether clean-shaven or bearded, besuited or smart-casual, creative or corporate, they are almost universally white and male. In 15 years on the games beat, I have interviewed more men called Phil in senior games industry positions than women and people of colour combined.But new data from the University of Sheffield, shows that things are changing. Backed by games industry trade body Ukie, it conducted a census of more than 3,200 game developers in Britain, and discovered a young and increasingly diverse workforce. The researchers found that two-thirds of the UK’s game development workforce is 35 or under; 28% are women and 2% non-binary; 10% come from BAME backgrounds; 28% come from somewhere other than the UK; and 21% identify as LGBTQ+, a particularly surprising statistic given that only 3-7% of the general population do so. Continue reading...
Samsung launches Galaxy S20 range with up to 100x zoom camera
Super-sized Galaxy S20 Ultra has 108MP main camera and hybrid optical zoom lens
The five: ads banned for greenwashing
Ryanair and others companies that have made misleading environmental claimsThe airline came under fire last week from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for using outdated information to claim it was the UK’s lowest emission airline. The statistics it used failed to include many rival airlines and were based on data from 2011. The ASA ruled that there was not enough evidence to support the claim and banned the advert as misleading. Continue reading...
Uber changing app to avoid reach of California's new gig workers law
The company is giving drivers more freedom, but critics say the move is a ‘smokescreen’ and that nothing has really changedFor the past month, the ride-hailing company Uber has been piloting new features in California, such as letting drivers set their own payment rates, in hopes it will avoid the reach of a new state law threatening to reclassify its contractors as full-time employees.But workers – and legal experts – say they aren’t fooled. Continue reading...
Big Swinging Brains and fashy trolls: how the world fell into a clickbait death spiral
In the years leading up to Trump’s election, traditional media gatekeepers found themselves shoved aside by trolls and tech companies who told us they were only giving us what we wanted. By Andrew MarantzIn 2012, a small group of young men, former supporters of the libertarian Republican congressman Ron Paul, started a blog called The Right Stuff. They soon began calling themselves “post-libertarians,” although they weren’t yet sure what would come next. By 2014, they’d started to self-identify as “alt-right”. They developed a countercultural tone – arch, antic, floridly offensive – that appealed to a growing cohort of disaffected young men, searching for meaning and addicted to the internet. These young men often referred to The Right Stuff, approvingly, as a key part of a “libertarian-to-far-right pipeline”, a path by which “normies” could advance, through a series of epiphanies, toward “full radicalisation”. As with everything the alt-right said, it was hard to tell whether they were joking, half-joking or not joking at all.The Right Stuff ’s founders came up with talking points – narratives, they called them – that their followers then disseminated through various social networks. On Facebook, they posted Photoshopped images, or parody songs, or “countersignal memes” – sardonic line drawings designed to spark just enough cognitive dissonance to shock normies out of their complacency. On Twitter, the alt-right trolled and harassed mainstream journalists, hoping to work the referees of the national discourse while capturing the attention of the wider public. On Reddit and 4chan and 8chan, where the content moderation was so lax as to be almost non-existent, the memes were more overtly vile. Many alt-right trolls started calling themselves “fashy”, or “fash-ist”. They referred to all liberals and traditional conservatives as communists, or “degenerates”; they posted pro-Pinochet propaganda; they baited normies into arguments by insisting that “Hitler did nothing wrong”. Continue reading...
‘I’m a stranger in my own city’: Prague takes on Airbnb to dam flood of tourists
Joining a battle already being waged by many other cities, the Czech capital’s mayor wants new laws to limit the lettings websiteFor decades, its mesmerising blend of baroque and gothic beauty was closed to mass tourism by the iron curtain that divided the communist east from the capitalist west during the cold war.Now Prague, which has gained an unenviable reputation as a destination for stag nights and pub crawls, has become the latest European city to propose a radical assault on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms as over-tourism threatens to overwhelm it and drive out residents. Continue reading...
Mike Pompeo restates US opposition to Huawei access
US secretary of state is on visit to meet Boris Johnson on eve of BrexitThe depth of American opposition to the UK granting the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei access to its 5G network has been underlined as the US secretary of state said the Chinese Communist party represented the central threat of our times, and had front-door access to Huawei systems.He said the US would try to work through its differences with the UK decision announced this week but stressed the US would never permit its national security information to go across networks in which it did not have confidence. Continue reading...
Apple bans radio app that is front for Iranian taxi service
Users of RadickRadio app with Iranian IP address got access to ride-hailing service SnappA digital radio app has been removed from Apple’s App Store after it was discovered to be a front for an Iranian cab-hailing firm attempting to sneak past US sanctions.RadickRadio first appeared on the App Store in early July offering a selection of radio stations playing genres including classic rock, folk and pop hits. The app’s thousands of reviews added to the impression that it was a simple music player, and to anyone outside of Iran that was all it appeared to be. Continue reading...
Netflix streaming wars fuel record UK film and TV production boom
Spending on high-end TV dramas by Netflix and Amazon eclipses BBC, Sky and ITVThe making of Hollywood hits such as the latest James Bond film No Time To Die and Sam Mendes’s 1917, as well as prestige dramas such as Netflix’s The Crown and the BBC’s His Dark Materials, fuelled a record spend of £3.6bn on film and TV production in the UK last year.The amount spent on film production in the UK in 2019 rose 6% year-on-year to £1.95bn – on 188 productions – the second-highest amount since the British Film Institute (BFI) began records in 1994. Most of this spending came from the big Hollywood studios, which ploughed £1.4bn on making just 21 blockbusters. Continue reading...
Silicon Valley's cocaine problem shaped our racist tech
Silicon Valley in the 1980s was the hub of an international drug trafficking network that fueled technological innovation and criminalized black people
What’s the minimum specification for someone buying a PC?
David asks how best to tell if a PC is fast enough for community groups on a limited budgetI am working on a project that helps various groups in the community to become more PC proficient, and some clients now wish to purchase their own systems for the first time. What is the best advice to give them about specifications etc, bearing in mind their finite budgets?A user who wants a desktop PC to deal with email and social media, office files, surfing the web and streaming some video will also need to buy peripherals, including a monitor. Some will need a printer. Often the advice will be to get the best PC possible, but they may not get the full benefit if other parts of the system are too compromised. DavidAlmost every PC on the market will perform basic tasks such as writing emails and browsing the web. Even cheap laptops can run Microsoft Office and its rival suites, which are relatively lightweight by today’s standards. Most can also do simple photo and video editing, though rendering and other video processing tasks can take a very long time. The problem is not so much the type of task as the resources required by the software and the size of your files. Continue reading...
UK has chance to relook at Huawei 5G decision, says Pompeo
Secretary of state strikes measured tone but says US still thinks Chinese firm poses riskBritain has a chance to “relook” at its decision to allow Huawei into its 5G phone network in the future, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, declared as he flew to London for a two-day visit to the UK.The senior member of Donald Trump’s administration told reporters that the US believed that deploying Huawei in the UK created “real risk”, and insisted that sensitive American information should travel only through “trusted networks”. Continue reading...
Senator calls for US intelligence to investigate Jeff Bezos 'phone hacking'
Chris Murphy urges FBI and DNI to look into whether message from Saudi prince triggered hacking of Amazon founder’s phoneSenator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, has called on US intelligence agencies including the FBI and DNI to investigate the alleged cellphone hacking of the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man.The tech tycoon’s phone was allegedly hacked in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message apparently sent from the personal Whatsapp account of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Continue reading...
Johnson faces Tory rebellion after allowing Huawei 5G role
Critics want commitment that firm will be out of UK telecoms infrastructure in three yearsConservative critics of Boris Johnson’s Huawei decision will push for a commitment from the government that the Chinese firm must be forced out of Britain’s telecoms infrastructure within three years.Johnson defied the US and rebels in his party on Tuesday by deciding to allow Huawei to build part of the UK’s 5G network as long as it is restricted to “non-core” parts of infrastructure and has no more than 35% of market share. Continue reading...
Facebook refuses to restrict untruthful political ads and micro-targeting
A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind review – should we be delighted or terrified?
It has long been argued that workers will be replaced by machines, but now the threat is real. How will we bring about a revolution in both work and leisure?Oscar Wilde dreamed of a world without work. In The Soul of Man Under Socialism (1891) he imagined a society liberated from drudgery by the machine: “while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisure … or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work.” This aesthete’s Eden prompted one of his most famous observations: “Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at.”In Wilde’s day the future of work was the first question that every aspiring utopian, from Edward Bellamy to HG Wells, needed to answer. Everything else, from gender relations to crime prevention, flowed from that. But proponents of the more attainable goal of drastically shorter working hours have also included Benjamin Franklin, Bertrand Russell, AT&T president Walter Gifford and John Maynard Keynes. When the great economist coined the phrase “technological unemployment” (“unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour”) in Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren (1931), he focused on the potential benefits a century hence. Continue reading...
Amazon's deal with Deliveroo faces in-depth inquiry
Regulator says US firm’s £442m investment in London-based food courier could hit customers, restaurants and grocersAmazon’s UK ambitions have been checked by the competition watchdog after it launched an in-depth investigation into the online retailer’s purchase of a stake in food delivery company Deliveroo.The Competition and Markets Authority announced the probe on Friday after Amazon and Deliveroo declined to offer concessions in response to the CMA’s initial raising of concerns earlier this month. Continue reading...
The highest YouTube earner this year? An eight-year-old
Gaun’s online video channel, Ryan’s World, has 23 million subscribers and raked in $26m last yearAn eight-year-old YouTube presenter has topped its list of high earners, making $26m last year.Ryan Kaji (real name Gaun) made his toy review empire unboxing toys on YouTube from when he was just three. Now the eight-year-old has his face on toys and gets spotted in the supermarket. Continue reading...
The dark side of tech: why the Guardian asks tough questions about Silicon Valley
Since we opened our west coast bureau in 2016, we’ve worked to expose the truth about how tech companies are reshaping society and democracy
Leaked NHS dossier inquiry focuses on personal Gmail accounts
Report was used by Labour to claim health service would be ‘on the table’ in US trade talksBritain’s security agencies are investigating whether hackers from a hostile state successfully targeted a personal Gmail account to access an explosive cache of correspondence that was seized on by Labour during the election campaign.The leak inquiry into how the 451-page dossier got into the public domain is focused on the Department for International Trade. Jeremy Corbyn said during the campaign that the documents proved the NHS was “on the table” in future US trade talks. Continue reading...
US charges Russian 'Evil Corp' hackers with $100m banking scheme
Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev were also sanctioned by the treasury for stealing banking credentials from 40 countriesUS prosecutors have charged two members of a Russia-based hacking group that calls itself Evil Corp with masterminding a global banking fraud scheme that netted the unsubtly named gang more than $100m.Two leading members of Evil Corp, Maksim Yakubets of Moscow and Igor Turashev from the Russian city Yoshkar-Ola, were charged with bank fraud and also sanctioned by the treasury department for developing and distributing the Dridex malware which stole swiped banking credentials from more than 40 countries. In a statement, US treasury officials called Evil Corp “one of the biggest hacking groups ever”. Continue reading...
One in four children 'have problematic smartphone use'
Research suggests behaviour could be linked to poorer mental health but further studies neededOne in four children and young people could have problematic smartphone use, according to research that also suggests such behaviour is associated with poorer mental health.The amount of time children and teens spend using their devices has become an issue of growing concern, but experts say there is still little evidence as to whether spending time on screens is harmful in itself. Continue reading...
Mercedes-Benz to axe more than 1,000 jobs in cost-cutting drive
Move blamed on heavy cost of investing in electric vehicles just as traditional car sales slowMercedes-Benz plans to save €1.65bn (£1.4bn) by cutting more than 1,000 jobs in the latest sign German carmakers are struggling to make big investments in electric car technology.Carmakers around the world are spending billions on developing battery-powered electric vehicles but at the same time sales of internal combustion engines are slowing in the face of economic weakness and scandals over emissions. Continue reading...
These new rules were meant to protect our privacy. They don’t work | Stephanie Hare
The data protection laws introduced last year are failing us – and our childrenWho owns your data? This is one of the toughest questions facing governments, companies and regulators today and no one has answered it to anyone’s satisfaction. Not what we were promised last year, when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, commonly known as the GDPR, came into effect.The GDPR was billed as the gold standard of data protection, offering the strongest data rights in the world. It has forced companies everywhere to modify their operating models, often at great cost. It inspired the state of California to pass a similar law and where California leads, the rest of the US often follows; there have been calls for a federal version of the GDPR. Continue reading...
Voters ‘used as lab rats’ in political Facebook adverts, warn analysts
Parties are all involved in a targeted experiment that campaigners warn lacks transparency and could harm democracyThe three main political parties in England and Wales are using Facebook audiences “as lab rats in a giant experiment”, according to the first detailed analysis of online advertising during a UK election.Campaign group Who Targets Me?, which was established to monitor online political ads, has been examining how parties used Facebook before the election was called and in the first week of the campaign. It has found all three parties trialling subtly different messages, images and even colours as they seek to learn what resonates with voters. Continue reading...
Uber reported losses that would make WeWork blush – and that's the good news
Ride-hailing companies are stepping up their fight against new worker protections. They want drivers to helpIt feels a bit Alice in Silicon Valleyland, but the good news for Uber this week was that it lost $1.2bn in the third quarter of 2019. While burning that kind of cash in 90 days would make even WeWork’s Adam Neumann blush, it is an improvement over the previous quarter’s jaw-dropping deficit of $5.24bn.Uber’s latest financial results came just two days before its post-IPO lockup period expired on Wednesday, allowing early investors and employees to cash out and touching off a stock sell-off that saw the share price reach a new all-time low. Hundreds of Uber drivers across California marked the occasion with protests targeting some of the handful of people who have unambiguously benefited from the Uber economy. Drivers visited the home of the early investor and former board member Bill Gurley in Atherton and the $72.5m mansion of the co-founder Garret Camp in Beverly Hills. Continue reading...
Facebook urges Australians to report fake ads as it launches tool to target scammers
Fake celebrity endorsements are used to promote free product trials that are nearly impossible to cancelAustralians are now able to report fake ads they see on Facebook after scammers used unauthorised images of celebrities including Karl Stefanovic, Nicole Kidman and Eddie McGuire.The fake Australian celebrity endorsements were used to promote free product trials that were nearly impossible to cancel, or investment schemes. Continue reading...
UK government postpones Huawei 5G decision
Culture secretary confirms deferment of decision that could have repercussions on US-UK relationsA decision on whether Huawei should be allowed into the UK’s 5G network infrastructure has been postponed to the next government, deferring a possible row between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.The outgoing culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, confirmed the decision – part of the Telecoms Supply Chain Review – would now be made after the general election on 12 December. Continue reading...
Facebook agrees to pay fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal
Company withdraws appeal against £500,000 penalty imposed by UK data watchdogFacebook has agreed to pay a £500,000 fine, the highest possible, to the Information Commissioner’s Office over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, ending more than a year of litigation between the regulator and social network.The ICO announced its intention to fine Facebook in July 2018. Unusually, the office went public with its intention before giving Facebook a chance to respond, and ultimately issued the official penalty notice three months later, in October. Facebook appealed against the fine, and in June 2019 the tribunal issued an interim decision “holding that procedural fairness and allegations of bias on the part of the ICO should be considered as part of the appeal, and that the ICO should be required to disclose materials relating to its decision-making process”. Continue reading...
WhatsApp sues Israeli firm, accusing it of hacking activists' phones
NSO Group’s spyware allegedly used in cyber-attacks on lawyers and journalistsWhatsApp has launched an unprecedented lawsuit against a cyber weapons firm which it has accused of being behind secret attacks on more than 100 human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and academics in just two weeks earlier this year.The social media firm is suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance company, saying it is responsible for a series of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks which it claims violated American law in an “unmistakeable pattern of abuse”. Continue reading...
Virtual insanity: how Facebook's woes made Silicon Valley unmissable TV
As it returns for the last time, Mike Judge’s tech comedy feels thrillingly urgent, thanks to uncanny parallels with the real world. My God we need it now more than ever
Instagram to extend its ban on images of self-harm to cover cartoons
Move follows appeal by father of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who killed herself in 2017Instagram is to extend its ban on depictions of self-harm to cover cartoons and drawings, following an appeal from Ian Russell, whose 14-year-old daughter, Molly, killed herself in 2017.Molly had been looking at graphic content relating to suicide and self-harm before she died, her father discovered, prompting him to go public earlier this year and campaign against the platform’s rules that allowed that material. Continue reading...
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