Trump Pushes to Reap Extensive Biometric Data From Immigrants, Americans, never delete them

Six million would-be U.S. immigrants face expanded collection of their biometric data, including iris scans, palm-, and voice-prints, facial recognition images, and DNA, under a proposed federal rule. The Department of Homeland Security also for the first time would gather that data from American citizens sponsoring or benefiting from a visa application. Years in the Read more about Trump Pushes to Reap Extensive Biometric Data From Immigrants, Americans, never delete them[…]

The Hype Machine by Sinan Aral: how does social media form our decisions

Drawing on two decades of his own research and business experience, Aral goes under the hood of the biggest, most powerful social networks to tackle the critical question of just how much social media actually shapes our choices, for better or worse. Aral shows how the tech behind social media offers the same set of behavior-influencing levers to both Russian hackers and brand marketers—to Read more about The Hype Machine by Sinan Aral: how does social media form our decisions[…]

Epic’s new filing claims Apple lied about Fortnite’s popularity: Apple used Google Trends data!

There’s a new development in the high-profile game of chicken between Apple and Epic. The Fortnite developer’s latest legal filing claims that Apple “cherry-picked” Google data in its own legal filing earlier this week to support its narrative that Fortnite’s declining popularity is the impetus behind all this drama. Apple has repeatedly argued that Epic Read more about Epic’s new filing claims Apple lied about Fortnite’s popularity: Apple used Google Trends data![…]

Facebook Accused of Watching Instagram Users Through Cameras. FB claims “bug”

Facebook is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras. Bloomberg reports: The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used. Facebook denied the reports and blamed Read more about Facebook Accused of Watching Instagram Users Through Cameras. FB claims “bug”[…]

Google bans stalkerware apps from Android store. Which is cool but… why were they allowed in the first place?

In an update to its Android Developer Program Policy, Google on Wednesday said stalkerware apps in its app store can no longer be used to stalk non-consenting adults. Stalkerware, which the web giant defines as “code that transmits personal information off the device without adequate notice or consent and doesn’t display a persistent notification that Read more about Google bans stalkerware apps from Android store. Which is cool but… why were they allowed in the first place?[…]

The Weather Channel app settles suit over selling location data of 49m people without consent

IBM and the Los Angeles city attorney’s office have settled a privacy lawsuit brought after The Weather Channel app was found to be selling user location data without proper disclosure. The lawsuit was filed last year, at which point the app had 45 million active users. IBM has changed the way that users are informed, Read more about The Weather Channel app settles suit over selling location data of 49m people without consent[…]

EU Copyright Companies Want Legal Memes Blocked Too Because They Now Admit Upload Filters Are ‘Practically Unworkable’

The passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year represented one of the most disgraceful examples of successful lobbying and lying by the publishing, music, and film industries. In order to convince MEPs to vote for the highly controversial legislation, copyright companies and their political allies insisted repeatedly that the upload filters needed to implement Read more about EU Copyright Companies Want Legal Memes Blocked Too Because They Now Admit Upload Filters Are ‘Practically Unworkable’[…]

Spotify blasts Apple One service as ‘anti-competitive’, wants regulators to act

In a statement, the streaming service argued Apple One will “deprive consumers by favoring its own services” and urged regulators to take action against what it perceives to be “anti-competitive behavior”. Announced yesterday at Cupertino’s Time Flies launch event, Apple One bundles the firm’s various subscription services into a single monthly payment. The product is Read more about Spotify blasts Apple One service as ‘anti-competitive’, wants regulators to act[…]

Gods & Monsters Isn’t The First Time Monster Energy Has Been Annoying About Naming Rights – unbelievable that you can trademark an actual word!

Monster Beverage tried to stop Ubisoft from trademarking the name “Gods & Monsters” earlier this year to prevent confusion between its brand of highly caffeinated sodas and the upcoming action adventure game. It turns out this is the sort of thing Monster does a lot. Monster routinely challenges “monster”-related trademarks, including, tactical gear, ice cream, Read more about Gods & Monsters Isn’t The First Time Monster Energy Has Been Annoying About Naming Rights – unbelievable that you can trademark an actual word![…]

Cory Doctorow Crowdfunds His New Audiobook to Protest Amazon/Audible DRM

Science fiction writer Cory Doctorow (also a former EFF staffer and activist) explains why he’s crowdfunding his new audiobook online. Despite the large publishers for his print editions, “I can’t get anyone to do my audiobooks. Amazon and its subsidiary Audible, which controls 90% of the audiobook sales, won’t carry any of my audiobooks because Read more about Cory Doctorow Crowdfunds His New Audiobook to Protest Amazon/Audible DRM[…]

Apple sues Epic for destroying the App store and won’t let their users log in using Apple log in (whatever that is)

So, Apple is trying to frame it’s strong arming of companies into paying 30% protection money… uh… app store fees – well… unless you have an agreement to pay less, but only one or two have that… as being in the interest of the people who’s arms they are ripping out. Because we believe the Read more about Apple sues Epic for destroying the App store and won’t let their users log in using Apple log in (whatever that is)[…]

Italy is investigating Apple, Google and Dropbox cloud storage services

Italy’s competition watchdog is investing Apple, Google and Dropbox, TechCrunch reports. In a press release, the AGCM announced that it opened six investigations into the companies’ cloud storage services: Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox. The authority is concerned that the services fail to adequately explain how user data will be collected and used for commercial Read more about Italy is investigating Apple, Google and Dropbox cloud storage services[…]

Australia starts second fight with Google and Apple, this time over whether app stores leak data, gouge devs, steal ideas and warp markets

Australia, already embroiled in a nasty fight with Google and Facebook over its plan to make them pay for news links, has opened an inquiry into whether Apple and Google’s app stores offer transparent pricing and see consumers’ data used in worrying ways. The issues paper [PDF] outlining the scope of the inquiry names only Read more about Australia starts second fight with Google and Apple, this time over whether app stores leak data, gouge devs, steal ideas and warp markets[…]

Dutch minister of Justice holds coronaparty, changes law to escape consequences, appears to DMCA to delete from internet, better than Cummings!

The man who told all of the Netherlands to keep to 1.5m distance and to stay away from older people (Grapperhaus) was photographed hugging his mother in law and repeatedly breaking the distance at his wedding. This is the man who fines people EUR 400,- for this and then gives them a permanent record. He Read more about Dutch minister of Justice holds coronaparty, changes law to escape consequences, appears to DMCA to delete from internet, better than Cummings![…]

7 years later, US court deems NSA bulk phone-call snooping illegal, possibly unconstitutional, and probably pointless anyway

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled [PDF] that the National Security Agency’s phone-call slurping was indeed naughty, seven years after former contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the tawdry affair. It’s been a long time coming, and while some might view the decision as a slap for officials Read more about 7 years later, US court deems NSA bulk phone-call snooping illegal, possibly unconstitutional, and probably pointless anyway[…]

Bill Barr to destroy antitrust case vs Google by forcing DoJ complaint filed before case is ready but before Trump re-election voting

Several interested parties in the U.S. government have been looking to put Google’s head on a spike, and while undoubtedly there’s been some degree of jockeying between them for which will ultimately get the credit, they’ve been proceeding with care and caution in the interest of building an ironclad case against a particularly canny opponent. Read more about Bill Barr to destroy antitrust case vs Google by forcing DoJ complaint filed before case is ready but before Trump re-election voting[…]

After Facebook Balks, Apple Delays “Privacy” (ie only Apple spies on you) Feature

In June, Apple unveiled plans for an iOS 14 privacy update that forces developers to gather users’ consent before tracking their activities across third-party apps and websites. Needless to say, giving users more control over how their information is gathered and trafficked is expected to bruise advertisers—especially Facebook, which uses that information to narrow its Read more about After Facebook Balks, Apple Delays “Privacy” (ie only Apple spies on you) Feature[…]

Private Intel Firm Buys Location Data to Track People to their ‘Doorstep’ sourced from innocuous seeming apps

A threat intelligence firm called HYAS, a private company that tries to prevent or investigates hacks against its clients, is buying location data harvested from ordinary apps installed on peoples’ phones around the world, and using it to unmask hackers. The company is a business, not a law enforcement agency, and claims to be able Read more about Private Intel Firm Buys Location Data to Track People to their ‘Doorstep’ sourced from innocuous seeming apps[…]

COVID-19 tracing without an app? Google and Apple will ram it down your throat

Google and Apple have updated their COVID-19 contact-tracing tool to make it possible to notify users of potential exposures to the novel coronavirus without an app. The new Exposure Notifications Express spec is baked into iOS 13.7, which emerged this week and will appear in an Android update due later this month. This is not, Read more about COVID-19 tracing without an app? Google and Apple will ram it down your throat[…]

This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can’t Invent Things

A computer scientist who created an artificial intelligence system capable of generating original inventions is suing the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over its decision earlier this year to reject two patent applications which list the algorithmic system, known as DABUS, as the inventor. The lawsuit is the latest step in an effort by Read more about This Guy is Suing the Patent Office for Deciding an AI Can’t Invent Things[…]

Apple Has Finally Gotten Too Big for Its Britches – and even Kinja group is pissed off now

What started out as a battle between Apple and Epic over direct in-app purchases in Fortnite has evolved into an ill-advised, petty revenge scheme. On Sunday, Epic filed a new motion to bar Apple from revoking iOS and macOS support for its Unreal Engine while its other beef is ongoing. To back up a bit, Read more about Apple Has Finally Gotten Too Big for Its Britches – and even Kinja group is pissed off now[…]

US Border Patrol Says They Can Create Central Repository Of Traveler Emails, calendar, etc, Keep Them For 75 Years

The U.S. government has taken the opportunity during the global pandemic, when people aren’t traveling out of the country much, to roll out a new platform for storing information they believe they are entitled to take from people crossing the border. A new filing reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol will store data from traveler Read more about US Border Patrol Says They Can Create Central Repository Of Traveler Emails, calendar, etc, Keep Them For 75 Years[…]

235 Million Instagram, TikTok And YouTube User Profiles Exposed In Massive Data Leak

it was such an unsecured database that the Comparitech researchers, led by Bob Diachenko, discovered on August 1, leaving the personal profile data of nearly 235 million Instagram, TikTok and YouTube users up for grabs. The data was spread across several datasets; the most significant being two coming in at just under 100 million each Read more about 235 Million Instagram, TikTok And YouTube User Profiles Exposed In Massive Data Leak[…]

A Facebook Account Will Be Mandatory for Oculus Devices

It’s official. Starting this October, a Facebook account will be mandatory for all future Oculus headsets. While there’ll be a grace period for anyone with a separate Oculus account, Facebook will end support for those on January 1, 2023. The decision was announced today on both Oculus’s Twitter and in a press release. The gist Read more about A Facebook Account Will Be Mandatory for Oculus Devices[…]

Securus sued for ‘recording attorney-client jail calls, handing them to cops’ – months after settling similar lawsuit and charging more than 100x normal price for the calls. Hey, monopolies!

Jail phone telco Securus provided recordings of protected attorney-client conversations to cops and prosecutors, it is claimed, just three months after it settled a near-identical lawsuit. The corporate giant controls all telecommunications between the outside world and prisoners in American jails that contract with it. It charges far above market rate, often more than 100 Read more about Securus sued for ‘recording attorney-client jail calls, handing them to cops’ – months after settling similar lawsuit and charging more than 100x normal price for the calls. Hey, monopolies![…]