203

Amazon Under Scanner For Alexa Allegedly Intruding Into Children’s Privacy

New Delhi: US Senators and a group of 19 consumer and public health advocates have accused Amazon for recording and saving conversations that take place around its smart speakers, urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate into the case. The complaint alleges Amazon's Echo Dot Kids Edition smart speaker of being in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), CNN reported late on Thursday. Launched last year, the device features a kid-friendly version of Alexa which plays music, reads stories and answers questions to kids.

As part of the complaint, Senators Edward J. Markey, Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin and Josh Hawley claim that "Amazon does not comply with COPPA's requirement of parental consent and does not allow parents to adequately delete their children's information from the device". Children welfare organisations like the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Centre for Digital Democracy have also asked the FTC to look into the matter.

31

Facebook Planning It’s Own Bitcoins For Payments On It’s Platforms

New Delhi: Facebook is working hard to launch its own bitcoin for cryptocurrency-based payments on its platform that has 2.38 billion users, said Media reports. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, the social media giant is "recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants" towards this goal. The cryptocurrency-based system would use a digital coin similar to bitcoin. Facebook, on its part, has said it is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology.

In a February interview with Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was "potentially interested" in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology. "I'm thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven't figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services," Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

321

Zuckerberg’s Security Cost Facebook $20 Million Last Year

New Delhi: Facebook spent $20 million on its CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal security last year -- four times more than what he received for security in 2016. According to an IANS report, in a filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday, Facebook said it spent $2.6 million on private plane costs -- up from $1.5 million a year before, CNET reported. The aircraft expenses went to charter companies and included "passenger fees, fuel, crew, and catering costs".

Zuckerberg takes $1 as salary each year but his total compensation was $22.6 million in 2018 -- more than double since 2017 when he made $9.1 million in total compensation. Facebook spent $2.9 million on personal security for its COO Sheryl Sandberg. The social networking giant spent more than $900,000 on her private plane costs. The hike in security expenditure for its leaders is owing to Facebook facing the heat for growing cases of election interference and data misuse on its platform.

1001

Google Follows Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Removes Gay Conversion Therapy App

New Delhi: Facing immense pressure from the LGBTQ civil rights advocacy groups, Google has removed a controversial app that advocated for gay conversion therapy. The app was earlier removed by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft but it remained on Google's Play Store. The app called "Conversation therapy" came from a non-profit organisation Living Hope Ministries which "proclaims a Christ-centred, Biblical world-view of sexual expression rooted in one man and one woman in a committed, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for life because anything less than this ideal falls short of God's best for humanity".

641

Microsoft Announces End of Support To Windows 7 from January 2020

New Delhi: Microsoft is rolling out a notification update to existing Windows 7 users, informing them that the software giant is pulling away support for the operating system (OS) version. "After 10 years of servicing, January 14, 2020, is the last day Microsoft will offer security updates for computers running Windows 7. This update enables reminders about Windows 7 end of support," the company wrote in a post on Friday. The software giant revealed its plans of notifying users about the end of Windows 7 earlier this month.