Google staff warns against working with US border agencies

A letter signed by almost 400 people urges Google not to be involved in ‘human rights abuses’. More than 350 Google employees have written an open letter to the company, demanding Google does not work with the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) because of its treatment of migrants at the country’s southern border. The letter, written by 365 Google employees and 35 supporters on Wednesday, also demands the company not work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), accusing all three agencies of…

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Facebook admits it listened to user’s audio messages

The company have since said it has stopped doing this as privacy organizations raised concerns over the practice. Facebook has admitted it uses an external company to listen to audio messages sent between users in an attempt to improve its voice recognition systems. According to a report by Bloomberg, Facebook paid contractors to transcribe audio messages sent between users. Those contractors did not know who the audio was from and how Facebook obtained it. In response to the report, Facebook said users who had their audio transcribed confirmed this option…

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White House summons tech, social media firms after shootings

White House calls on social media companies to help build technologies to ‘combat domestic terrorism’. The White House has called on social media companies to build technologies that could help curb the spread of violent ideologies online. The appeal was made during a meeting between officials from the White House and big social media companies on Friday. The gathering came days after President Trump laid blame on the internet and social media for providing places to “to radicalize disturbed minds”. His comments were triggered by two deadly mass shootings in the…

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Huawei unveils own operating system to compete with Android

Huawei said its HarmonyOS – or HongMeng – would ‘bring more harmony and convenience to the world’. Chinese telecom giant Huawei has unveiled its own operating system, as it faces the threat of losing access to Android systems amid escalating US-China trade tensions. Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business, told the company’s annual developer conference in the southern city of Dongguan on Friday that the new system – called HarmonyOS or HongMeng in Chinese – would “bring more harmony and convenience to the world”. The highly-anticipated software is considered…

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Months after IPO, Uber’s quarterly loss tops $5bn

The ride-sharing company racked up 100 million customers by July, but for every dollar brought in, it lost roughly $1.65 Uber Technologies Inc., in its financial report Thursday, failed to surpass analysts’ expectations in the way its hometown rival did the day before, sparking a selloff in after-hours trading. Uber’s second-quarter adjusted sales fell short of estimates, and it posted an eye-watering $5.24 billion net loss. Most of that loss was attributed to stock-based compensation associated with the initial public offering in May, a routine expense for newly public companies. The adjusted…

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FedEx terminates ground delivery of Amazon packages in US

Shipping giant’s contract with the e-commerce behemoth not renewed, as it expires at the end of August. FedEx has been cutting ties with Amazon, as the Seattle-based online retailer is also a competitor in the logistics sector [Mike Blake/Reuters] FedEx Corp. is snipping another tie with Amazon.com Inc. as the e-commerce giant emerges as a competitor by building its own shipping network. The ground-delivery contract with Amazon won’t be renewed when it expires at the end of this month, FedEx said in an emailed statement. The decision quickens the company’s…

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Monzo advises some 480,000 customers to change their PINs

The digital bank says it discovered that it had been recording some customers PINs in an insecure location. The digital bank Monzo has advised almost 480,000 customers to change their personal identification numbers (PINs) after discovering a security bug. In a statement on Monday, Monzo said it stored customer PINs in a “particularly secure” part of its systems and “tightly controlled” access to the information within the company. However, on Friday, the bank discovered that it had also been recording some customers’ PINs in encrypted log files, which its engineers…

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Siri, Alexa ‘eavesdroppers’ leave tech giants facing probe

Amazon, Apple and Google are to be investigated over human reviewers listening in on instructions given to AI ‘helpers’. Regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe are examining whether Google, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are violating privacy by employing human reviewers to listen to voice commands recorded by digital assistants. Apple and Google, which is currently being investigated by Hamburg’s data protection authority, have both suspended their programs; Amazon late Friday announced changes to its terms that let users opt out of human review of their recordings. Regulators from Ireland…

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Lawsuits allege IBM let go as many as 100,000 older workers

The company is battling lawsuits that allege it laid off older workers in order to seem attractive to younger talent. International Business Machines Corp. has fired as many as 100,000 employees in the last few years in an effort to boost its appeal to millennials and make it appear to be as “cool” and “trendy” as Amazon and Google, according to a deposition from a former vice president in an ongoing age discrimination lawsuit. The technology company is facing several lawsuits accusing it of firing older workers, including a class-action…

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Bayer CEO: Roundup settlement could be in the cards

Company struggles with mounting legal claims from many thousands of Americans who say the herbicide caused their cancer. Bayer AG Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann said he’d consider a “financially reasonable” settlement of litigation over the weedkiller Roundup as the caseload swells and the company’s shares slump anew. The number of lawsuits from people in the U.S. who say the herbicide caused them to develop cancer rose by about 5,000 to 18,400, Bayer said in a statement. The company also revealed more troubles at its crop-science division on Tuesday after…

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Top EU court sounds the alarm over Facebook’s ‘like’ button

The European Union’s Court of Justice says websites must warn visitors the tech giant will have access to their data. Companies that embed Facebook‘s “like” button on their websites must seek users’ consent to transfer their data to the United States social network, in line with the European Union‘s data privacy laws, the bloc’s top court said on Monday. Website plug-ins such as Facebook’s “like” button are a common feature of online retail as companies seek to promote their products on popular social networks. But critics fear the data transfer may…

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Privacy concerns with Echo Dot Kids Edition

Echo Dot Kids Edition has been on the market for about a year. In March, commonsensemedia.org expressed protective measures parents might consider In May, several lawmakers appealed to the Federal Trade Commission to delve into whether the Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition breaches the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, enacted in 1998, which is a law dealing with how websites, apps and other online operators collect data and personal information from users younger than 13. According to nextgov.com May 9, a group of concerned senators conveyed ”… that while COPPA…

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Justice Department approves $26bn Sprint, T-Mobile merger

Five US state attorneys general filed a lawsuit to block the merger, arguing it could raises prices for consumers. The United States Department of Justice said on Friday that it is approving T-Mobile US Inc’s $26bn takeover of rival Sprint Corp, clearing a major hurdle to a deal that would merge the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers. The companies have agreed to divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses including Boost Mobile to Dish Network Corp in order to move ahead with the merger, which was announced in April 2018. But the…

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Amazon misses profit expectations, warns of less income

The company is predicting a loss as it spends more to enhance services in Prime, its customer loyalty club. Amazon.com Inc on Thursday reported a profit below Wall Street‘s expectations and said income would slump slightly in the current quarter, as the online retailer ramps up spending to deliver goods faster and generate sales growth. Shares fell more than one percent in after-hours trading. Seattle-based Amazon has drawn more than 100 million paid subscribers to its loyalty club Prime by releasing original TV shows, equipping more gadgets with its voice…

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SpaceX Starship Launch System: One small hop for Musk

The untethered lift-off is an early step for a 100-passenger spacecraft. The SpaceX test vehicle Starhopper jumped untethered and flew sideways before landing at the test site near the beaches of Boca Chica, in Brownsville, Texas in the United States. The hope was to see the prototype jump 20 metres, but a massive fire cloud obscured the test, leaving observers wondering just how far the craft actually hopped. Once the fire cloud dissipated, Starhopper was not only intact, but had definitely hopped from its original position. How far was difficult…

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