Mark Zuckerberg

Mark ZuckerbergIt has been a rollercoaster this past week in terms of what tech giants have been up to and Clicked is here to break it down and make sense of it from Facebook’s apps going down, Instagram privacy blunder to the Apple, Qualcomm court dispute to why Intel is calling it quits on the 5G modem chips business with other tech news you might have missed and the added interesting reads to check out.

With Facebook, user privacy is a myth

Every day, new info and not usually in the interest of users come out of the giant social network and this time around, Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives allegedly used user data to fight rivals and help friends as shown by leaked documents. Facebook execs discussed cutting off access to user data for a rival messaging app that was getting popular. In another scenario, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data since the e-commerce giant was spending money on Facebook ads and was partnering with them for the launch of their mobile device, the Fire smartphone.

This malpractice of data bargaining confirms that Facebook is more concerned with the financial implications of handling user data than the privacy implications – personal data is a business asset to them.

Early last week, Facebook was also found to have “unintentionally uploaded 1.5 million people’s email contacts(could be in the tens of millions) from users without their permission and knowledge when they first signed up.

Users were asked to provide their email passwords when they opened their accounts and this is how Facebook got users’ contact books. The harvested contacts were not only used for its friend recommendation engine but also to “improve ads”.

Action on this revelation is already up as the Irish Data Protection Commission has started engaging with Facebook concerning this recent revelation as it may have violated GDPR and other FTC consent decree in the EU and the US respectively.

Here’s another privacy mishap – Remember the time Facebook revealed that it had stored tens of millions of user passwords unencrypted on their servers – well, they updated the blog to include that they had stored the passwords of millions of Instagram users unencrypted – Facebook had earlier said it was tens of thousands of Instagram users – time to go change that password ASAP.

The social media giant is also getting in the business of voice assistants so you could say, “Hey Facebook” the company is already in talks with smart speaker companies as Facebook gets into the in-home hardware and will complement its Portal device which currently shipped with Amazon’s Alexa. Facebook’s assistant could also be used for the Oculus headsets or other future projects.

Interesting Reads:

Interesting Reads from Instagram:

Watch this TED talk where Carole Cadwalladr, the U.K. journalist who first exposed the Cambridge Analytica scandal goes on to blame Facebook and other tech giants for nothing less than the undoing of Western democracy. In the talk, she said she was using it to address the “gods of Silicon Valley.”

Apple settles with Qualcomm as Intel bows down to 5G smartphone modem business

Apple and Qualcomm have been in a bitter court dispute the past couple of months and the Cupertino-based tech giant finally agreed to settle and end all litigation between themselves. A licensing agreement was set that will see Qualcomm supply chipsets, including modems, for iPhones and other Apple products. This quick settlement is speculated to come after Intel called it quits on the 5G modem it was working on with Apple so as to supply the company as it prepares for a 5G iPhone.

Intel will now have to focus its efforts more on 4G and 5G modems for PCs, IoT smart home devices, as well as its broader 5G infrastructure business. This surprise deal changed the power balance in the chip industry but the Intel exit isn’t ideal for Apple too, since they would have preferred to have two modem chip suppliers instead of one.

Interesting Reads:

Twitter set to launch an experimental feature that would allow users to hide replies

This feature would let users hide replies that users felt didn’t contribute to a conversation and will launch in June. The feature would be experimental in that it could be changed or scrapped, based on feedback from users.

What is worrying is that this feature could silence dissenting opinions or worse, fact-checked clarifications by the original poster but the silver lining is that tweet replies from trolls will be tucked away out of view the way Facebook and Instagram give you the option to delete comments from trolls. Hopefully, this leads to healthy interactions on the platform.

Twitter is also announced that it is working to increase safety for its users and solve issues around online abuse.

Twitter admitted that there is more to do and will continue to share its progress in the future.

Interesting Reads:

Watch Jack Dorsey’s TED talk here:

In Case You Missed It

Introducing Frankie G! (Class Project) from r/gatech

Parting Shot/Tweet

Clicked is a weekly roundup of tech news that made headlines, interesting reads and memes from the past week.


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