Pinterest Faces Investigation by California Civil Rights Agency (Bloomberg)
From the article: Pinterest Inc. is facing an investigation by the California Civil Rights Department, the company confirmed, after a number of employees brought forward discrimination claims in recent years.
Apple faces growing likelihood of DOJ antitrust suit (Politico)
The DOJ is finally making a decision regarding an antitrust complaint against Apple. If it goes through, this would be the first major antitrust suit under the Biden administration and a huge hit to Apple, the world's most valuable public company.
Websites Can Identify If You’re Using iPhone’s New ‘Lockdown’ Mode (VICE)
Another Apple hit. iPhones have a feature that prevents users from getting their phones hacked called Lockdown, but because of the unique features of this mode, it can also act as a way to identify users whose iPhone has this mode turned on.
An Ohio Judged ruled that virtual scans of students' rooms for test proctoring are unconstitutional.
This is great news for students forced into using such proctoring software. I say forced because if you are going to a school or university, or taking a test, the only option is to either fail the test or succumb to whatever the school forces upon you to take the test.
This is not the first time proctoring software has made it into the news. A few years ago, many students at universities across the US petitioned to get their schools to stop using the very same software mentioned in the article from Honorlock as well as other invasive software, like Proctorio and Respondus. They had the same concerns; they did not want to have their privacy compromised just to take a test. Some students at schools, like The City University of New York and the University of London, were successful in their petitioning and got the school staff to move away from invasive third-party monitoring tools.
But we are not finished; since those proctoring and monitoring tools collect so much personal data, sometimes even pictures of driver's licenses, security should be a top concern at those companies. That has not been the case. ProctorU had a security breach leaking the personal information of individuals who used their software in 2020. Proctortrack also had a security breach in 2020, leaking students' personal information, including digital copies of IDs and facial recognition data.
There has been some oversite by either the incompetence of college staff, who will do anything to "catch" a cheater, or by the various companies who willingly know they are intruding on your privacy and want to make money from doing so. What punishment has come from such shady practices?
To end, here is a gofundme for an individual who Proctorio is suing, due to him unveiling how Proctorio's software intrudes on your privacy and him being critical of how bad the software is. The EFF is also suing Proctorio for similar behavior towards another individual who tweeted out information, contradicting what Proctorio advertises on its website.
It looks like the tables have turned on the monitoring companies, and they don't seem to like it.
Sephora will pay $1.2 million to resolve a complaint by the California attorney general that the company sold customers' data despite claiming not to.
Sephora broke laws within the California Consumer Privacy Act in regard to how it handles consumer data. While Sephora did not explicitly sell consumer data, they received other benefits in violation of CCPA's definition of sale, which does not necessarily have to be the exchange of money.
California's AG is using this as a warning to other companies who are not following the laws passed by California in 2019. The AG also stated that many companies don't see the law as binding, ignoring the CCPA interpretations of the law.
Some companies are also breaking the CCPA laws, but we are still in a period where companies will be warned, and will then have 30 days to fix the problem that is breaking the law. However, the end of 2022 marks the end of the "notice and cure" period, and "the kid gloves are coming off". In other words, if you have shady data practices, fix them by the end of the year, or the California AG will be coming for you.
It is great to finally have representation to hold companies accountable for their shady data practices. If only more states follow suit with California and pass strong consumer privacy laws, and Congress gets it together and does not take power away from the states in the ADPPA.
In Other News
- A new low-tech technique can take the ‘forever’ out of forever chemicals (Grist)
- California formally bans the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 (Engadget)
- New White House directive will require free access to studies funded by tax dollars (TechCrunch)
- Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech for patent infringement over Covid vaccine (CNBC)
If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel - A website that illustrates just how big our solar system and outer space is. Get your scrolling finger ready, as this will give it a workout if you want to view the entire site...
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