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Updated: 5 days 23 hours ago

Apple Sued By iTunes Customers Over Alleged Data Misuse

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 19:25
Three iTunes customers have filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of sending personal user data to third parties to boost its revenues. "It is alleged that Apple is selling, renting or disclosing full names, addresses, genres of music and specific titles of songs purchased on the iTunes Store app on iPhones without consent or notification," reports CNET. From the report: According to documents filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, Apple does this "to supplement its revenues and enhance the formidability of its brand in the eyes of mobile application developers," the lawsuit alleges. "None of the information pertaining to the music you purchase on your iPhone stays on your iPhone," the lawsuit further alleges. "While Apple profits handsomely from its unauthorized sale, rental, transmission and/or disclosure of its customers' Personal Listening Information, it does so at the expense of its customers' privacy and statutory rights." First reported by Bloomberg, the plaintiffs -- Leigh Wheaton from Rhode Island, and Jill Paul and Trevor Paul from Michigan -- allege third parties then use this data to append several more categories, including age, gender, income, educational background and marital status. This "enhanced" data is then allegedly sold on to other third parties, the lawsuit says. The plaintiffs are representing other iTunes customers in their respective states, seeking $250 for Rhode Island class-action members under the Video, Audio, And Publication Rentals Privacy Act and $5,000 for Michigan class-action members under the Preservation of Personal Privacy Act.

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Categories: Privacy

Huawei's Ace In the Hole: Undersea Cables

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 18:45
While the United States is banning the use of Huawei equipment from its fifth-generation infrastructure, the Chinese telecommunications company is working to expand its share in the undersea cable market, which is dominated by the U.S., Europe and Japan. Nikkei Asian Review reports: About a decade ago, Huawei entered the business by setting up a joint venture with British company Global Marine Systems. It expanded its presence by laying short links in regions like Southeast Asia and the Russian Far East. But last September, Huawei surprised industry executives in Japan, the U.S. and Europe by completing a 6,000 km trans-Atlantic cable linking Brazil with Cameroon. This showed Huawei has acquired advanced capabilities, even though it is still far behind the established players in terms of experience and cable volume. During the 2015-2020 period, Huawei is expected to complete 20 new cables -- mostly short ones of less than 1,000 km. Even when these are finished, Huawei's market share will be less than 10%. Over the long term, however, the company could emerge as a player to be reckoned with. Huawei is estimated to be involved in around 30 undersea cable projects at the moment. It also reportedly has a hand in about 60 projects to enhance cable landing stations to boost transmission capacity. The reality is, even if the U.S. succeeds in shutting out Huawei from 5G networks in major countries, the Chinese company could still thwart American efforts to maintain leadership in handling global data traffic. The report goes on to say that the U.S., Japan and Australia are working to address this potential threat. "Steps they are considering include banning Huawei from laying cables connected to one of the three countries, and urging other governments to prevent the company from getting involved in the construction of any major cables Informed sources."

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Categories: Privacy

The World Economic Forum Wants To Develop Global Rules for AI

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 16:04
This week, AI experts, politicians, and CEOs will gather to ask an important question: Can the United States, China, or anyone else agree on how artificial intelligence should be used and controlled? From a report: The World Economic Forum, the international organization that brings together the world's rich and powerful to discuss global issues at Davos each year, will host the event in San Francisco. The WEF will also announce the creation of an "AI Council" designed to find common ground on policy between nations that increasingly seem at odds over the power and the potential of AI and other emerging technologies. The issue is of paramount importance given the current geopolitical winds. AI is widely viewed as critical to national competitiveness and geopolitical advantage. The effort to find common ground is also important considering the way technology is driving a wedge between countries, especially the United States and its big economic rival, China. "Many see AI through the lens of economic and geopolitical competition," says Michael Sellitto, deputy director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. "[They] tend to create barriers that preserve their perceived strategic advantages, in access to data or research, for example."

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Categories: Privacy

Movie Companies Sue 'YTS' and 'YIFY' Site Operators in US Court

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 03:00
The companies behind the movies "Singularity," "Once Upon a Time in Venice," "Mechanic: Resurrection," "The Hitman's Bodyguard," "I Feel Pretty," "Boyka: Undisputed" and "Hunter Killer," accuse the alleged operators of YIFYMovies.is and YTS.am of inducing and contributing to massive piracy. From a report: "Plaintiffs bring this action to stop the massive piracy of their motion pictures brought on by websites under the collective names YIFY and YTS and their users," it reads. The case was filed last month but has thus far remained under the radar. The names of the alleged site operators are not known. They are referred to as Doe 1 and Doe 2 respectively. "Defendants DOE 1 and DOE 2 cause harm to Plaintiffs' business within this District by diverting customers in this District to unauthorized Internet based content distribution services through, at least, the websites yifymovies.is and yts.ag." Both sites operate differently. YTS.ag, which now uses the YTS.am domain name, is a torrent site and by far the most popular of the two. YIFYMovies.is, on the other hand, allows users to stream content directly on the site. The movie companies accuse both site operators of intentional inducement of copyright infringement as well as contributory copyright infringement.

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Categories: Privacy