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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

The Twisted Flight Paths of 'Global Girl' and the Lolita Express

Model-turned-pilot Nadia Marcinko, an alleged accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein, is among a group of girls who came to the Epstein syndicate—presumably by plane—from abroad.
Source: Wired

Teen Love for Snapchat Is Keeping Snap Afloat

Left for dead after a disappointing IPO and Instagram copied a key feature, Snap is doing quite well, thank you. Its stock has more than doubled this year.
Source: Wired

Could Feds Force Companies to Support Your Right to Repair?

In a big step toward possible legislation, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop on whether consumers should be able to fix their gadgets themselves.
Source: Wired

Huawei licensing deals will be 'timely,' Trump reportedly says – CNET

US tech companies will be able to continue selling to Huawei.
Source: CNET

Facebook fails to keep Messenger Kids’ safety promise

Facebook’s messaging app for under 13s, Messenger Kids — which launched two years ago pledging a “private” chat space for kids to talk with contacts specifically approved by their parents — has run into an embarrassing safety issue.

The Verge obtained messages sent by Facebook to an unknown number of parents of users of the app informing them the company had found what it couches as “a technical error” which allowed a friend of a child to create a group chat with them in the app which invited one or more of the second child’s parent-approved friends — i.e. without those secondary contacts having been approved by the parent of the first child.

Facebook did not make a public disclosure of the safety issue. We’ve reached out to the company with questions.

It earlier confirmed the bug to the Verge, telling it: “We recently notified some parents of Messenger Kids account users about a technical error that we detected affecting a small number of group chats. We turned off the affected chats and provided parents with additional resources on Messenger Kids and online safety.�

The issue appears to have arisen as a result of how Messenger Kids’ permissions are applied in group chat scenarios — where the multi-user chats apparently override the system of required parental approval for contacts who kids are chatting with one on one.

But given the app’s support for group messaging it’s pretty incredible that Facebook engineers failed to robustly enforce an additional layer of checks for friends of friends to avoid unapproved users (who could include adults) from being able to connect and chat with children.

The Verge reports that “thousands” of children were left in chats with unauthorized users as a result of the flaw.

Despite its long history of playing fast and loose with user privacy, at the launch of Messenger Kids in 2017 the then head of Facebook Messenger, David Marcus, was quick to throw shade at other apps kids might use to chat — saying: “In other apps, they can contact anyone they want or be contacted by anyone.”

Turns out Facebook’s Messenger Kids has also allowed unapproved users into chatrooms it claimed as safe spaces for kids, saying too that it had developed the app in “lockstep” with the FTC.

We’ve reached out to the FTC to ask if it will be investigating the safety breach.

Friends’ data has been something of a recurring privacy blackhole for Facebook — enabling, for example, the misuse of millions of users’ personal information without their knowledge or consent as a result of the expansive permissions Facebook wrapped around it, when the now defunct political data company, Cambridge Analytica, paid a developer to harvest Facebook data to build psychographic profiles of US voters.

The company is reportedly on the verge of being issued with a $5BN penalty by the FTC related to an investigation of whether it breached earlier privacy commitments made to the regulator.

Various data protection laws govern apps that process children’s data, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa) in the US and the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. But while there are potential privacy issues here with the Messenger Kids flaw, given children’s data may have been shared with unauthorized third parties as a result of the “error”, the main issue of concern for parents is likely the safety risk of their children being exposed to people they have not authorized in an unsupervised video chat environment.

On that issue current laws have less of a support framework to offer.

Although — in Europe — rising concern about a range of risks and harms kids can face when going online has led the UK government to seek to regulate the area.

recently published white paper sets out its plan to regulate a broad range of online harms, including proposing a mandatory duty of care on platforms to take reasonable steps to protect users from a range of harms, such as child sexual exploitation.


Source: TechCrunch

Equifax breach: How to claim your share of the $700 million settlement – CNET

If you were one of the 147 million people affected, it’s time to prep your claim now.
Source: CNET

Huawei lays off hundreds of US workers due to blacklisting – CNET

More than 600 Futurewei researchers lost their jobs.
Source: CNET

Apple files AR/VR patent, Equifax's FTC fine over 2017 breach video – CNET

Today’s major tech stories include a AR/VR patent filed by Apple, Microsoft’s 1 billion dollar investment in start-up OpenAI and Equifax’s FTC settlement which could end up being as large as $700 million.
Source: CNET

Ford Will Make an Electric F-150 Pickup, but Won't Say When

Ford, which has lagged rivals when it comes to all-electric vehicles, finally shows off an all-electric pickup—towing a 1.3-million-pound train.
Source: Wired

TrustRadius, a customer-generated B2B software review platform, raises $12.5M

Customer reviews play a key role in helping people decide what to buy on consumer-focused marketplaces like Amazon or app stores, and the same tendency exists in the B2B world, where nearly half a trillion dollars is spent annually on software and IT purchases. TrustRadius, one of the startups capitalising on the latter trend with total feedback sessions today standing at close to 190,000 reviews, has now picked up a Series C of $12.5 million led by Next Coast Ventures with existing investors Mayfield Fund and LiveOak Ventures also participating.

The funding, which brings the total raised by TrustRadius to $25 million (modest compared to some of its competitors) will be used to build more partnerships and use cases for its reviews, as well as continue expanding that total number of users providing feedback.

In addition to its main site — which goes up against a huge number of other online software comparison services like TrustPilot, G2 Crowd, Owler, and many others — TrustRadius is already working with vendors like LogMeIn, Tibco and more (including a number of huge IT companies that have asked not to be named).

TrustRadius mainly works with them on two tracks: to source a wider range of reviews from their existing customer bases to improve their profiles on the site; and then to help them use those reviews in their own marketing materials. Partnerships like these form the core of TrustRadius’s business model: people posting reviews or using the site to read them access it for free.

Vinay Bhagat, founder and CEO of TrustRadius, believes that his company’s mission — to help IT decision makers vet software by tapping into feedback from other IT buyers — has found particular relevance in the current market.

“I think that gravity is on our side,” he said in an interview. “If you think about how the tech industry is evolving and getting things done, IT decisions are getting decentralized and moving out of the CIO’s office. Millennials are ageing into positions of authority, and it means that the way people had previously bought software — by way of salespeople or on the basis of analyst reports — are changing. There is pent-up demand to hear the roar of peers and that’s where we come in.”

User-generated reviews have come under a lot of criticism in recent times. Regulators have been going after companies for not being vigilant enough about policing their platforms for “fake” reviews, either planted to big up a product, or by rivals to knock it down, or coming from people who are being paid to put in a good word. The argument has been that the marketplaces hosting those reviews are still bringing in eyeballs and product conversions based on that feedback, so they are less concerned with the corruption even if it longer term can likely sour consumers on the trustworthiness of the whole platform.

That belief is not wholly true, of course: Amazon for one has recently been making a huge effort to improve trust, by going after dodgy reviewers and setting up systems to halt the trafficking of counterfeit goods.

And Bhagat argued to me that it doesn’t hold for TrustRadius, either. The company has a focused enough mandate — B2B software purchasing — within a crowded enough field, that losing trust by posting blindly positive reviews would get it nowhere fast.

At the same time, he noted that the company has held a firm line with its customers on making sure that the “truth” about a product is made clear even if it’s not completely rosy, in the hopes that they can use that to work on improvements, and also provide more balanced feed back at the least from existing customers in order to give a more complete picture. (It also, like other reviews sites, makes people who provide feedback do so using professional credentials like work emails and LinkedIn profiles.)

That line has so far carried it into relationships with a number of software companies, which are using reviews as a complement to their own sales teams, and the papers and analysis published by analysts like Gartner and Ovum and Forester, to reach people who are weighing up different options for their IT solutions.

“TrustRadius has become an integral part of today’s economic cycle”, said Bill Wagner, CEO of LogMeIn, in a statement. “Software buyers today need detailed reviews to make sure that the product works for a business professional like themselves. TrustRadius provides that in a transparent way, so buyers can make confident decisions, even about enterprise-grade software.”

The recent swing in the digital world towards data protection and people getting increasingly aware of how their own personal details are used in ways they never intended, has presented an interesting challenge for the world of online services. Most of us don’t like getting marketing and will generally opt out of any “yes, I consent to getting updates from XYZ and its partners!” boxes — if we happen to spot them amid the dark patterning of the net.

TrustRadius and companies like it have an opportunity through that, though: by targeting IT buyers who have to make complicated purchasing decisions and most likely more than one, and in a way that ensures each purchase works with the rest of an existing tech stack, they represent one of the rare cases of where a user might actually want to hear more.

Indeed, one of the company’s plans longer term is to continue developing how it can work with its users through that IT lifecycle by providing suggestions of software based on previous software purchases and also what that user’s feedback has been around a past purchase.

“From day one we have been deal with complex purchasing decisions,” Bhagat said. “Buying technology that will be used to run your business is not the same as buying an app that you use casually. It can be make or break for your company.”


Source: TechCrunch

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