Facebook-owned Instagram was sued Monday for illegally collecting, storing and distributing the facial recognition data of its users and could face up to $500 billion in fines. A class action lawsuit filed in San Mateo Superior Court by Illinois resident Kelly Whalen on Aug. 10 alleges that Facebook and Instagram are routinely harvesting and sharing its users’ biometric data without informing them or asking for consent to collect it. The lawsuit requests Facebook pay every member of the class $5,000 for each intentional violation of the Illinois BIPA act, which prohibits misuse of biometric data, or statutory damages of $1,000 for every negligent violation of the law — Business Insider estimated that could total up to $500 billion in fines given that at least 100 million Instagram users could be included in the class. Facebook recently paid $650 million in July to settle a similar case about its misuse of facial recognition data. “This suit is baseless. Instagram doesn’t use Face Recognition technology,” Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway told TheWrap in an email. Whalen’s class includes any Illinois resident who has had their biometric identifiers or facial geometry scans at all obtained by Facebook through photos uploaded to its Instagram app....Read original story Facebook Could Face $500 Billion in Fines for Illegally Collecting Biometric Data Through Instagram At TheWrap
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted against the passage of an amendment spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that would bar the United States military from recruiting via game streaming site Twitch.Ocasio-Cortez brought the amendment to a vote as part of the H.R. 7617 Department of Defense Appropriations Act. The House voted to block the amendment, with 292 votes against compared to 126 in support of it.The amendment came after a July 15 report in The Nation that detailed the military’s recruitment tactics on Twitch, which include unspecified gaming hardware giveaways. The Army, Navy, and Air Force each have their own esports teams that stream on Twitch, targeting viewers as young as 12 to sign up. The recruiters in question typically play Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty” or Riot Games’ recently released first-person shooter “Valorant” on the streams as they answer questions from potential recruits live.Also Read: Twitter Permanently Suspends Former KKK Grand Wizard David DukeOcasio-Cortez said the practice is predatory and should be banned. “War is not a game. The marine service… and issues associated with combat are too serious to be gamified in a responsible manner,” Ocasio-Cortez said during the session. Ocasio-Cortez classified Twitch and other live-streaming platforms as “populated with children well under the age of military recruitment rules; children as young as 12 can be targeted to fill out recruitment forms online,” and added that she believes “we should again restrain and restrict from explicit recruitment tactics” on such platforms.Indiana Congressman Peter Visclovsky disagreed with Ocasio-Cortez’s assumption, and said during the hearing he believed the military should be allowed to recruit soldiers on numerous platforms.“The United States military is a very special place,” Visclovsky said. “Only about 30% of young Americans between 17 and 24 are eligible to join the military. We ought to cast a very broad net to encourage young Americans to serve their country.”Read original story House Rejects Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Proposal to Ban Military Recruitment on Twitch At TheWrap
President Donald Trump’s Twitch account is temporarily suspended from posting because of “hateful conduct,” Twitch said Monday.Trump’s Twitch account is another social platform for his campaign to distribute videos, including rebroadcasts of older events and rallies. One of the offending videos was a recording of the now-infamous rally where Trump said Mexico was “sending rapists” to the United States.Gaming reporter Rod Breslau first reported the news.Also Read: Reddit Bans Popular Trump Community After Updating Hate Speech RulesTwitch told TheWrap, “Hateful conduct is not allowed on Twitch. In line with our policies, President Trump’s channel has been issued a temporary suspension from Twitch for comments made on stream, and the offending content has been removed.”Twitch also provided TheWrap a copy of the offending statements. In addition to his statements regarding Mexicans entering the United States, Trump also broke Twitch’s content guidelines with comments at a recent Tulsa rally.During the Tulsa gathering, Trump made the following remarks regarding people calling the police: “Hey, it’s 1:00 o’clock in the morning and a very tough, I’ve used the word on occasion, hombre, a very tough hombre is breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away as a traveling salesman or whatever he may do. And you call 911 and they say, ‘I’m sorry, this number’s no longer working.’ By the way, you have many cases like that, many, many, many. Whether it’s a young woman, an old woman, a young man or an old man and you’re sleeping.”Twitch said it also told President Trump’s team that it violated its guidelines in a statement that mirrors the one provided to TheWrap.Also Read: MSNBC's Al Sharpton: Trump Retweeting Video of Supporter Saying 'White Power' Was 'Intentional' (Video)Trump’s Twitch page is now unavailable, but the campaign launched the page in October 2019 in an effort to court younger, tech-savvy potential voters. Prior to its suspension, the Twitch page regularly made use of the site’s built-in ecommerce features and sold Trump campaign and unofficial White House merchandise. One of Trump’s first videos on Twitch attracted over 50,000 viewers.The Trump campaign’s director of communications Tim Murtagh encouraged the President’s Twitch fans to migrate to the campaign’s mobile app instead. “To hear directly from the President, people should download the Trump app and text ‘Trump’ to 88022,” Murtagh told TheWrap.Read original story Twitch Suspends Donald Trump’s Account for ‘Hateful Conduct’ At TheWrap
Apple’s upcoming smartphone may not come with wired earbuds in the box – and could even launch without a power adapter.TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for making reliable predictions about Apple’s products, claims that the decision to not include wired headphones is so Apple can further push their AirPods wireless headphones.
Looking for a noise-cancelling headphones for your Zoom presentations? These headphones come with a hefty price, and their function isn't best in class but it works. Any Marshall fans out there?
The Washington Post took a dive Thursday into the charitable giving of the 50 wealthiest people and families in America, revealing that many of them — like the paper’s owner Jeff Bezos — didn’t contribute “much, when accounting for their vast personal fortunes,” as the coronavirus ravaged the American economy and killed thousands.The paper did not shy away from shining a critical light on its owner.“Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world with a fortune of $143 billion and who is also the owner of The Washington Post, gave $100 million to Feeding America and up to $25 million for All in WA, a statewide relief effort in Washington,” the Post noted. “For the median American, Bezos’ giving is the equivalent of donating $85. His aerospace company, Blue Origin, pledged to 3-D print face shields for front line workers but did not disclose the value of that contribution.”Also Read: CNN Disputes Trump's Chris Cuomo Jab: 'Surely You Have More Important Issues Than TV Ratings'The Post heralded only two billionaires for stepping “into the spotlight”: Bill Gates and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. While the paper highlighted Gates’ leadership during the crisis and the work done by his foundation, it noted, “In terms of donations from his personal wealth, for the median American donor, Gates’s giving to date equates to about $283.”Comparatively, the Post found, Dorsey’s giving equated to $27,000 for the median American.The 50 wealthiest people and families surveyed for the project have a collective net worth of nearly $1.6 trillion. Their publicly announced donations amounted to $1 billion or so, “which sounds like a lot of money but adds up to less than .1 percent of their combined wealth,” said the Post.“More than half of these billionaires have publicly donated cash and a few say they have given something — money or in-kind contributions — but declined to specify how much. But almost a third have not announced any donations and declined to comment or did not reply to requests for comment,” it said.Read original story Washington Post Uncovers Owner Jeff Bezos’ 2020 Charitable Gifts: Equivalent to $85 for Median American At TheWrap
Amazon Studios finally released its first game Thursday, eight years after entering the video game publishing market. Titled “Crucible,” the action-adventure game aims to compete with Riot Games’ blockbuster “League of Legends.”The free-to-play team shooter from Amazon and developer Relentless Studios is available now on PCs via Valve’s Steam platform, and a new launch trailer debuted today to hype up fans.“Crucible” was originally announced in 2016, but the game has reportedly taken many forms throughout development. Game lead Colin Johanson told computer gaming magazine PCGamesN that Amazon Studios made several key development changes based on feedback from the gaming community.“We worked with pro gamers, streamers, content creators, cosplayers, figurine designers, tournament organizers, dancers, cultural consultants, and many more” to make a game that could compete with mainstream titles, Johanson said, adding “we made some massive shifts in development based off of these conversations.”Also Read: Will the 'Justice League' Snyder Cut Actually Deliver What Fans Asked For?Some of these massive shifts included changing the in-game economy. While “Crucible” is free, Amazon will monetize via purchases of a season pass or in-game items. No “pay-to-win” items will be offered, Johanson said.“We tossed out the entirety of our original monetization plans, redesigned the visual direction of nearly all the hunters in the game, and removed entire game systems” before reaching the final product, Johanson said. “I hope (creators and players) find a game that’s significantly better than the one we shared with them in the early days, and know that time they spent helping us was worthwhile.”The game is aesthetically similar to Activision Blizzard’s hit hero shooter “Overwatch,” which was released in 2016. “Crucible” players can choose from 10 characters to play in three different battle modes against other online combatants.“Crucible” has big shoes to step into if it wants to take over the dominance “League of Legends” has maintained over the esports and PC gaming market for over a decade. Riot Games operates over 20 different esports leagues based around “League of Legends” and the title has over 100 million active players each month. Amazon does have an advantage in that it owns Twitch, the leading game streaming platform, and will likely use that connection to recruit streamers to play the game and increase its exposure.It remains unclear if Amazon will look to turn “Crucible” into an esport.Also Read: The Atlantic Lays Off 68 Employees, Cuts Executive Pay“We like to look at as an ongoing challenge to keep working with the community and to deliver the most fun competitive experience that we can, so that’s what we’ve done, and what we will continue to do long after launch,” combat design lead Jon Peters told PCGamesN.Nick Statt, a reviewer for The Verge, described “Crucible” design as “a rather bland aesthetic,” but said that the game does manage to recreate some of the excitement in “League of Legends.”“All of its well-worn game modes, including a mini battle royale and one inspired by e-sports heavyweights like League of Legends, feel more like new experiences rather than remixes of popular classics,” Statt wrote Wednesday.Watch the “Crucible” trailer below:Read original story Amazon Finally Releases ‘League of Legends’ Competitor ‘Crucible’ Four Years After Announcing Game At TheWrap
Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates announced today he will step down from the company’s board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic efforts.Gates also said he will step down from the board of Warren Buffett-owned financial management company Berkshire Hathaway, which he joined in 2004.“The leadership at the Berkshire companies and Microsoft has never been stronger, so the time is right to take this step,” said Gates.Gates established Microsoft Corp. in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. The two grew the company into a global technology supplier and each became billionaires — Gates himself is one of the world’s richest men. In 2008, Gates stepped away from Microsoft’s executive suite but remained a member of its board and a key adviser to current Chief Executive Satya Nadella.“With respect to Microsoft, stepping down from the board in no way means stepping away from the company,” Gates wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Microsoft will always be an important part of my life’s work and I will continue to be engaged with (Satya Nadella) and the technical leadership to help shape the vision and achieve the company’s ambitious goals. I feel more optimistic than ever about the progress the company is making and how it can continue to benefit the world,” said Gates.But Gates said he wants to put some of that cash to charitable use and “dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and my increasing engagement in tackling climate change” through his work with nonprofits The Giving Pledge and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Read original story Bill Gates to Step Down From Microsoft Board At TheWrap
The streaming giant revealed the censorship demands that it faced in its first Environmental Social Governance report.
Customers just pop their shopping into their bags at the unmanned store and enter and pay using their transport card.
It’s almost January, which means the tech press will once again be gathering in Las Vegas for the annual CES trade show, where companies present their newest wares for the year and technology breakthroughs that may never make their way into a shipping product.
Climbdown follows difficulties with implementing plan to ensure users are over 18. Plans to introduce a nationwide age verification system for online pornography have been abandoned by the government after years of technical troubles and concerns from privacy campaigners. The climbdown follows countless difficulties with implementing the policy, which would have required all pornography websites to ensure users were over 18. Methods would have included checking credit cards or allowing people to buy a “porn pass” age verification document from a newsagent. Websites that refused to comply with the policy – one of the first of its kind in the world – faced being blocked by internet service providers or having their access to payment services restricted. The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, told parliament the policy would be abandoned. Instead, the government would instead focus on measures to protect children in the much broader online h arms w hite p aper. This is expected to introduce a new internet regulator, which will impose a duty of care on all websites and social media outlets – not just pornography sites. She said: “This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care.” Despite abandoning the proposals, Morgan said the government remained open to using age verification tools in future, saying: “The government’s commitment to protecting children online is unwavering. Adult content is too easily accessed online and more needs to be done to protect children from harm.” The decision will disappoint a number of British businesses that had invested substantial time and money developing verification products. They had been hoping to capitalise on the large amount of Britons expected to verify their age in order to view legal pornography. One age verification provider estimated the potential market was as many as 25 million people. Although the age verification policy was first proposed by the Conservatives during the 2015 general election, it took years to develop and make it into law. Its implementation date was then repeatedly delayed amid difficulties with implementing the policy. The British Board of Film Classification was tasked with overseeing the system, which would be run and funded by private companies, despite the organisation’s lack of historical expertise in the world of technical internet regulation. Some of the age verification sites had close links to existing pornography providers. Concerns over the system grew as the public became increasingly aware of the approaching implementation date. Despite repeated reassurances from pornography websites and age verification sites that personal details would be kept separate from information about what users had watched, privacy campaigners continued to raise concerns about data security. In addition, earlier this year the Guardian showed how one age verification system could be sidestepped in minutes. Proponents of the policy privately accepted it would not block a persistent teenager from accessing adult material but said it could stop younger children from stumbling across images they found deeply disturbing. The policy had the backing of charities such as the NSPCC that were concerned about the impact of pornography on children. The final blow to the porn block came from an unlikely source: the European Union. Just weeks before the policy was due to be finally implemented in July, the government realised it had failed to inform the EU of its plans. This administrative error was initially announced as requiring a six-month delay – but Morgan’s announcement, made on a day when media attention was focused on the Brexit negotiations, means the age verification system has now been abandoned in its current form.
Google's Pixel smartphone launches never used to elicit the awestruck reactions of say Apple's iPhone reveals, but gradually the Android phone maker has solidified its place among premier phone designs and garnered a following of fans.
SINGAPORE — Apple has announced that the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be available starting at S$1,149, S$1,649 and S$1,799.
SINGAPORE — In celebration of World Emoji Day (17 July), Apple is giving us a sneak peek of new emoji coming your way, bringing a mix of diversity alongside popular categories of food, animals, activities and smiley faces.
Honor has unveiled its 20 series smartphones, which are photographic powerhouses with a quad rear camera set-up.
SINGAPORE — Today (8 May) Dyson launched new home technologies in Southeast Asia and India that will help to increase your wellbeing. The three new machines are Lightcycle task light, Pure Cool Me fan and V11 Absolute.
Last Sunday (April 7) hundreds of fans throng VivoCity as early as 9pm the day before to get their hands on the Huawei P30 series: the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. Coveted for the world’s first Leica Quad camera, the models sold out before noon. Ms. Yvelyn Tey together with her fiancé were first in line since 9pm the night before.
Wearables brand fitbit launched four new fitness trackers at Singapore Botanic Gardens on Tuesday (19 March), including its lowest-priced Inspire. The other three fitness trackers include the fitbit Versa Lite Edition, fitbit Inspire and fitbit Ace 2.
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, photo are a selection of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones during a product preview in San Francisco. Fans in Singapore who have been wowed by the newly revealed Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones can pre-order the devices from 12pm on Friday (22 February). In one of the biggest shake-ups to its product line in years, Samsung unveiled a foldable smartphone together with its new flagship Galaxy S10 phones on Wednesday.