Twitter hack probe leads to call for cybersecurity rules for social media giants

An investigation into this summer’s Twitter hack by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) has ended with a stinging rebuke for how easily Twitter let itself be duped by a “simple” social engineering technique — and with a wider call for key social media platforms to be regulated on security.

In the report, the NYSDFS points, by way of contrasting example, to how quickly regulated cryptocurrency companies acted to prevent the Twitter hackers scamming even more people — arguing this demonstrates that tech innovation and regulation aren’t mutually exclusive.

Its point is that the biggest social media platforms have huge societal power (with all the associated consumer risk) but no regulated responsibilities to protect users.

The report concludes this is a problem U.S. lawmakers need to get on and tackle stat — recommending that an oversight council be established (to “designate systemically important social media companies”) and

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These are the new rules for the future of the planet

When COVID-19 lockdowns forced the public and businesses to a standstill, the world saw a temporary respite from pollution, a brief drop in global emissions, and a glimpse at the future we could have if we changed the way we impact our environment. How can we make that future a reality? On June 30, a subset of the Fast Company Impact Council, an invitation-only group of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and innovators across industries, considered that question.

In a roundtable discussion led by Fast Company senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, business leaders discussed the Future of the Planet—and what businesses can do to create better sustainability policies. The session participants were, in alphabetical order: Caroline Brown, managing director at Closed Loop Partners; Audrey Choi, chief marketing officer and chief sustainability officer at Morgan Stanley; Jonathan Neman, CEO and founder of Sweetgreen; Gayle Schueller, VP and chief sustainability officer at 3M; Troy Swope,

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Tech Employment Data Contradict Need For Quick H-1B Visa Rules

New government data show the low unemployment rate in computer occupations contradicts Trump administration claims an economic emergency requires the quick implementation of new H-1B visa rules. A new analysis indicates the government’s own data do not support the claims made in the regulations, which makes it more likely federal courts will block the new rules.

On October 8, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published “interim final” rules to restrict H-1B visas, asserting a “good cause” exception to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to allow the H-1B rules to go into effect quickly without permitting the public to comment. DOL and DHS cited

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FSB says emerging economies should rewrite financial rules to rein in Big Tech


Regulatory frameworks in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDE) should be redrawn to reflect the size, scope and growth of Big Tech firms in financial services, says the Financial Stability Board.

The FSB report for G20 finance ministers and central bank governors finds that the expansion of Big Tech firms in financial services in EMDEs has generally been more rapid and broad-based than that in advanced economies.

Lower levels of financial inclusion in EMDEs create a source of demand for Big Tech firms’ services, particularly amongst low-income populations and in rural areas where populations are under-served by traditional financial institutions.

While the expansion of Big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon has some benefits, their activity also gives rise to operational and consumer protection risks and concerns about market dominance, states the FSB.

This applies as much to local incumbents as consumers, who the FSB fears may be

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Apple on EU ‘hit list’ of big tech companies that will face stricter rules

The European Union plans to impose new and stricter regulations on a “hit list” of 20 large internet companies — including Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple.

EU regulators, who are seeking new powers to police Big Tech in Europe, are currently drawing up that “hit list.” The companies will be subject to more stringent rules in an effort to curb their market power.

The list of rules will be based on criteria such as the number of users a company has, or the market share of revenues, according to The Financial Times. It could also include technology companies deemed so powerful that rivals can’t trade without using their platforms.

Companies that find themselves on the list may face new rules that could force them to be more transparent about the information they gather and regulations requiring them to share data with their competitors. It’s likely that the list will

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Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed

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US judge rules Apple could bar Epic Games’s ‘Fortnite’ from App Store

  • A US judge in California ruled Friday that Apple could bar Epic Games’s “Fortnite” game from its App Store, but the tech company must not harm Epic’s developer tools business.
  • “The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.
  • Last month, Epic Games had filed for a preliminary injunction that would put its game back in the App Store and restore its developer account after Apple terminated Epic Games’ account on its App Store.
  • Epic sued Apple in August alleging anticompetitive behavior. The lawsuit came after Epic rolled out its own payment system in the popular Fortnite video game.
  • Apple does not allow such alternative payment systems and removed Fortnite from the App Store and threatened to terminate Epic’s developer accounts, which would have affected Epic’s other
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Microsoft reportedly planning app for Xbox Game Pass to get around Apple rules

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An app may soon allow iPad and iPhone users to access Xbox Game Pass.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Microsoft is developing an iOS app to bring Game Pass to the iPad and iPhone, circumventing Apple App Store rules, Business Insider reported Thursday.

“We absolutely will end up on iOS,” Microsoft gaming boss Phil Spencer told employees at an all-hands meeting Wednesday, according to Business Insider.

Microsoft announced in August that its Project xCloud video game service would be released September for free to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. The service gives people access to more than 100 games on the Xbox or PC, as well as its Xbox Live gaming social network.

Microsoft said at the time that devices powered by Google’s Android operating system would be supported but said Apple was blocking its

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Bank rules force staff to turn off NHS COVID-19 tracing app at work

By Iain Withers and Sinead Cruise

LONDON (Reuters) – Branch staff at some of Britain’s biggest banks say rules that require them to store phones in lockers while at work are putting them at undue risk of COVID-19 from colleagues and customers, as they cannot use the country’s tracing app.

Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, along with rival TSB, are among those advising employees to deactivate the NHS Track & Trace app during office hours, when they are not allowed to keep phones on their person.

Some banks ask staff and cashiers to store phones away to prevent leaks of sensitive customer data, although this is not formally required by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.

Under current government guidelines, users of the NHS app are advised to disable bluetooth or pause the app when away from their phones to avoid false notifications.

Other companies have told staff to pause the app

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COVID-19 transmission rebounds quickly after physical distancing rules are relaxed — ScienceDaily

Across the U.S., the relaxation of statewide physical distancing measures that are designed to control the COVID-19 pandemic frequently resulted in an immediate reversal of public health gains against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and colleagues reported.

Looking at data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the researchers found a gradual but steady decline in viral transmission rates during the eight weeks immediately preceding relaxation of physical distancing rules. But almost immediately after those rules were relaxed, most states reversed course. Eight weeks after restrictions were lifted or loosened, only nine of 51 still had low rates of transmission.

“Premature relaxation of social distancing measures undermined the country’s ability to control the disease burden associated with COVID-19,” writes Alexander C. Tsai, MD, investigator in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH and associate professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School,

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