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Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Credit: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

In a new lawsuit, filed Monday in Redwood City, Facebook is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without explicitly asking for their consent.

According to the suit, Facebook started informing Instagram users about their biometric data being collected only at the beginning of 2020, which allegedly violated an Illinois privacy law.

Last month, the social media company offered to pay $650 million to settle a different lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users.

Politics • European • Germany
Germany fails to inform 900 people that tested positive for Covid-19

The Health Minister of the state Bavaria and the President of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety have announced that out of 85,000 Covid-19 tests around 44,000 results haven't been communicated to the tested people.

Among these results are 900 positives ones. According to Bavarian Health Minister Melanie Huml "there is a transmission problem, there's nothing to gloss over" as most of the data needs the be entered manually into the systems.

She stated that is has top priority to inform the people that have testes positive and that they should be informed by noon tomorrow. Currently, the wait for test results takes often a week or longer.

Business • Economy
Tencent smash second quarter earnings expectations due to strong games demand
Tencent smash second quarter earnings expectations due to strong games demand
Credit: Tencent

Tencent reported on Wednesday results. for the three months through to the end of June. that beat analyst expectations in one of the fastest revenue-growing quarters in two years.

The company is one of the targets of the executive order signed by President Donald Trump, prohibiting any transaction related to WeChat, the popular messaging app owned by Tencent.

Revenue from online games, which accounts for one-third of total sales, increased 40% in the second quarter, primarily driven by mobile games including Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite.

Politics • European
Police in Belarus admits that they have used live rounds against protestors

The interior ministry in Belarus has published a statement regarding the use of police force in the ongoing protests following the election on Sunday.

It states that "warning shots did not stop" the protestors and that "to protect the lives and health of officers, firearms were employed. One of the assailants is injured". According to the official numbers from the ministry over 1,000 people were arrested in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday taking the number of total arrested people to at least 4,000.

As the internet is still partially shut down in Belarus, information is scarce but one video shows arrested people being held lying face down outside on a floor at a police station in Minks. Other videos show police hitting and ramming cars as the protests escalate further.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
TikTok tracked Android users’ device identifiers until late last year
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday TikTok’s Android app collected its users’ MAC addresses for 18 months in violation of the platform rules. The MAC address serves as a unique identifier for each user’s device.

Since 2015, both the App Store and the Google Play Store had banned the collection of MAC addresses as a matter of policy, but the video app used a loophole. According to the Journal, nearly 350 apps on the Google Play Store used a similar loophole, generally for ad-targeting purposes.

Technology • Internet & Web
Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender bias
Françoise Brougher
Françoise Brougher Credit: Pinterest

Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former COO, has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination. Brougher is suing the company to hold it “accountable for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the Labor Code,” according to a Tuesday filing in San Francisco Superior Court.

Brougher, who was abruptly fired from the company in April, states in the lawsuit that she had a less favourable equity compensation package than her male peers. She also claims that she was also left out of crucial decision-making by other executives, was subjected to a hostile work environment, and ultimately fired by CEO Ben Silbermann when she spoke up against her treatment.

Business • Economy
UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years
UK officially in recession for first time in 11 years
Credit: Franck V.

The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June as coronavirus lockdown measures pushed the country officially into recession.

The economy shrank 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook states that they have removed 7 million posts with false information about Covid-19
Facebook states that they have removed 7 million posts with false information about Covid-19
Credit: Screenshot Transparency Report

In its sixth Community Standards Enforcement Report, Facebook has released data showing that the platform has removed seven million posts that contained false information about the Covid-19 pandemic, a cure or the virus itself.

In addition, 22,5 million posts have been removed on the grounds of hate speech and 8,7 million which are in connection to extremist organizations.

Politics • European • Germany
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Germany reports 1226 new coronavirus infections in single day, highest since May
Credit: Fridolin freudenfett (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The German Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) as official source for the Covid-19 infection numbers has reported 1226 new coronavirus infections in a single day.

The federal minister of health Jens Spahn has previously stated that: "At the moment, we are in any case still on a scale that the health care system and the public health service can cope with" and added that "If we stabilize at a certain level now, then we can handle it".

The last day with a higher number of new infections has been the 9th of May with 1251 cases.

Politics • Oceanian
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
New Zealand investigates into packaging of frozen food for possible Covid-19 transmission
Credit: unsplash.com / Bodie Pyndus

New Zealand's director general of health Ashley Bloomfield has announced that the country is currently investigating the transmission of Covid-19 by freight. He stated that "we know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time" and that one member of the family of four that recently got infected works in a cool store in Auckland.

Surface testing for the store is currently underway to determine if it could be the possible source for the infections. Over the past weeks China has already reported that they found Covid-19 on the packaging of imported frozen seafood.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian state in talks with Russia to produce Covid-19 vaccine
Brazilian state in talks with Russia to produce Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Tecpar (Public Domain)

Brazil’s Parana state announced the intention to locally produce the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine. The Parana Technology Institute (Tecpar) would be responsible for tests and later the production of the Russian vaccine.

An agreement should be signed by the governor of Paraná, Ratinho Júnior, and by the Russian ambassador, Sergey Akopov, this Wednesday.

Tecpar’s spokesman João Pedro Schonarth stated earlier Tuesday, "This signature of the Government of Paraná and Russia is important for the exchange to be made possible. Each step at its proper time. We cannot skip steps. We cannot make leaps when dealing with an extremely serious matter"

The announcement took Brazil’s regulators and health experts by surprise, with some raising doubts about the institute’s capacity to produce large volumes of a new vaccine from scratch.

Technology • Internet & Web
Scribd acquires presentation-sharing platform SlideShare
Scribd acquires presentation-sharing platform SlideShare
Credit: Scribd

Scribd announced Tuesday the acquisition of presentation-sharing platform SlideShare from LinkedIn for an undisclosed price. According to LinkedIn, Scribd will take over operation of the SlideShare business on September 24.

Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO of Scribd said, "Our acquisition of SlideShare is a major step towards creating the world’s largest digital library."

Sports
Tyson, Jones fight postponed to November
Mike Tyson, Los Angeles California in June 2019
Mike Tyson, Los Angeles California in June 2019 Credit: Glenn Francis (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. initially set for next month has been postponed to November, organisers said Tuesday.

In a statement, promotional company Triller said the fight in Los Angeles would now take place on November 28 to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Tyson said, "Changing the date to November 28th will give more people the opportunity to see the biggest comeback in boxing history."

Sports • Soccer
UEFA Europa League semi-finals are set
UEFA Europa League semi-finals are set
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The line-up for the UEFA Europa League semi-finals to be played on August 16 and 17 is complete.

On Sunday, August 16, Sevilla will face Manchester United in Cologne,

Monday, August 17, will have Internazionale versus Shakhtar Donetsk playing in Dusseldorf.

All matches to be played at 19:00 (UTC).

Health
Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Russia approves Covid-19 vaccine without completing phase three clinical trials
Credit: Screenshot of the website for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine

According to an announcement from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the country has registered and approved the world's first Covid-19 vaccine.

Multiple experts have stated that it is still unclear if the vaccine is safe, as phase three clinical trials are still underway. These phase three trials have the goal of determining if the vaccine is safe and works in the general population.

Multiple experts from around the world have voice their concerns and criticism of this rushed approval process including the executive director of the Russian nonprofit Association of Clinical Trials Organizations, Svetlana Zavidova. She has asked "why are all corporations following the rules, but Russian ones aren’t? The rules for conducting clinical trials are written in blood. They can’t be violated" and added that "this is a Pandora’s Box and we don’t know what will happen to people injected with an unproven vaccine".

Technology • Internet & Web
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees
Mozilla announces that they will layoff around 250 employees

The Mozilla Corporation has announced that around 250 employees will lose their jobs as part of a restructuring. According to the announcement "economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted" the revenue of the corporation.

Earlier in 2020 around 70 employees had already lost their jobs.

Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker has stated that: "Though we’ve been talking openly with our employees about the need for change — including the likelihood of layoffs — since the spring, it was no easier today when these changes became real. I desperately wish there was some other way to set Mozilla up for long term success in building a better internet".

Politics • Oceanian
New Zealand reports first Covid-19 community transmission in 102 days, Auckland goes into lockdown
New Zealand reports first Covid-19 community transmission in 102 days, Auckland goes into lockdown
Credit: unsplash.com / Kirsten Drew

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern has stated that four locally transmitted Covid-19 cases have been detected in Auckland. As the source of the transmission is currently unknown, Auckland has moved into alert level three. All residents have been asked to stay home from Wednesday on, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be closed.

The remaining country will move back to alert level two, meaning that social gatherings inside and outside will be limited and services such as bars and restaurants can only serve seated and with separation between the costumers.

Politics • American • US
Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. She will be the first black woman to serve in the role.

Harris, once a rival for the Democratic nomination, had long been considered the front-runner for the VP position. She was born in Oakland, California to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.

Politics • Asian • Russia
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Russia approves world's first coronavirus vaccine
Credit: Kremlin (Public Domain)

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday the approval of a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute. The vaccine is named Sputnik-V, and it has yet to go through Phase 3 trials.

Putin said, "A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning, I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity."

The announcement came despite a caution last week from the World Health Organization(WHO) that Russia should not stray from the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and effectiveness.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Tron 3 with Jared Leto to be directed by Garth Davis
Garth Davis
Garth Davis Credit: Peter Kudlacz (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The third instalment in the "Tron" film franchise is going to be directed by filmmaker Garth Davis and to be starred, and produced, by Jared Leto.

The film will not be a direct sequel to 2010's "Tron: Legacy" and 1982's "Tron," and it is still to be greenlighted by Disney.

Leto said on Instagram: "I am so very excited and proud to confirm that YES - I will be starring in TRON."