Global Tech roundup: TikTok under investigation over privacy concerns and other stories

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 05: In this photo illustration, the social media application logo, Tik Tok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on March 05, 2019 in Paris, France. The social network broke the rules for the protection of children’s online privacy (COPPA) and was fined $ 5.7 million. The fact TikTok criticized is quite serious in the United States, the platform, which currently has more than 500 million users worldwide, collected data that should not have asked minors. TikTok, also known as Douyin in China, is a media app for creating and sharing short videos. Owned by ByteDance, Tik Tok is a leading video platform in Asia, United States, and other parts of the world. In 2018, the application gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. in October 2018. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Hi there. Welcome to the end of another eventful week in the world of tech. We hope you had fun just as much as we did. 

As the week came to an end, we finally saw Apple holding its much-awaited California event, and just as the rumours had it, the Apple iPhone 13 was one of the major highlights of the event, but users seemed far from impressed.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the other major stories from this week, 13th-17th September, that you must have probably missed.

TikTok under investigation over privacy concerns

The video-sharing social networking service, Tiktok, is currently facing an investigation by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) over two privacy-related issues.

The data protection watchdog is investigating the social media platform over allegations that it is transferring the personal data of its users to China, as well as other concerns about child safety.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ticktok1.jpeg

According to the commission, the video-sharing platform has not been complying with the European Union’s data regulations in how it handles age verification procedures for its users who are under the age of 13. The commission, which plans to launch a second probe, also claims that there is the possibility of the social networking platform transferring its users’ data to China.

This isn’t the first time that TikTok has been called out over privacy-related issues. The company, owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, faced similar allegations in the United States under Trump’s administration and was declared a potential threat to national security. There have been reports of similar privacy issues in countries like India and the Netherlands.

El Salvador Bitcoin protest continues

Image Source: The Guardian

Thousands of citizens from the Central American country of El Salvador have continued to pour out into the streets in protest against the adoption of Bitcoin as a legal means of exchange within the country.

Recall that last week President Nayib Bukele signed into law a bill adopting Bitcoin as the country’s legal tender. He also issued an order that revenue from crypto won’t be taxed within the state as a means of helping Salvadorians working abroad conveniently send remittances back home. 

While several people applauded the move, a sizable portion of the population still disagrees with the announcement. The demonstrators who continue to pull out in their numbers believe that this move will bring further instability and inflation to the already impoverished Latin American country. 

These protesters in the capital, San Salvador, have reportedly vandalized newly installed Bitcoin ATMs even as the country celebrates its 200th independence anniversary. The aggrieved citizens claim the president is using authoritarian means to tighten his grip on power.

Users backlash OpenSea as insider influences NFTs price

Global Tech roundup: TikTok under investigation over privacy concerns and other stories

Opensea, one of the largest marketplaces for digital collectable exchanges, faces a series of backlashes even as it admits an employee used its inside knowledge to buy NFTs just before they were promoted on the website.

According to reports from a Twitter user, one work called the Spectrum of Ramenfication Theory was purchased by an OpenSea employee for 0.25 ETH (360,000 naira) and was sold for 1.5 ETH (2 million naira) just 20 minutes after the collectible featured on OpenSea’s homepage.

Opensea CEO, Devin Finzer, admitted in a blog post that its employee “purchased items that they knew were set to display on our front page before they appeared there publicly”. Mr. Finzer claims that it was an incredibly disappointing incident and the action did not represent the team’s value.

According to the company, an independent review has been launched and new policies are being implemented which would prevent team members from “using confidential information to buy or sell any NFTs, whether available on the OpenSea or not”.

Microsoft announces plans for password-less login

One of the leading providers of technological solutions, Microsoft, has announced a plan to allow users of its services to log in to their accounts without the use of a password. 

The company, which has made password-less account log-in available for its business users since March, has now announced that this functionality will be made available for all Microsoft and Windows users.

According to the company, users can now delete all passwords available on their accounts and can instead login using an authenticator app or other secured log in solutions available to them. Once the passwordless login is enabled, users will be asked to provide their fingerprint or other secure unlock which is far more secure than passwords.

The company claims some rare exceptions, such as Xbox 360 consoles, Office 2010 and Windows 8.1 or earlier machines, will still need passwords. Passwordless Windows users will also be able to use quick-login features such as Pin Codes.

That’s all from our end for this week. Have a wonderful weekend ahead. Read all of our major stories for the week here.

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