Facebook may have broken FTC deal in Cambridge Analytica incident

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Facebook may face more legal trouble than you might think in the wake of Cambridge Analytica's large-scale data harvesting. Former US officials David Vladeck and Jessica Rich have told the Washington Post that Facebook's data sharing may violate the…
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Apple confirms investigation of creepy Chinese iCloud incident

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Apple’s recent handover of China’s iCloud accounts to a government-run company appeared to have gone smoothly, but a deeply unsettling report related to the transition has gripped Chinese media, leading Apple to announce an investigation. According to sister publications The Paper and Sixth Tone, an Apple customer identified as “Qin” attempted to close his iCloud account ahead of the government takeover, only to have an AppleCare advisor argue with him, hack his account, and threaten to expose his personal information to teach him a lesson.

Qin’s story was originally posted on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and includes detailed text, screenshots, and even audio of one of his calls with the AppleCare advisor. In short, Qin says that he called AppleCare to close his account the day before the government-owned Guizhou-Cloud Big Data company took over Chinese iCloud account data, only to get into an argument with an Apple representative who was “really curious” why Qin didn’t “want to use Guizhou-Cloud Big Data’s service.”

The advisor then allegedly used his iCloud login information to hack his account, which contained both sensitive information and logins for other accounts. If that wasn’t bad enough, the advisor then called to blackmail Qin, saying that he would release the information if Qin didn’t comply with his demands. Qin contacted the police and Apple, both of which are investigating the incident.

After spending days going back and forth with Apple, Qin said that the company’s customer support people weren’t appropriately responsive to his requests for information about whether his account was safe, how much data had been taken from it, and who the threatening advisor was. But yesterday Apple sent the following written response (translated) to Chinese media:

We greatly respect the trust that our customers have given us, and entrust [their] personal privacy and information security to Apple. Safeguarding the privacy of users is the starting point of our system design. Any AppleCare technical advisor cannot access the customer’s password, email content and photos. We will work with this customer to investigate the incident and ensure that Apple employees and contractor teams adhere to the strict standards we set in customer contact.

Certain details remain controversial. Sina Technology News, part of the company behind Weibo, claims there is “currently no evidence” that the issue is directly related to the migration of Chinese iCloud accounts to Guizhou-Cloud Big Data, despite discussions to the contrary. Additionally, the employment status of the AppleCare advisor is somewhat unclear. The paper says the AppleCare advisor wasn’t fired by Apple but had rather resigned a month earlier and yet continued to serve customers due to an Apple transition policy for departing employees.

It’s safe to say the employee’s behavior did not reflect Apple policy or standards. However, the broader issue of AppleCare employee access to iCloud account information remains open and — based on Qin’s experience — deeply concerning. If you haven’t yet enabled two-factor authentication on your iCloud account, now would be a good time to do so.

Apple – VentureBeat

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A former Uber exec has filed to dismiss a case related to a rape incident in India

Emil Michael said he’s not to blame for violating the privacy of the victim of an attack by an Uber driver.

Emil Michael, the former top Uber executive who was ousted by the company’s board earlier this year, has filed a motion to have a problematic lawsuit related to a rape incident in India dismissed.

This is Michael’s first public comment on the case, which has attracted a lot of controversy, and essentially his attempt to clear his name.

Michael, as well as former CEO Travis Kalanick and Uber, have been sued by a woman who had been raped by an Uber driver and claimed the company violated her privacy, disclosed private facts and defamed her. She alleged that Uber misused a confidential medical file that was part of the case against the driver, including having internal discussions at the company about whether she was actually raped or not.

Recode wrote about this incident, although we noted that Michael was not the executive who obtained or mishandled the file or was part of the discussions about her rape. That was another executive, Eric Alexander, who worked for Michael and for Kalanick. The Recode report did note that Michael and other execs, including its top lawyer, did not act quickly to take the medical file from Alexander’s possession.

The woman previously settled a suit with the company over failing to maintain basic safety measures in 2015. The driver was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

In his dismissal filing, Michael argues that the plaintiff, named as Jane Doe for confidentiality, “has not met the burden of pleading sufficient facts on the three causes of action alleged against him, for: intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defamation.”

He also passes the buck quite deftly to Uber:

“If access to medical evidence was arranged and authorized by Uber’s legal department, for example, there would be no basis to charge Mr. Michael with intentional, malicious, or highly offensive conduct. If other Uber employees (or former employees) spread defamatory rumors, there would be no basis to charge Mr. Michael with making those statements. In all of those situations, there would be no viable lawsuit against Mr. Michael.”

Here is the file, so you can read it yourself:

2017 10 16 (46) Motion.pdf

Recode – All