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Texas takes Meta to court over face ID collection data

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The Texas attorney general is suing Facebook parent Meta claiming it is breaching laws relating to biometric data

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton says the U.S-based tech company has unlawfully collected biometric data of the people of Texas to use for commercial purposes, without their informed consent.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in state district court, claimed Meta has been “storing millions of biometric identifiers” — identified as retina or iris scans, voiceprints, or a record of hand and face geometry — as well as data contained in photos and videos people upload to its services, including Facebook and Instagram.

“Facebook will no longer take advantage of people and their children with the intent to turn a profit at the expense of one’s safety and well-being,”

PAXTON SAID IN A STATEMENT.

Mr Paxton has been going up against America’s biggest tech giants for some time. He earlier launched an investigation of Twitter over its ban of former President Donald Trump.

He has also filed several lawsuits against search engine, Google.

“This is yet another example of Big Tech’s deceitful business practices and it must stop. I will continue to fight for Texans’ privacy and security.”

PAXTON SAID IN A STATEMENT.

The filing of the lawsuit coincided with the first day of early voting in a primary election in Texas, where Paxton faces several GOP challengers in the wake of his top deputies reporting him to the FBI for alleged corruption.

What law has Meta broken?

Under a law imposed in the US state of Texas, companies must obtain “informed consent” from people to use their biometric data.

This means people have to be informed prior to their data being captured and it can only be done if they agree to it.

Such data also cannot be disclosed for anyone else, although there are some exceptions, such as law enforcement subpoenas.

Meta’s response:

In a statement, Meta, which is based at 1 Hacker Way, Melo Park, California, called the lawsuit “without merit”.

Meta stated back in November that it was shutting down its facial recognition programme and deleting its data.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Crypto

Gucci goes big in metaverse with new Vault Art Space

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Forward thinkers who love fashion, this exhibit is for you

Luxury brand Gucci has opened a Vault Art Space as it continues to explore the art world and the metaverse

Gucci inaugurated the gallery in a partnership with NFT marketplace SuperRare

The debut exhibit is titled “The Next 100 Years of Gucci”

Spring Cry by Alanna Vanacore

Keep your eye out for a special selection of NFT artworks, each a collectible fragment of Gucci’s heritage.

The artworks are showcased and auctioned off directly on Vault’s website in three drops between now and the end of July.

All sales will be in Ethereum.

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Tech

Samsung penalised for misleading Galaxy phone users

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Samsung Electronics Australia will pay $14 million after admitting that it misled customers about its phone’s waterproof capabilities

The false or misleading claims were made about the water resistance of several phones, including the S7, S7 Edge, and Note 8 Samsung Galaxy phones.

It’s understood there were more than 3.1 million of these Galaxy phones sold in Australia.

The company says if the phones were submerged in pool or sea water there was chance of the charging port being corroded and stop working if the phone was charged while still wet.

“The phones would display a warning message to discourage consumers from attempting to charge the phones while water was in the charging port,” the company said.

“The phones also had inbuilt systems to minimise the prospect of corrosion if the phones were attempted to be charged while water remained in the charging port.”

SAMSUNG

Australia’s consumer watchdog says they reviewed hundreds of complaints from customers who experienced issues with their Galaxy phones.

“The case only relates to a prospect of corrosion of the charging port (if charged while pool or
sea water remained in the charging port), and only following submersion in pool or sea
water. It does not relate to water resistance generally,” the company explained.

Affected customers are urged to contact Samsung.

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Media

Netflix laying off 150 employees amid low revenue and subscriber loss

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Netflix is set to implement new cost cutting measures citing the low revenue growth

The largest streaming platform is laying off 150 staffers across the company with most of the cuts focused on the US office.

The layoff represents nearly 2% of the company’s total workforce of 11,000 employees.

One of Netflix’s representatives, while talking about the layoff, told CNBC

These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance, which makes them especially tough as none of us want to say goodbye to such great colleagues.

This comes less than a month after the company recorded a fall in the number of subscribers.

Netflix shares have gone down significantly since January and the forecast shows further subscriber loss in the next quarter.

The company likely plans to introduce ads to the service or any one of its tiers after being ad free for years.

There might also be actions to prevent password sharing or charging users for doing so.

Shreya Vats contributed to this report

 

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