Daily Archives: January 8, 2020

How Tweets Could Prevent War, an App Store Dilemma, and More News

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Twitter is shocking and Apple is balking, but first: a cartoon about posthumous photo sharing.

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Today’s News

Did Twitter help stop war with Iran?

After a week on Twitter that included President Donald Trump’s ill-conceived (and probably illegal) threat to bomb Iranian cultural sites, world leaders proved they can use the site for constructive dialogue, too. Following an Iranian rocket strike on Tuesday night, both Trump and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted out their hopes that the recent tit-for-tat attacks would not turn into a true war. Their exchange, which Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg called “real-time deescalatory twitter,” proved social media can be an incredible modern-day solution to the long-running challenge of communication between nations in crisis.

An alleged spy app puts Apple in a bind

Last month, both Google and Apple removed a popular social messaging app called ToTok from their official app stores after US intelligence officials claimed the United Arab Emirates likely uses the app for state surveillance. But by Saturday, Google had quietly reinstated ToTok in its Play Store. The reason? The app does exactly what it says it does, and any kind of piping of information would be beyond what Apple or Google can actually observe. Now it’s Apple’s turn to decide what to do.

Fast Fact: 30+

That’s the number of civil rights organizations that have called out Amazon-owned home security company Ring for arranging secretive deals with hundreds of police departments across the country. A recent interview with Amazon’s top hardware executive revealed that he’s “proud” of the program, and hinted at a future with even more facial recognition.

WIRED Recommends: CES Gadgets

Our writers are neck-deep in futuristic gadgets at the biggest electronics show of the year, CES. From luggage that follows you around to underwater scooters, you can follow along on their journey with live updates all this week.

News You Can Use

Here’s how to live your best life on and off your phone in 2020.

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hacker proof, #hackerproof

#nationalcybersecuritymonth | TikTok Tightens Rules on Video Content and Users

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

TikTok has overhauled its guidelines to clarify what kind of content is off-limits, from racial slurs to critical remarks about other users’ hygiene, at a time when the popular video app is facing increased scrutiny over its security.

The more expansive rules released Wednesday cover 10 categories of content that violate community standards and added hate groups and violent extremist organizations among users prohibited from using TikTok.

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hacker proof, #hackerproof

YouTube to treat all kid-aimed videos like they’re COPPA-liable – Naked Security

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

In September, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wrist-slapped Google for flagrantly, illegally sucking up kids’ data so it could target them with ads.

On Monday, as part of its agreement with the FTC and the New York attorney general over violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), YouTube said it was beginning to apply its changes.

The big one: rather than trying to verify that users are over the age of 13, it’s just going to treat all content aimed at kids as if it is watched by kids (which it well may be, particularly when it comes to videos about, say, gaming, animation or toys), regardless of age of the viewer, and it’s going to COPPA-ify that content.

That means that if you’re making content that’s deemed to be aimed at kids, YouTube’s going to treat anybody who watches it as if they’re under the age of 13, regardless of how old a user actually is. As per federal COPPA guidelines, that means that YouTube will limit data collection and use and, hence, the serving up of personalized ads on such videos.

It sounds like a reasonable enough proposition, unless you’re one of the many content creators who’ll suffer the consequences of having their videos shunted to the cobwebby basement that is YouTube’s category of “for kids” – a place where, creators say, content crawls off to die from acute lack of revenue.

One content creator, Chadtronic, believes that flagging a video as “made for kids” will mean it makes significantly less money and will be far harder to find. He didn’t provide a source for his claims, but as Ars Technica reports, they’re being spread by other creators.

(Screenshot is from Chadtronic’s video linked above.)

Actually, his “90% less revenue” claim is the only one that’s questionable. As for the other claims, YouTube itself asserted them in its post on Monday: as YouTube said on its official blog, limiting data collection and use comes with a chokehold on product features such as the ability to comment, live chat, notifications, stories, save to playlist, and more.