Facebook reveals how its iOS apps track user location

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facebook
Facebook may be trying to get on top of potential negative publicity.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Facebook has clarified how its apps collect and uses location data, ahead of the release of iOS 13.

While this data gathering is nothing new, iOS 13 will make it more obvious to users by calling out apps which behave in this way. It therefore looks like Facebook is trying to get out ahead of any potential negative publicity.

State antitrust probes of Google and Facebook don’t include Apple… yet

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Fees Apple charges competitors to appear in the App Store are the target of an EU investigation.
States have launched investigations into Facebook and Google but not Apple.
Photo: rawpixel.com/Pexels CC

Separate groups of US state attorneys general are investigating Facebook and Google for antitrust violations. So far, there has been no word of AGs probing Apple.

However, that doesn’t mean the iPhone maker has escaped probes by other government bodies, both in the US and Europe.

Facebook left huge database of users’ phone numbers exposed

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facebook
Oh look! Another Facebook data leak.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A Facebook server containing hundreds of millions of users’ phone numbers was left completely exposed to potential attackers, according to a new report.

The data linked each phone number to a user’s unique Facebook ID, potentially exposing personal information that could be used against victims. Some of the records also contained the person’s name, gender and country.

Facebook and YouTube would be more profitable without advertising

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the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook would be more profitable if users paid a monthly subscription fee.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Many of our favorite applications are free because advertisers pay for them. But what if that changed? How much would you pay for Facebook or YouTube without advertising… and without these apps profiling everything about you?

A survey conducted by a market-research firm found that subscription fees people would pay for these apps would make them more profitable than they are now.

FTC hits Facebook with record $5 billion fine

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This is the largest fine in FTC history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Federal Trade Commission hit Facebook with a massive $5 billion fine Wednesday due to the social network’s lax privacy policies.

This stands as the largest fine ever dished out to a tech company by the FTC. The massive penalty eats up approximately 9% of Facebook’s total 2018 revenue.

U.S. launches huge antitrust investigation into major tech companies

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Blind survey
Are Apple and other tech companies too big?
Photo: Duncan Sinfield

Stock prices of the major U.S. stock companies all took a tumble in after-hours trading today after the U.S. Justice Department revealed that it is launching a broad antitrust investigation into tech companies.

The department has not said which companies will be investigated specifically but it’s pretty likely that Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook will be swept up in the case.

LGBTQ employees want Google kicked out of SF Pride parade

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SF pride
Apple employees marching in the SF Pride parade.
Photo: Tim Cook/Twitter

Some of Google’s LGBTQ+ employees have petitioned the San Francisco Pride board of directors to kick the search engine giant out of the SF Pride parade slated for this weekend.

The Google employees posted an open letter this morning saying they’ve spent countless hours trying to get Google to improve policies and practices regarding the treatment of LGBTQ+ persons, but the company has done nothing. Even though they might get in trouble for writing the letter, nearly 100 employees signed it, urging the parade to reject Google’s failure to act.