UK backs Apple’s CSAM plans, offers rewards for new safety measures

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UK backs Apple CSAM plan
Home Secretary Priti Patel wants tech firms to step up and be responsible for child safety.
Photo: Number 10 CC

The U.K. government has backed Apple’s plan to scan user photos for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and is offering rewards of up to £85,000 ($117,600) to other technology firms who can develop new tools to keep children safe.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who this week announced the Safety Tech Challenge Fund, called on “Big Tech” to take responsibility for public safety and find ways to monitor online platforms protected by encryption.

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App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
Government agencies in the EU and UK are looking into whether the iPhone App Store violates their antitrust laws.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

Phone operators in the UK won’t be allowed to sell locked handsets from 2021

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Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Locking phones to one carrier made it tougher for customers to switch.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Mobile phone operators in the United Kingdom will be banned from selling locked handsets from December 2021. This will stop companies from selling phones or other devices that are locked to one network and can only be unlocked for a fee.

Telecoms regular Ofcom first suggested the ban in December 2019, although it has only been made official today. This should make it easier for customers to switch networks if they wish.

Disney+ racks up 5 million downloads on launch day in Europe

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disney.plus.uk.2
Disney+ has finally landed in the UK.
Photo: Apple

The Disney+ mobile app is off to a roaring start in Europe and the UK just days after it launched earlier this week.

Third-party app analytics firm App Annie revealed that the Disney+ app has been downloaded over 5 million times on launch day, possibly thanks to millions of residents having to shelter-in-place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Brits and Aussies can enjoy hundreds of publications with Apple News+

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Apple News+ in Australia
Another email you didn't want.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s subscription news service just debuted in the UK and Australia, with access to a range of local and international newspapers and magazines for a single monthly fee.

News+ includes offerings like The Times (UK) and The Daily Telegraph (AU). There’s Cosmopolitan UK, Australian Men’s Health and many more.

Apple is named the U.K.’s best tech employer

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Apple is the U.K.'s top tech employer.
Apple employs some 6,500 people in the U.K.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s home town might be Cupertino, but Apple is a truly global company, circa 2019. (And it has been for years, too.) The latest evidence of this is a ranking of the top tech companies to work for in the U.K. Apple came in at number one on the list.

Apple employs some 6,500 people in the U.K. In capital city London alone it employs 2,500 people. Overall, Apple has around 132,000 full-time employees worldwide.

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Apple removes 17 malware apps which secretly clicked on ads
Censorship or common sense? Expect to see this issue heavily debated.
Photo: Apple

iPhone’s Health app helps solve UK murder

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A marathon runner's dashboard setup in the Health app.
The Health app can be a valuable tool for police too.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

A UK pharmacist’s attempt to collect more than $2.5 million in life insurance after murdering his wife was thwarted by Apple’s Health app for iOS.

Mitesh Patel strangled his wife, Jessica after five years of planning her murder, according to police. He attempted to make the entire murder look like a break in, but when authorities accessed the Health app on his iPhone and the one on his wife’s iPhone, the data told a completely different story.