Technology News

The Privacy Trade-Offs of Cheap Android Smartphones

(7 days ago)
Fast Company highlights some of the "privacy nightmares" surrounding low-cost Android smartphones, which can be very attractive for those on a tight budget. One example is the MYA2 MyPhone: According to an analysis by the advocacy group Privacy International, a $17 Android smartphone called MYA2 MyPhone, which was launched in December 2017, has a host of privacy problems that make its owner vulnerable to hackers and to data-hungry tech companies. First, it comes with an outdated version of Android with known security vulnerabilities that can't be updated or patched. The MYA2 also has apps that can't be updated or deleted, and those apps contain multiple security and privacy flaws. One of those pre-installed apps that can't be removed, Facebook Lite, gets default permission to track everywhere you go, upload all your contacts, and read your phone's calendar. The fact that Facebook Lite can't be removed is especially worrying because the app suffered a major privacy snafu earlier this year when hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users had their passwords exposed. Philippines-based MyPhone said the specs of the MYA2 limited it to shipping the phone with Android 6.0, and since then it says it has "lost access and support to update the apps we have pre-installed" with the device. Given that the MYA2 phone, like many low-cost Android smartphones, runs outdated versions of the Android OS and can't be updated due to their hardware limitations, users of such phones are limited to[..]

Facebook the focus of U.S. Justice Dept and state AGs meeting

(7 days ago)
U.S. state attorneys general investigating Facebook Inc for alleged anti-competitive practices met on Monday with officials of the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

Hulu Finally Adds Downloads For Offline Mobile Viewing

(7 days ago)
Hulu is finally allowing users to download TV shows and movies to their mobile devices to watch without an internet connection. Variety reports: The download feature, which has been several years in the works, gives Hulu subscribers on the $11.99 no-commercials plan the ability to download tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies. It's not available to customers who have the entry-level $5.99-per-month package with ads. For now, it's available only on Hulu's iOS app for Apple devices. The company says the feature will be coming to the Android app "soon." The majority of Hulu's catalog, which includes some 85,000 total TV episodes, is available for offline viewing. That includes most Hulu originals, including full seasons of "The Handmaid's Tale," "Veronica Mars," "Shrill" and "The Act" as well as licensed content including "Family Guy," "Desperate Housewives," "This Is Us," "How I Met Your Mother" and "ER." A Hulu rep would not specify how much content is available to download for offline viewing, or spell out which TV shows or movies aren't included. The reason some content is excluded is that some of Hulu's past deals did not contemplate download rights. According to Hulu, customers can download a maximum of 25 titles across five different devices. Downloads are available for up to 30 days; they will expire two days after a user starts playback. After downloaded content expires, viewers can renew an expired download when they're connected online (assuming the content is[..]

Facebook the focus of U.S. Justice Dept and state AGs meeting

(7 days ago)
U.S. state attorneys general investigating Facebook Inc for alleged anti-competitive practices met on Monday with officials of the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
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