Uber, Yandex Ride-Sharing Services Can Merge in Russia, Regulator Rules

Uber, Yandex Ride-Sharing Services Can Merge in Russia, Regulator Rules

Uber and Yandex’s ride-sharing businesses can merge in Russia, anti-monopoly regulator FAS ruled on Friday, but stipulated that the combined company not bar drivers from working for competitors.

Uber and Yandex, often referred to as the “Google of Russia”, announced plans in July to combine operations in 127 cities in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

San Francisco-based Uber has agreed to invest $225 million (roughly Rs. 1,454 crores) while Yandex will contribute $100 million (roughly Rs. 647 crores) into a new joint company in which Yandex will own 59.3 percent.

The two companies must allow their partners, drivers and passengers to work for or use competitors’ services and fully inform users of the legal entity providing the service, the FAS said in a statement.

Yandex said consumers would be able to use both Yandex.Taxi and Uber apps, while their driver apps will be integrated, leading to shorter passenger wait times, increased driver utilisation rates, and higher service reliability.

The companies aim to close the deal in January 2018, after the New Year holidays in Russia, Yandex said in a statement.

Moscow-listed Yandex was up 3.47 percent as of 11:23am GMT.

It said the anti-monopoly regulator in Belarus had also approved the deal while a decision by the Kazakh regulator was pending.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

WhatsApp: Deleted Sent Messages Can Still Be Read by Recipients

WhatsApp: Deleted Sent Messages Can Still Be Read by Recipients

HIGHLIGHTS

  • WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone” can be thwarted
  • The new method requires third-party app, or stock widgets
  • The deleted messages can be accessed via notification log

WhatsApp, one of the most widely used instant messaging apps, rolled out “Delete for Everyone” feature recently. But do deleted messages really disappear from the phone? A new report claims that WhatsApp messages that are deleted are actually still on the device and can be easily accessed.

Spanish Android blog Android Jefe has claimed that deleted messages are present in the notification log of the device. It adds that the recipient can easily access the deleted messages regardless whether it has been deleted from sender’s end. “What we found is that the messages are stored in the notification register of the Android system. So, it’s just a matter of entering that record to see the messages that the other person deleted,” the blog said.

The blog explains that anyone can access deleted WhatsApp messages sent to them via a third-party app named Notification History which can be downloaded via Google Play. After downloading the app, users will have to search the message in the Android notification log. Those users who are using third-party launchers like Nova Launcher it’s even easier. The notification log can be accessed without the need of an additional app. Long press the home screen, then tap on Widgets > Activities > Settings > Notification log. You can then access the system’s notification log. Similarly, on stock Android, a Settings widget can give access to the notification log as well.

Gadgets 360 tried both the Notification History third-party app and the Activities method described above. discovered that the trick worked on an Android device. There are few limitations, however, as the messages that have generated a notification on the device can be retrieved. The notification log only saves the messages on the device until it’s restarted. Once restarted, we noticed that the log was cleared.

The method, however, has a restriction that only the first 100 characters of the deleted message will be visible. The feature is available only for users running Android 7.0 and above. Users can only retrieve text which means any kind of media file cannot be recovered.

This is not the first time that reports of retrieving deleted messages have surfaced. Jonathan Zdziarski, iOS expert, last year has claimed that WhatsApp saved chat logs on the device despite it being archived or deleted.

One of the biggest use cases of the Delete for Everyone feature has been when a user send a message to the wrong chat, or if the message sent contains a mistake. It is the latest feature added to WhatsApp in a long list of features introduced this year, and is biggest change to the chat app since blue ticks aka send receipts.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Warning over iPhone apps that can silently turn on cameras at any time

The new iPhone X will feature an advanced front camera that can build up 3D pictures of faces CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

Apple has been urged to change the way in which iPhone apps are granted access to the phone’s camera after a security researcher demonstrated how apps can secretly record photos and videos without the user knowing.

Felix Krause, an Austrian developer who works for Google, built an app that was able to take pictures of its user every second and upload them, without notifying the user. He called it a “privacy loophole that can be abused by iOS apps”.

When an app wants to access the camera, for example to scan a credit card or take a profile picture during the set-up process, the iPhone user must give the app permission, in the same way that apps must ask to access the camera roll, location and contacts and to send notifications. Once allowed, it has to be turned off via the settings menu.

The system is similar to the permissions required by apps on Android. Google has recently deleted several apps that surreptitiously recorded users and masqueraded as legitimate apps.

But Krause said that once an app has been granted initial access, it can take photos and videos whenever it is opened up. Unlike on Mac computers, which have a small green light next to the camera when it is being used, there is no indication that an app is recording videos or taking photos, or when it sends them elsewhere.

Facebook app permissions
App permissions are indefinite, apply to both the front and back camera, and can be used for photo and video

The iPhone’s camera app permissions do not differentiate between the phone’s front and back camera. Allowing camera permissions can grant extra access in the latest version of iOS, which has a facial recognition engine that could allow apps to detect emotions.

The permissions system is not a bug or a flaw – it works in exactly the way Apple has designed it – but Krause said malicious apps could take advantage of it to surreptitiously record users.

He demonstrated this by building an app that took a photo of the person using it every second, and which also ran a facial recognition program to detect the person using it.

He warned that other apps could monitor users’ emotions as they scroll through a social network news feed, record what they are saying, or live stream video of them in the bathroom as they tap away at a smartphone game.

Krause said Apple should introduce a system of temporary permissions – one that allows apps to take a picture during the set-up process, but revokes it after a period of time – or to introduce a warning light or notification to the iPhone that tells people when they are being recorded.

There are few examples of apps being found to secretly record users – apart from those specifically designed for this such as Stealth Cam. The practice is banned by Apple’s App Store guidelines, which state that a “reasonably conspicuous audio, visual or other indicator must be displayed to the user as part of the Application to indicate that a Recording is taking place”.

Krause claimed it would be easy to hide the behaviour, allowing it to make it through Apple’s approval process.

Facebook users have often claimed that the social network is secretly listening to their conversations in an attempt to better target adverts, something that Facebook itself has denied.

Some privacy conscious users have taken to covering up the cameras on their computers in an attempt to prevent being spied on, including Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Krause recently demonstrated how malicious apps could steal a user’s iCloud password by appearing to be an official command. The developer works at Google but says his work on security is a hobby, in no way affiliated with his employer.

Apple did not comment.

[“Source-telegraph”]