Mobile apps may or may not be collecting your child’s data—but here’s why you should assume they are

This week two democratic senators are calling on federal regulators to investigate if children’s apps are tracking their data.

Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter on Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission, writing they are concerned that numerous apps are potentially violating the law.

Without explicit parental consent, it is illegal to collect data on children under the age of 13 according to the Children Online Privacy Protection Act, which went into effect in 2000.

This comes after last month when the New Mexico Attorney Generalsued the maker of app Fun Kid Racing, as well as the online ad businesses run by Google, Twitter and three other companies.

The suit accused the companies of violating the law, and that Google misled parents by allowing apps to remain in its Google Play store children’s section after it was notified by researchers that thousands of apps may be tracking young children.

“The problem is this – we don’t know where the onus lies,” New York Times reporter Edmund Lee told CNBC’s “On the Money” in an interview.

Lee says the law isn’t clear on whether it should be the platform such as Google or Apple to make sure the apps in their stores are complying with the law, whether it’s up to the game developer or if it should be up to the third party data firm tracking the data.

“So there’s a whole system in place that everyone keeps passing the buck and there’s no case law yet,” says Lee. “Even the legislation – it’s not entirely clear who is ultimately responsible.”

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So what should a parent do if they are concerned their child is being tracked?

Lee says, “You should just assume it’s going to happen you should assume you’re going to be tracked.”

“Right now it’s the ‘Wild West’ there are very few protections, few sort of places of enforcement around it, and that’s why it’s hard as a parent and as a kid to navigate,” he added.

However, Lee notes most of these are harmless games, and the tracking data is used for advertising purposes, which is how these companies make money.

For parents worried about their child’s privacy – Lee says he tells his own daughter to keep her communication online only with people she knows.

“You’re not going to be able to look and know every single piece of data that’s being floated out there until there’s legislation and case law in place. But in the meantime make sure you know who your kid is talking to and it shouldn’t be strangers and it shouldn’t be someone they just met online.”

[“source=businessinsider”]

Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

Xiaomi Mi 7 and 8th Anniversary Edition Phone Tipped to Launch in May; May Be Called Mi 8 Instead

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mi 7 and 8th-anniversary edition smartphones expected
  • Xiaomi may unveil Mi 8 to align with its anniversary
  • New smartphone may have 3D facial sensing

Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi is expected to launch the successor to its premium Mi 6 smartphone this year. Xiaomi fans were expecting a Mi 7 handset to be launched at MWC 2018, but that did not happen, and the company went on to unveil the Mi Mix 2S in March. However, the latest leaks suggest that Xiaomi will launch the smartphone later this month. Interestingly, reports also suggest that the company either launch two smartphones this year or will reportedly skip its Mi 7 branding to go for just Mi 8.

As per a MyDrivers report, Xiaomi will launch two handsets in May 2018. While one of them is said to be the Xiaomi Mi 7, the other is said to be the firm’s 8th-anniversary edition. The leak claims that the special edition will be the highlight of the launch event. The new smartphone dubbed as the 8th Anniversary Edition phone is rumoured to be unveiled by the end of this month, and it may come with 3D facial recognition feature like the one present in Apple iPhone X. According to the report, it will be the first Android smarphone to feature 3D facial recognition. Similar to the Mi 7, Xiaomi’s 8th Anniversary Edition phone is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 845 coupled with 8 GB of RAM.

Coming to the nomenclature, Mocha RQ, a blogger in China wrote on microblogging site Weibo that Xiaomi will skip the Mi 7 name in favour of Mi 8. Chinese firms are usually obsessed with numbers. It is reminiscent of the time when another Chinese manufacturer OnePlus had skipped a OnePlus 4 smartphone because the number ‘4’ is considered unlucky in China. The blogger explained that Xiaomi wants the name to align with its 8th anniversary. Also, the blogger added that the handset will be announced in May this year.

To recall, another report in April claimed that Xiaomi may, in fact, be one of the first brands to unveil a handset with 3D facial sensing with the launch of the latest Mi flagship. The report had also claimed that Xiaomi’s plans to launch the smartphone with a Snapdragon 845 SoC in the first quarter this year have been delayed. Instead, the smartphone might see an unveiling after the third quarter.

In terms of specifications, the company CEO has already hinted that the Mi 7 will come with an under-display fingerprint sensor. Additionally, reports have suggested that the phone will come with 6GB RAM and Android 8.0.0 Oreo.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia 6 (2018) 4GB model India launch set for May 13

Image result for Nokia 6 (2018) 4GB model India launch set for May 13

The 4GB RAM variant of the Nokia 6 (2018)/Nokia 6.1 is all set for launch in India later this week. Sales will open May 13, with Amazon India being the exclusive retail partner.

While there’s no confirmation on pricing yet, rumors say the model will set you back around INR 18,999 ($280). For comparison, this is INR 2,000 ($30) more than what the 3GB RAM model costs.

[“Source-gsmarena”]

Theresa May defeats bid to make her launch part two of Leveson inquiry

Brian Leveson wrote to the government earlier this year insisting the second phase of his inquiry should be ‘commenced as soon as possible’. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

The government has narrowly defeated a Labour bid to force it to launch the second phase of the Leveson inquiry into press behaviour.

MPs were voting on an amendment to the data protection bill tabled by the former Labour leader Ed Miliband. The government won the vote by 304 votes to 295, a majority of nine.

The Conservative manifesto for last year’s general election said Theresa May’s government would not proceed with the second stage of Leveson. During a two-hour debate on Wednesday, the culture secretary, Matt Hancock, said it would be the wrong way of tackling the most pressing questions facing the media industry.

He praised the low-cost arbitration system for victims of press intrusion set up by the Independent Press Standards Organisation). Ipso is voluntary, and not officially recognised.

“I am determined that we have a system that is strengthened so that we have recourse to justice when things go wrong,” he said. “The choice isn’t between doing something, and nothing. It is between doing something, and something better.”

Sir Brian Leveson was appointed in July 2011 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World, and spent many months examining witnesses, ultimately reporting in November 2012.

When the inquiry was launched, a second phase was envisaged, which would cover cases under criminal investigation when phase one was carried out. Leveson wrote to the government earlier this year insisting he believed the second phase of his inquiry should be “commenced as soon as possible”. Ed Miliband attacks government’s axing of new Leveson inquiry – video

The shadow media secretary, Tom Watson, opted not to press for a vote on a separate amendment he had tabled, aimed at forcing the government to trigger section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act of 2013.

Passed in the wake of Leveson, section 40 would impose punitive legal costs on English media organisations that refused to sign up to an officially recognised press regulator. At present, the only such regulator is Impress.

Hancock robustly rejected the idea of implementing section 40, warning that it would accelerate the decline of local newspapers and undermine investigative reporting.

Allies of Watson said he had dropped his bid to force a vote on the issue when it became clear that the SNP would abstain – but some Labour MPs had also expressed concerns.

Miliband, who tabled the Leveson 2 amendment, gave an angry speech, accusing the Conservatives of abandoning promises made to the victims of the phone-hacking scandal by him and his then fellow leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

“No ifs, no buts, no maybes. A clear promise. And a promise to victims of the press. And here we are today, and we have the government saying: ‘Let’s dump this promise, it’s too expensive, it’s a distraction.’ How dare they! How dare they, to the McCanns, the Dowlers, all those other victims … I say to members across the house, whatever party they are in, this is about our honour. This is a matter of honour about the promise we made,” he said.

“We said to them that this time it will be different, this time we won’t flinch, I promise you we will see this process through.”

Labour’s Liam Byrne said: “If we have learned one thing from the last 10 to 12 years, whether it is the expenses scandal, whether it is Hillsborough, whether it is Orgreave: it is never the right thing to look at a scandal and decide it is too expensive, or we’re too busy, to get to the bottom of what happened. And that is the core of the argument to let Brian Leveson finish his job.”

The veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke pointed out to Hancock that both of them had served in the previous Tory government, which promised to carry out Leveson 2. He accused his colleagues of “currying favour with newspaper proprietors and editors”.

“Why is he cancelling a previously promised inquiry? What on earth is the reason for stopping investigations into the kind of thing we are talking about? No one else would stop investigations like this into any other body in this country,” Clarke said.

Hancock insisted the Leveson inquiry had been a “thorough and diligent examination” of the activities of the press. “The inquiry was followed by three major police investigations leading to more than 40 convictions,” he said.

Hancock sparked anger on Labour benches by announcing that the government had ordered a review into the compliance of the media in Northern Ireland with new media rules, in an apparent concession to the DUP.

The government relies on the votes of the DUP’s MPs to secure a majority, and the DUP’s Ian Paisley described the review as “Leveson for Northern Ireland”.

Miliband asked: “Why can there be a Leveson for NI and not for the rest of the UK?”

[“Source-theguardian”]