Tech Digest daily roundup: Zoom reaches $85m settlement in privacy lawsuit


Video-conferencing company Zoom, which became a household name during the coronavirus pandemic, has reached an $85m (£61m) settlement in the US. A class-action lawsuit accused the company of a series of privacy breaches by sharing millions of users’ data with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. It also alleged Zoom had misled users by claiming to offer end-to-end encryption in its video calls, and failed to implement enough security to prevent so-called “zoombombing” incidents. Last May, the UK’s National Crime Agency said it was investigating more than 120 cases in which Zoom calls were hijacked with images of child sexual exploitation. That announcement followed an incident in which children taking part in a fitness class on Zoom were left horrified when someone streamed similar abuse footage to their session. Zoom has denied any wrongdoing in reaching the settlement but has agreed to boost security practices. Sky News 

There has been a serious and systemic failure to tackle antisemitism across the five biggest social media platforms, resulting in a “safe space for racists”, according to a new report. FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and TikTok failed to act on 84% of posts spreading anti-Jewish hatred and propaganda reported via the platforms’ official complaints system. Researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), a UK/US non-profit organisation, flagged hundreds of antisemitic posts over a six-week period earlier this year. The posts, including Nazi, neo-Nazi and white supremacist content, received up to 7.3 million impressions. Although each of the 714 posts clearly violated the platforms’ policies, fewer than one in six were removed or had the associated accounts deleted after being pointed out to moderators. Guardian 

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s digital payments platform Square has agreed to take over the Australian ‘buy now, pay later’ firm Afterpay. The $29bn (A$39bn; £21bn) deal is set to be Australia’s biggest-ever buyout. The offer is a more than 30% premium to Afterpay’s stock market closing price on Friday. The agreement will create an instalments payment giant as the industry sees significant growth. “Square and Afterpay have a shared purpose. We built our business to make the financial system more fair, accessible, and inclusive, and Afterpay has built a trusted brand aligned with those principles,” Square co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey said in a statement. BBC 

Almost two million more premises across rural parts of England will be plugged into superfast internet as part of the Government’s £5 billion gigabit upgrade plan. The Culture Secretary has announced that a further 1.85 million additional premises across 26 English counties will get access to gigabit-speed internet, equivalent to 1,000 megabits per second. It comes after the first areas to benefit from the multibillion-pound broadband upgrade – a key part of the Prime Minister’s so-called levelling up agenda – were revealed in March, including Cornwall, Cumbria, Essex and Northumberland. Yahoo!

Banks are widening their crackdown on digital currencies with Monzo banning payments to Gemini, the US cryptocurrency exchange founded by the billionaire Winklevoss twins. Gemini, which is worth about $2bn (£1.4bn), has been blocked by the challenger bank since July 21. The block on Gemini payments, one of the few cryptocurrency firms registered to conduct business in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), comes as banks tighten up their controls on digital coin companies. Telegraph 


Chris Price
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