Tech Digest daily roundup: Facebook to test end-to-end encryption as default


Facebook announced on Thursday it will begin testing end-to-end encryption as the default option for some users of its Messenger app on Android and iOS. The development comes as the company is facing backlash for handing over messages to a Nebraska police department that aided the department in filing charges against a teen and her mother for allegedly conducting an illegal abortion. Facebook Messenger users currently have to opt in to make their messages end-to-end encrypted (E2E), a mechanism that theoretically allows only the sender and recipient of a message to access its content. Guardian

If you visit a website you see on Facebook and Instagram, you’ve likely noticed that you’re not redirected to your browser of choice but rather a custom in-app browser. It turns out that those browsers inject javascript code into each website visited, allowing parent Meta to potentially track you across websites, researcher Felix Krause has discovered.  “The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them [to] monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” Krause said in a blog post. Engadget

A cyber-attack on a major IT provider of the NHS has been confirmed as a ransomware attack. Advanced, which provides digital services like patient check-in and NHS 111, says it may take three to four weeks to fully recover. Ransomware hackers take control of IT systems, steal data and demand a payment from victims to recover. The NHS insists that disruption is minimal, but Advanced would not say whether NHS data had been stolen. The Birmingham-based firm says it first spotted the hack at 07:00 BST on 4 August and immediately took steps to contain the hackers. It is now working to restore services. BBC 

This year’s foldable smartphones from Samsung, although looking very similar to their last year’s counterparts, bring a number of upgrades and slightly changed screens. And the company is trying to convince us that the foldables are not just the devices of the future, they are the reality now. And they make a good case with the new repair costs. One of the biggest concerns of users is the fragile bendable display that is extremely costly to replace. 

With Samsung Care+ you can fix the Galaxy Z Fold4 or Z Flip4's screen for $29

Last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3 or Flip3 would set you back $249 for an out-of-warranty screen repair. And that’s with Samsung’s Care+ subscription plan, otherwise the price would be comparable to the worth of a used phone. This year, however, the company is lowering the cost significantly and is now just $29, even if you are on the lowest Samsung Care+ tier for $11 per month. GSM Arena 

A Facebook chatbot has branded Mark Zuckerberg “creepy” and claimed that the business exploits social media users for money in a series of conversations with journalists. BlenderBot 3, an artificial intelligence program built by Facebook’s parent company Meta to answer questions from users, said that Mr Zuckerberg makes it feel “concerned” about the future of the US. Asked by the BBC about the billionaire Meta founder, it said: “Our country is divided, and he didn’t help with that at all. “His company exploits people for money and he doesn’t care. It needs to stop!” Telegraph 


Chris Price
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