Bytes: What’s new in tech
Facebook vs. video clickbait
“Ever gotten tricked into clicking a fake Play button on Facebook that opens a link instead of starting a video?” asked Josh Constine in TechCrunch.com. The social network is cracking down on such posts as part of its ongoing campaign against clickbait, including fake Play buttons and videos that are actually static images uploaded as a video file. Spammers have been trying to take advantage of Facebook’s increased emphasis on video by tricking people into clicking on their content. But the company says that publishers using these tactics will now “see a major decrease in the distribution of these stories.” However, Facebook won’t delete such posts entirely unless they violate other policies.
Android cameras are getting smarter
Your next Android smartphone camera could have some impressive new features, said Chaim Gartenberg in TheVerge.com. Though the first devices using Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon processor aren’t expected to ship until next year, the chipmaker has already begun testing the new technology’s capabilities. Android device makers will be able to easily add features like iris scanning and advanced depth sensing (used for augmented and virtual reality) to their products. “While many of these technologies have existed before on smaller scales, it’s the fact that Qualcomm is making them off-the-shelf options for anyone using the next-generation Snapdragon chip that makes this so exciting.” Eye scanners, which are already used to unlock phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, should become more widespread.
Uber agrees to privacy audits
“Uber was so sloppy with your data” that it will be atoning for the next two decades, said Emma Hinchliffe in Mashable.com. The ride-hailing giant has agreed to undergo privacy and security audits every two years until 2037 as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it failed to protect its customers’ personal data. The allegations go back to November 2014, when it was reported that Uber employees were using a secret “God View” mode to stalk customers, including ex-girlfriends, politicians, and even Beyoncé. Uber later developed a system that monitored its employees’ access to customer data, but stopped using it a year later, according to the FTC. The agency also faulted Uber for a massive hack in May 2014 that exposed the personal information of about 100,000 of the company’s drivers. ■