Facebook Faces Class Action Lawsuit, Legally Unlock Your Phone, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, the Apple and Beats deal is done, the duo behind @hiddencash is unmasked, @evleaks has retired, idiots call cops after Facebook goes down, and kids react badly to old typewriters.
Facebook Faces Class Action Lawsuit
I just joined the class action privacy lawsuit against Facebook. (Any money I get will be donated to @eff) Join: https://t.co/0jJdqc1EkB
— Aral Balkan (@aral) August 3, 2014
Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit which all users outside of the United States and Canada can join. Law student and privacy activist Max Schrems has launched the class action over Facebook’s lax attitude towards privacy and user data.
Specific bones of contention include automatically forcing users to opt-in to new features and tracking users around the Web thanks to the Like button. European users can join the class action at FBclaim.com, with damages of €500 per user being sought.
As reported by Wired, Schrems has been battling Facebook for several years and has forced the company to make policy changes on several occasions. Unfortunately, Irish regulators (Facebook Europe is headquartered in Dublin) seem reluctant to act against the company in any big way. Perhaps they’re scared the tech giant will take their business elsewhere.
Americans Win Right To Unlock Phones
On Friday, President Obama signed a cellphone unlocking bill into law. It’s totally legal to unlock your phone, yay. http://t.co/lODklcss6N
— Boing Boing (@BoingBoing) August 2, 2014
American citizens finally have the right to unlock their cellphones so that they can be used on any network. On Friday (Aug. 1) President Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law.
This restores the previous exemption to copyright laws allowing customers to modify their phone’s firmware. Unfortunately, as reported by The Verge, this isn’t an end to the issue, as the exemption is still considered temporary and therefore liable to being overturned in the future.
Still, let’s not pour cold water on what is surely a victory for common sense and the rights of consumers to do what they want with their own gadgets .
Bizarre Ad Celebrates Apple & Beats Deal
Apple’s acquisition of Beats, which was first leaked in early May before being confirmed a few weeks later , has been finalized. To celebrate, an ad has been released showing those insipid Beats mascots being talked down to by an omniscient Siri. Which may just be the perfect analogy for the new Apple and Beats relationship.
The Duo Behind @HiddenCash Is Revealed
— Hidden Cash (@HiddenCash) August 3, 2014
The identities of the people behind Twitter account @HiddenCash have been revealed, with TechCrunch getting the scoop. @HiddenCash made headlines in May for hiding cash in locations across the U.S. and tweeting clues concerning its whereabouts.
The duo responsible are Yan Budman and Jason Buzi, longtime friends who concocted the plan to give away money to strangers after Buzi made a killing from a business deal. There are now hundreds of similar Twitter accounts following the same model, with the idea being to pay it forward. There may also be a TV show in the works.
This may not solve the problem of income inequality, but doing something is surely better than doing nothing.
Evan Blass AKA @evleaks Has Retired
All good things must come to an end. Thank you for an amazing two years. [RETIREMENT]
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 3, 2014
Infamous smartphone leaker @evleaks has retired, announcing it via Twitter. @evleaks is actually former Engadget writer Evan Blass, who used his industry contacts to leak information and images about forthcoming products. Blass explained his reasons for retiring to The Next Web; monetizing a Twitter account is nigh-on impossible, so he’s planning to start a new career.
Let’s just hope someone else steps into the fray, even if it means potentially making enemies at Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, HTC, LG and others.
Facebook Downtime Prompts 911 Calls
#Facebook is not a Law Enforcement issue, please don’t call us about it being down, we don’t know when FB will be back up!
— Sgt. Brink (@LASDBrink) August 1, 2014
Facebook went down for around an hour on Friday (Aug. 1) leading some absolute morons to phone 911 seeking an explanation. The calls prompted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to tweet a request that people stop wasting police time asking when Facebook will be back online . I’m not sure there are sufficient words to condemn such stupidity.
Dumb Kids React Badly To Old Typewriters
And finally, we have further proof that the youth of today really don’t understand how lucky they are to be living in a time of computers, tablets, and smartphones. Show them an old typewriter and they cannot get their heads around the ancient font, the need for Wite-Out, or the ding that tells you to start a new line. Moan moan, stupid kids, moan moan.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Does the class action lawsuit against Facebook have any merit? What’s your reaction to the U.S. finally legalizing the unlocking of phones? Do you still use an old typewriter?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
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