10 things in tech you need to know today

The iPhone X.

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The iPhone X.
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Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

1. Europe’s strict new privacy law went into effect on Thursday, and privacy activist Max Schrems immediately filed lawsuits against Facebook and Google for contravening the new rules. Schrems said their take-it-or-leave it approach to consent was “totally against the law.”

2. Big tech lobbying groups are trying to defang Europe’s next upcoming privacy legislation, the ePrivacy law, claiming it will stifle innovation. ePrivacy will mean online services will have to ask people’s permission before placing tracking codes on their devices, or collecting data about their communications.

3. The US federal watchdog is investigating Intel over claims it laid off employees in 2016 based on their age. Intel made a series of cuts that resulted in around 10,000 employees losing their jobs.

4. Spotify is to reinstate controversial musician XXXTentacian to its playlists, after removing him for violating its hate policy. The new policy provoked major industry backlash, and Spotify is u-turning despite XXXTentacian being charged with battering a pregnant woman.

5. Instagram tracks exactly how users scroll and tap inside its app. The company said in its privacy policy that monitoring the way humans behave inside its app allows it to combat bot accounts.

6. Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia has infuriated regulators, who feel the company created an illegal monopoly by selling to its biggest local rival, Grab. Some regulators said Uber had reneged on a deal to inform them about any possible sale, something Uber has denied.

7. Cryptocurrency trading platform Taylor has lost around $1.5 million in Ethereum after an external hack. The company, which recently completed an ICO, said the attacker “got access to our devices.”

8. Apple might be switching all its new iPhones for 2018 to OLED technology, the bright screen used for the iPhone X. One Apple LCD supplier, Japan Display, fell on the rumour.

9. Bitcoin miners are taking advantage of central Washington’s super-cheap electricity prices, leaving public utilities providers asking whether they can keep up. Utilities are built to cope with slow, rising demand, whereas bitcoin mining is characterised by spikes and volatality.

10. Amazon’s Alexa tracking people’s private conversations and sending them to random friends might not be much to worry about, according to one analysis. Security expert Daniel Miessler pointed out that it was Amazon’s equivalent of a butt dial.