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    Hackers stole ancestry data of 6.9 million users, 23andMe finally confirmed / ArsTechnica · 7 days ago - 22:48

Hackers stole ancestry data of 6.9 million users, 23andMe finally confirmed

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg )

It's now been confirmed that an additional 6.9 million 23andMe users had ancestry data stolen after hackers accessed thousands of accounts by likely reusing previously leaked passwords.

This is a much larger number of accounts than 23andMe previously disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing , which estimated that 0.1 percent of users—approximately 14,000, TechCrunch estimated —had accounts accessed by hackers using compromised passwords.

After the cyberattack was reported, Wired estimated that "at least a million data points from 23andMe accounts" that were "exclusively about Ashkenazi Jews" and data points from "hundreds of thousands of users of Chinese descent" seemed to be exposed. But beyond those estimates, for two months, all the public knew was that 23andMe's filing noted that “a significant number of files containing profile information about other users’ ancestry" were also accessed.

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    Judge: Amazon “cannot claim shock” that bathroom spycams were used as advertised / ArsTechnica · 7 days ago - 20:16

Judge: Amazon “cannot claim shock” that bathroom spycams were used as advertised

Enlarge (credit: zhihao | Moment )

After a spy camera designed to look like a towel hook was purchased on Amazon and illegally used for months to capture photos of a minor in her private bathroom, Amazon was sued.

The plaintiff—a former Brazilian foreign exchange student then living in West Virginia—argued that Amazon had inspected the camera three times and its safety team had failed to prevent allegedly severe, foreseeable harms still affecting her today.

Amazon hoped the court would dismiss the suit, arguing that the platform wasn't responsible for the alleged criminal conduct harming the minor. But after nearly eight months deliberating, a judge recently largely denied the tech giant's motion to dismiss.

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    25M homes will lose broadband discounts if Congress keeps stalling, FCC warns / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 21:34

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sitting at a table while answering questions at a Congressional hearing.

Enlarge / Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel during a House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee hearing on March 31, 2022, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Kevin Dietsch )

A federal program that provides $30 monthly broadband discounts to people with low incomes is expected to run out of money in April 2023, potentially taking affordable Internet service plans away from well over 20 million households.

For months, supporters of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) have been pushing Congress to give the Federal Communications Commission more funding for the program. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel urged lawmakers to act yesterday during a House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing .

In an opening statement , Rosenworcel said the ACP is providing discounts for over 22 million households. The FCC expects that number to reach 25 million by April, when the program would run out of money.

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    X advertisers stay away as CEO defends Musk’s “go f*** yourself” interview / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 16:33

X CEO Linda Yaccarino sits in a chair while speaking onstage during a conference.

Enlarge / X CEO Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference on September 27, 2023 in Dana Point, California. (credit: Getty Images | Jerod Harris )

X CEO Linda Yaccarino called owner Elon Musk "candid and profound" in a memo to staff addressing the public interview in which Musk told advertisers to "go fuck yourself."

"Elon's interview was candid and profound," Yaccarino wrote in a memo to employees of X (formerly Twitter) yesterday. "He shared an unmatched and completely unvarnished perspective and vision for the future. If you haven't watched it, please take the time to absorb the magnitude and importance of what we're all a part of."

Yaccarino was referring to Musk's on-stage interview at The New York Times' DealBook Summit on Wednesday. Musk spoke about two weeks after he posted a favorable response to an antisemitic tweet, causing an advertiser backlash that added to X's already significant financial struggles .

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    Montana’s TikTok ban blocked by federal judge / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 14:35

Montana’s TikTok ban blocked by federal judge

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg )

A federal judge has stopped a US state’s landmark ban on TikTok from going into effect, in an important test case for the widespread political backlash that has grown in the country against the Chinese-owned video-sharing app.

Montana’s Senate Bill 419, which was signed by the state’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, in May, would have gone into effect in January and imposed a ban on downloads of the app.

On Thursday, Judge Donald Molloy granted TikTok’s request for a preliminary injunction after the ByteDance-owned app challenged the legislation in court, denouncing it as an unconstitutional infringement of its rights. Some users of the app also joined the legal challenge.

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    New chip-packaging facility could save TSMC’s Arizona fab from “paperweight” status / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 19:25 · 1 minute

Apple wants to build more of its A- and M-series chips in the United States.

Enlarge / Apple wants to build more of its A- and M-series chips in the United States. (credit: Apple)

Late last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company would definitely be buying chips made at Taiwan Semiconductor's new Arizona-based fab once it had opened. Apple working with TSMC isn't new; most, if not all, of the processors currently sold in Apple's products are made on one of TSMC's many manufacturing nodes. But being able to buy them from a US-based facility would be a first.

The issue, as outlined by some TSMC employees speaking to The Information in September , is that the Arizona facility would manufacture chips, but it wouldn't be building a facility to handle packaging. And without packaging, the Arizona factory would essentially be a "paperweight," requiring any chips made there to be shipped to Taiwan for assembly before they could be put in any products.

Today Apple announced that it had solved that particular problem, partnering with a company called Amkor to handle chip packaging in Arizona. Amkor says that it will invest $2 billion to build the facility, which will "employ approximately 2,000 people" and "is targeted to be ready for production within the next two to three years." Apple says that it has already worked with Amkor on chip packaging for "more than a decade."

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    Meta sues FTC, hoping to block ban on monetizing kids’ Facebook data / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 18:50

Photo illustration in which the Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a Meta logo

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Chesnot)

Meta sued the Federal Trade Commission yesterday in a lawsuit that challenges the FTC's authority to impose new privacy obligations on the social media firm.

The complaint stems from the FTC's May 2023 allegation that Meta-owned Facebook violated a 2020 privacy settlement and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC proposed changes to the 2020 privacy order that would, among other things, prohibit Facebook from monetizing data it collects from users under 18.

Meta's lawsuit against the FTC challenges what it calls "the structurally unconstitutional authority exercised by the FTC through its Commissioners in an administrative reopening proceeding against Meta." It was filed against the FTC, Chair Lina Khan, and other commissioners in US District Court for the District of Columbia. Meta is seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the FTC proceeding pending resolution of the lawsuit.

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    Meta’s “overpriced” ad-free subscriptions make privacy a “luxury good”: EU suit / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 18:37

Meta’s “overpriced” ad-free subscriptions make privacy a “luxury good”: EU suit

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto / Contributor | NurPhoto )

Backlash over Meta's ad-free subscription model in the European Union has begun just one month into its launch.

On Thursday, Europe's largest consumer group, the European Consumer Organization (BEUC), filed a complaint with the network of consumer protection authorities. In a press release , BEUC alleges that Meta's subscription fees for ad-free access to Facebook and Instagram are so unreasonably high that they breach laws designed to protect user privacy as a fundamental right.

"Meta has been rolling out changes to its service in the EU in November 2023, which require Facebook and Instagram users to either consent to the processing of their data for advertising purposes by the company or pay in order not to be shown advertisements," BEUC's press release said. "The tech giant’s pay-or-consent approach is unfair and must be stopped."

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