Facebook Merging Instagram & Messenger Chats; ICE Deals With Clearview AI; ZTE Teases Notchless Phone; Musk- 2 Factor ID Coming to Tesla App

As part of a previously-announced plan, Facebook has started merging Instagram chats with Facebook Messenger chats. 9to5mac.com reports that eventually, WhatsApp messaging will also be rolled into the expanded Messenger. Instagram users are now being notified to join their accounts with Messenger. The colorful chats, reactions with any emoji, and swiping to reply to individual messages will become available to Messenger users. For now, the merge is optional, but expect that option to be taken away before too long. WhatsApp staffers have warned about the integration for a while now, noting that WhatsApp’s strong encryption may be lost in the merge with Messenger and Instagram.

Controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI has signed a deal with ICE. According to businessinsider.com, the company that is notorious for scraping photos from social media to be used by their software in identifying photos uploaded to their system for comparison and identification. The deal is worth $224,000. ICE had already been using facial recognition to carry out raids of undocumented immigrants. They had already accessed state drivers’ license database to add to their facial recognition capabilities. A bill currently in Congress, introduced by Democrats in June, would ban law enforcement agencies like ICE from using facial recognition. Fifteen lawmakers have signaled support for the bill so far.

While some users don’t seem super bothered with the dreaded ‘camera notch’ or ‘hole punch’ for cameras on their smartphone screens, the tech press has been obsessed with them for several years. A holy grail of sorts has been an under display front cam that doesn’t mar the use of your precious screen space. Cnet.com says that ZTE has teased the release of their new Axon 20 5G smartphone in China on September 1st. It will be the first phone mass-produced with an under-display front cam. Several other makers have been working on this tech, including Chinese competitor Xiaomi. Otherwise, the handset will have a 6.92 inch OLED screen, and 4120 mAh battery. The under-screen front cam is 32 megapixels, and there are 4 rear cameras…64, 8, and a pair of 2 megapixel lenses. No word yet on pricing. We may not see the phone in the states, as the Trump administration has deemed ZTE a security threat like they have with Huawei.

In a Tweet, Elon Musk said two factor authentication is coming to the Tesla app, saying “Sorry, this is embarrassingly late.” According to techcrunch.com, Musk first promised the beefed up security in May of 2019, then again in April this year. Musk says two factor is going through final validation right now, and will work through sms message or an authenticator app. As both methods wee mentioned, it isn’t known yet if Tesla will use the sms type…which CAN be intercepted, or the more robust authenticator app system.


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