TikTok Collecting Biometrics; Facebook-Trump & Politicians; Air Tags Update; Cops Can’t Get Ring Video Privately Now

A change to TikTok’s U.S. privacy policy has introduced a new section that says the social video app “may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information” from its users’ content. Techcrunch.com reports that this includes things like “faceprints and voiceprints”. They are claiming they will ask permission first.  While that may sound creepy, other social networks do object recognition on images you upload to power accessibility features, as well as for ad targeting purposes. Yeah..it’s still creepy.  

You have no doubt heard that Donald Trump is now suspended for 2 years from Facebook and Instagram. In addition to that, Facebook is also ending its controversial policy that mostly shields politicians from the content moderation rules that apply to other users, a sharp reversal that could have global ramifications for how elected officials use the social network. Theverge.com reports that the Facebook Oversight Board decided the “same rules should apply to all users.” Facebook is also set to begin disclosing when it uses a special newsworthiness exemption to keep up content from politicians and others that would otherwise violate its rules. 

Apple’s AirTag tracker discs are getting a firmware update to prevent them from being used to track unsuspecting third-parties (in other words, stalkers and exes.) According to cnet.com, existing AirTags will be updated automatically when in range of an internet-connected iPhone. Apple will cut the time before the tags away from the owner start to beep from 3 days to 8 to 24 hours. To further reassure people about its AirTags,  Apple also announced that it is working on an app for Android devices. That should be out by the end of the year. 

In an effort to lessen concerns about privacy and civil liberties, Amazon will require police departments seeking Ring doorbell video data to make public requests for the information in the open user portal and not anymore as private inquiries to individuals who possess the footage. Geekwire.com notes that an estimated 2,000 police departments across the country contract with Ring and the Neighbors app to get access to footage gathered by millions of the popular camera doorbells. 


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