Alphabet Misses Q1 Earnings, Fitbit Gets Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications; Fidelity Will Allow Bitcoin in 401(k)s; Leak-Facebook Has Little Insight re How User Data Handled

Alphabet whiffed as far as first quarter earnings, as noted in their earnings call yesterday. According to androidcentral.com, They hauled in $68.01 billion in revenue, which is under the $68.11 they were projected to hit. They were also down from the $75 billion the previous quarter (the holiday quarter though). That said, Q1 2022 is up 25% year over year. Also noted during the call, CEO Pichai noted how YouTube Shorts, the company’s TikTok competitor, accumulates 30 million daily views while viewers consume more than 700 million hours of YouTube content every day. Although They don’t release Pixel sales, Pichai said the Pixel 6 is the ‘fastest selling Pixel ever’ and he teased hardware announcements coming up in Google I/O next month. One is no doubt the Pixel Watch, a prototype of which was left in a restaurant…as we covered earlier this week.

After getting clearance from the FDA, Fitbit is rolling out irregular heart rhythm notifications on some of its devices. 9to5google.com reports that 9 Fitbit products, including the Sense and Charge 5 will passively send notifications when signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) are detected. The technology that powers these notifications on Fitbit is similar to what is used for electrocardiogram (ECG) readings but doesn’t require quite as much hardware. Rather, they rely on Fitbit’s PPG (photoplethysmography) algorithm, which the company claims is 98% effective at detecting these conditions compared to a traditional ECG machine.

By Summer, Fidelity is going to start allowing what they are calling legible individuals to invest up to 20% of their 401(k) in Bitcoin. According to theverge.com, employees will only be able to do this if their employer signs off on the option. Apparently, this is just a start of a dive into crypto. Fidelity head of workplace retirement offerings and platforms Dave Gray told the Wall St Journal they would add support for other cryptocurrencies at some point. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor has warned fiduciaries about offering options to invest in crypto, pointing out that this kind of investment presents “significant risks and challenges to participants’ retirement accounts, including significant risks of fraud, theft, and loss.”

Facebook is reportedly unable to account for much of the personal user data under its ownership, including what it is being used for and where it’s located, according to an internal report leaked to Motherboard. engadget.com says the report was put together by engineers on Facebook’s privacy engineers on its Ad and Business Product team last year.  Facebook’s main obstacle to tracking down user data appears to be the company’s lack of “closed-form” systems, the report states. In other words, the company’s data systems have “open borders” that mix together first-party user data, third-party user data and sensitive data. A former Facebook employee who spoke anonymously to Motherboard said the question of where data goes inside the company is “broadly speaking, a complete shitshow.” A Facebook spokesperson denied to Motherboard that the company is not currently complying with privacy regulations.



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