Citi slashes sales outlook for iPhone XS Max by nearly half

Citi Research has joined a growing list of analysts to lower first-quarter production estimates for Apple’s iPhones amid weakening demand for the smartphones. Citi Research analyst William Yang cut the overall iPhone shipment forecast by 5 million to 45 million for the quarter, reported Reuters. That’s a sting that falls in line with others such as influential TF International Securities Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who delivered a less than stellar iPhone forecast earlier this month. It’s Yang’s outlook for the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max that is particularly gloomy. In a research note to clients, Yang slashed the shipment forecast for the iPhone XS Max by 48 percent for the first quarter of 2019. The cut in Citi’s forecasts is driven by the firm’s view that ” 2018 iPhone is entering a destocking phase, which does not bode well for the supply chain,” Yang wrote. Two weeks ago, Kuo predicted that 2019 iPhone shipments will likely between 5 to 10 percent lower than 2018. He also lowered first quarter shipment forecasts by 20 percent.

Cybersecurity 101: Why you need to use a password manager

If you thought passwords will soon be dead, think again. They’re here to stay — for now. Passwords are cumbersome and hard to remember — and just when you did, you’re told to change it again. And sometimes passwords can be guessed and are easily hackable. Nobody likes passwords but they’re a fact of life. And while some have tried to kill them off by replacing them with fingerprints and face-scanning technology, neither are perfect and many still resort back to the trusty (but frustrating) password. How do you make them better? You need a password manager. What is a password manager? Think of a password manager like a book of your passwords, locked by a master key that only you know. Some of you think that might sound bad. What if someone gets my master password? That’s a reasonable and rational fear. But assuming that you’ve chosen a strong and unique, but rememberable, master password that you’ve not used anywhere else is a near-perfect way to protect the rest of your passwords from improper access. Password managers don’t just store your passwords — they help you generate and save strong, unique passwords when you sign up to new websites. That means whenever you go to a website or app, you can pull up your password manager, copy your password, paste it into the login box, and you’re in. Often, password managers come with browser extensions that automatically fill in your password for you. And because many of the password managers out there have encrypted sync across devices, you can take your passwords anywhere with you — even on your phone. Why do you need to use one? Password managers take the hassle out of creating and remembering strong passwords. It’s that simple. But there are three good reasons why you should care. Passwords are stolen all the time. Sites and services are at risk of breaches as much as you are to phishing attacks that try to trick you into turning over your password. Although companies are meant to scramble your password whenever you enter it — known as hashing — not all use strong or modern algorithms, making it easy for hackers to reverse that hashing and read your password in plain text. Some companies don’t bother to hash at all! That puts your accounts at risk of fraud or your data at risk of being used against you for identity theft. But the longer and more complex your password is — a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, symbols and punctuation — the longer it takes for hackers to unscramble your password. The other problem is the sheer number of passwords we have to remember. Banks, social media accounts, our email and utilities — it’s easy to just use one password across the board. But that makes “credential stuffing” easier. That’s when hackers take your password from one breached site and try to log in to your account on other sites. Using a password manager makes it so much easier to generate and store stronger passwords that are unique to each site, preventing credential stuffing attacks. And, for the times you’re in a crowded or busy place — like a coffee shop or an airplane — think of who is around you. Typing in passwords can be seen, copied and later used by nearby eavesdroppers. Using a password manager in many cases removes the need to type any passwords in at all. Which password manager should you use? The simple answer is that it’s up to you. All password managers perform largely the same duties — but different apps will have more or relevant features to you than others. Anyone running iOS 11 or later — which is most iPhone and iPad users — will have a password manager by default — so there’s no excuse. You can sync your passwords across devices using iCloud Keychain. For anyone else — most password managers are free, with the option to upgrade to get better features. If you want your passwords to sync across devices for example, LastPass is a good option. 1Password is widely used and integrates with Troy Hunt’s Pwned Passwords database, so you can tell if (and avoid!) a password that has been previously leaked or exposed in a data breach. Many password managers are cross-platform, like Dashlane, which also work on mobile devices, allowing you to take your passwords wherever you go. And, some are open source, like KeePass, allowing anyone to read the source code. KeePass doesn’t use the cloud so it never leaves your computer unless you move it. That’s much better for the super paranoid, but also for those who might face a wider range of threats — such as those who work in government. What you might find useful is this evaluation of five password managers, which offers a breakdown by features. Like all software, vulnerabilities and weaknesses in any password manager can make put your data at risk. But so long as you keep your password manager up to date — most browser extensions are automatically updated — your risk is significantly reduced. Simply put: using a password manager is far better for your overall security than not using one. More guides: Two-factor authentication can save you from hackers How to protect your cell phone number and why you should care How to browse the web securely and privately How to get started with encrypted messaging apps Gift Guide: The best security and privacy tech to keep your friends safe

Two years later, I still miss the headphone port

Two years ago, Apple killed the headphone port. I still haven’t forgiven them for it. When Apple announced that the iPhone 7 would have no headphone port, I was pretty immediately annoyed. I figured maybe I’d get over it in a few months. I didn’t. I figured if worse came to worse, I’d switch platforms. Then all of the other manufacturers started following suit. This, of course, isn’t a new annoyance for me. I’ve been hating headphone adapters on phones right here on this very website since two thousand and nine. For a little stretch there, though, I got my way. It was a world full of dongles and crappy proprietary audio ports. Sony Ericsson had the FastPort. Nokia had the Pop-Port. Samsung had like 10 different ports that no one gave a shit about. No single phone maker had claimed the throne yet, so no one port had really become ubiquitous… but every manufacturer wanted their port to become the port. Even the phones that had a standardized audio jack mostly had the smaller 2.5mm port, requiring an adapter all the same. Then came the original iPhone with its 3.5mm headphone port. It was a weird recessed 3.5mm port that didn’t work with most headphones, but it was a 3.5mm port! Apple was riding on the success of the iPod, and people were referring to this rumored device as the iPod Phone before it was even announced. How could something like that not have a headphone port? Sales of the iPhone started to climb. A few million in 2007. Nearly 12 million in 2008. 20 million in 2009. A tide shifted. As Apple’s little slab of glass took over the smartphone world, other manufacturers tried to figure out what Apple was doing so right. The smartphone market, once filled with chunky, button-covered plastic beasts (this one slides! This one spins!), homogenized. Release by release, everything started looking more like the iPhone. A slab of glass. Premium materials. Minimal physical buttons. And, of course, a headphone port. Within a couple years, a standard headphone port wasn’t just a nice selling point — it was mandatory. We’d entered a wonderful age of being able to use your wired headphones whenever you damn well pleased. Then came September 7th, 2016, when Apple had the “courage” to announce it was ditching the 3.5mm jack (oh and also by the way check out these new $150 wireless headphones!). Apple wasn’t the first to ditch the headphone port — but, just as with its decision to include one, its decision to remove it has turned the tide. A few months after the portless iPhone 7 was announced, Xiaomi nixed the port on the Mi 6. Then Google ditched it from its flagship Android phone, the Pixel 3. Even Samsung, which lampooned Apple for the decision, seems to be tinkering with the idea of dropping it. Though leaks suggest the upcoming Galaxy S10 will have a headphone port, the company pulled it from the mid-range A8 line earlier this year. If 2016 was the year Apple took a stab at the headphone jack, 2018 was the year it bled out. And I’m still mad about it. Technology comes and goes, and oh-so-often at Apple’s doing. Ditching the CD drive in laptops? That’s okay — CDs were doomed, and they were pretty awful to begin with. Killing Flash? Flash sucked. Switching one type of USB port for another? Fine, I suppose. The new USB is better in just about every way. At the very least, I won’t try to plug it in upside down only to flip it over and realize I had it right the first time. But the headphone jack? It was fine. It stood the test of time for one hundred damned years, and with good reason: It. Just. Worked. I’ve been trying to figure out why the removal of the headphone port bugs me more than other ports that have been unceremoniously killed off, and I think it’s because the headphone port almost always only made me happy. Using the headphone port meant listening to my favorite album, or using a free minute to catch the latest episode of a show, or passing an earbud to a friend to share some new tune. It enabled happy moments and never got in the way. Now every time I want to use my headphones, I just find myself annoyed. Bluetooth? Whoops, forgot to charge them. Or whoops, they’re trying to pair with my laptop even though my laptop is turned off and in my backpack. Dongle? Whoops, left it on my other pair of headphones at work. Or whoops, it fell off somewhere, and now I’ve got to go buy another one. I’ll just buy a bunch of dongles, and put them on all my headphones! I’ll keep extras in my bag for when I need to borrow a pair of headphones. That’s just like five dongles at this point, problem solved! Oh, wait: now I want to listen to music while I fall asleep, but also charge my phone so it’s not dead in the morning. That’s a different, more expensive splitter dongle (many of which, I’ve found, are poorly made garbage). None of these are that big of a deal. Charge your damned headphones, Greg. Stop losing your dongles. The thing is: they took a thing that just worked and just made me happy and replaced it with something that, quite often, just bugs the hell out of me. If a friend sent me a YouTube link and I wanted to watch it without bugging everyone around me, I could just use whatever crappy, worn out headphones I happened to have sitting in my bag. Now it’s a process with a bunch of potential points of failure. “But now its water resistant!” Water-resistant phones existed before all of this, plenty of which had/have headphone ports. As a recent example, see Samsung’s Galaxy S9 with its IP68 rating (matching that of the iPhone XS.) “But it can be slimmer!” No one was asking for that. “But the batteries inside can be bigger!” The capacity of the battery barely jumped in the years from the 6S to the 8 — from 1,715mAh to 1,821mAh. It wasn’t until a few years later with the iPhone X, when the standard iPhone started getting wider and taller, that we saw super big jumps in its battery capacity. Will this post change anything? Of course not. Apple blew the horn that told the industry it’s okay to drop the headphone port, and everyone fell right in line. The next year — and the year after that — Apple sold another 200M-plus phones. At this point, Apple doesn’t even bother giving you the headphone adapter in the box. Apple’s mind is made up. But if you’re out there, annoyed, stumbling across this post after finding yourself with a pair of headphones and a smartphone that won’t play friendly together in a pinch, just know: you’re not the only one. Two years later, I’m still mad at whoever made this call — and everyone else in the industry who followed suit.

Why you need to use a password manager

Getty If you thought passwords will soon be dead, think again. They’re here to stay — for now. Passwords are cumbersome and hard to remember — and just when you did, you’re told to change it again. And sometimes passwords can be guessed and are easily hackable. Nobody likes passwords but they’re a fact of life. And while some have tried to kill them off by replacing them with fingerprints and face-scanning technology, neither are perfect and many still resort back to the trusty (but frustrating) password. How do you make them better? You need a password manager. What is a password manager? Think of a password manager like a book of your passwords, locked by a master key that only you know. Some of you think that might sound bad. What if someone gets my master password? That’s a reasonable and rational fear. But assuming that you’ve chosen a strong and unique, but rememberable, master password that you’ve not used anywhere else is a near-perfect way to protect the rest of your passwords from improper access. Password managers don’t just store your passwords — they help you generate and save strong, unique passwords when you sign up to new websites. That means whenever you go to a website or app, you can pull up your password manager, copy your password, paste it into the login box, and you’re in. Often, password managers come with browser extensions that automatically fill in your password for you. And because many of the password managers out there have encrypted sync across devices, you can take your passwords anywhere with you — even on your phone. Why do you need to use one? Password managers take the hassle out of creating and remembering strong passwords. It’s that simple. But there are three good reasons why you should care. Passwords are stolen all the time. Sites and services are at risk of breaches as much as you are to phishing attacks that try to trick you into turning over your password. Although companies are meant to scramble your password whenever you enter it — known as hashing — not all use strong or modern algorithms, making it easy for hackers to reverse that hashing and read your password in plain text. Some companies don’t bother to hash at all! That puts your accounts at risk of fraud or your data at risk of being used against you for identity theft. But the longer and more complex your password is — a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, symbols and punctuation — the longer it takes for hackers to unscramble your password. The other problem is the sheer number of passwords we have to remember. Banks, social media accounts, our email and utilities — it’s easy to just use one password across the board. But that makes “credential stuffing” easier. That’s when hackers take your password from one breached site and try to log in to your account on other sites. Using a password manager makes it so much easier to generate and store stronger passwords that are unique to each site, preventing credential stuffing attacks. And, for the times you’re in a crowded or busy place — like a coffee shop or an airplane — think of who is around you. Typing in passwords can be seen, copied and later used by nearby eavesdroppers. Using a password manager in many cases removes the need to type any passwords in at all. Gift Guide: The best security and privacy tech to keep your friends safe Which password manager should you use? The simple answer is that it’s up to you. All password managers perform largely the same duties — but different apps will have more or relevant features to you than others. Anyone running iOS 11 or later — which is most iPhone and iPad users — will have a password manager by default — so there’s no excuse. You can sync your passwords across devices using iCloud Keychain. For anyone else — most password managers are free, with the option to upgrade to get better features. If you want your passwords to sync across devices for example, LastPass is a good option. 1Password is widely used and integrates with Troy Hunt’s Pwned Passwords database, so you can tell if (and avoid!) a password that has been previously leaked or exposed in a data breach. Many password managers are cross-platform, like Dashlane, which also work on mobile devices, allowing you to take your passwords wherever you go. And, some are open source, like KeePass, allowing anyone to read the source code. KeePass doesn’t use the cloud so it never leaves your computer unless you move it. That’s much better for the super paranoid, but also for those who might face a wider range of threats — such as those who work in government. What you might find useful is this evaluation of five password managers, which offers a breakdown by features. Like all software, vulnerabilities and weaknesses in any password manager can make put your data at risk. But so long as you keep your password manager up to date — most browser extensions are automatically updated — your risk is significantly reduced. Simply put: using a password manager is far better for your overall security than not using one. Check out our full Cybersecurity 101 guide here.

Twitter’s newest feature is reigniting the ‘iPhone vs Android’ war

Twitter’s newest feature is reigniting the flame war between iOS and Android owners. The U.S. social media company’s latest addition is a subtle piece of information that shows the client that each tweet is sent from. In doing so, the company now displays whether a user tweets from the web or mobile and, if they are on a phone, whether they used Twitter’s iOS or Android apps, or a third-party service. The feature — which was quietly enabled on Twitter’s mobile clients earlier this month; it has long been part of the TweetDeck app — has received a mixed response from users since CEO Jack Dorsey spotlighted it. Some are happy to have additional details to dig into for context, for example, whether a person is on mobile or using third-party apps, but others believe it is an unnecessary addition that is stoking the rivalry between iOS and Android fans. Source information back in the tweets pic.twitter.com/q5Qp7U8oS2 — jack (@jack) December 20, 2018 Interestingly, the app detail isn’t actually new. Way back in 2012 — some six years ago — Twitter stripped out the information as part of a series of changes to unify users across devices, focus on service’s reading experience and push people to its official apps where it could maximize advertising reach. That was a long time ago — so long that TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino was still a reporter when he wrote about it; he and I were at another publication altogether — and much has changed at Twitter, which has grown massively in popularity to reach 330 million users. Back in 2012, Twitter was trying to reign in the mass of third-party apps that were popular with users in order to centralize its advertising to get itself, and its finances, together before going public. Twitter’s IPO happened in 2013 and it did migrate most users to its own apps, but it did a terrible job handling developers and thus, today, there are precious few third-party apps. That’s still a sore point with many users, since the independent apps were traditionally superior with better design and more functions. Most are dead now and Twitter’s official apps reign supreme. Many Twitter users may not be aware of the back story, so it is pretty fascinating to see some express uncertainty at displaying details of their phone. Indeed, a number of Android users lamented that the new detail is ‘exposing’ their devices. Here’s a selection of tweets: Thank god I switched to iPhone before this new twitter update cause chile, these android users are….. nvmd pic.twitter.com/5lkR2BGXbg — EFRAIN (@DOMXXXTOP) December 22, 2018 Twitter is trying to expose us android users — Marion (@bIackprincessa) December 22, 2018 twitter said: time to expose people with androids pic.twitter.com/ujl0WvTlzM — el ✰ vacation (@angeIichoney) December 22, 2018 Omg twitter! What a discrimination towards android users! Perlu ke cakap twitter for android or twitter for iphone?! Hina sangat ke pakai android?!! — (@hani_farisha22) December 21, 2018 Since Twitter can show what a person is tweeting with Android, iPhone etc.. We are going to be selective when we reply, can't be back chatting to someone who is using android. pic.twitter.com/FnxscpM7ah — Terry (@TENDANIL) December 22, 2018 So Twitter released a new update where you will see thee kinda phone someone is tweeting from, either iPhone or Android… I've been scrolling for five minutes and all the tweets are from iPhones… Except mine pic.twitter.com/mY0tGE5SVw — Your Class Rep (@DaRealSeguncool) December 22, 2018 twitter out here exposing ppl with this ‘twitter for iphone/android’ shit huh — nia (@farfromhcme) December 22, 2018 Twitter for iphoneTwitter for androidTwitter lite The iphone v samsung fights are about to turn savage — Nyasha (@NyashaSamsunga) December 8, 2018 Now Twitter let you know who uses IPhone and who uses Android and seems like I'm the only who uses Android here — Liya | (@xliamstanxx) December 8, 2018 So now twitter tells me who's tweeting from Android or Iphone? I guess all us Android peasents need to start stockpiling ammo and jarring our urine. — the_silver fox (@the_silverfox1) December 9, 2018 Twitter for iPhone / Twitter for Android pic.twitter.com/G6Rd208Qtp — Intrapiernoso (@INTRAPlERNOSO) December 22, 2018 I could go on — you can see more here — but it seems like, for many, iPhone is still the ultimate status symbol over Android despite the progress made by the likes of Samsung, Huawei and newer Android players Xiaomi and Oppo. While it may increase arguments between mobile’s two tribes, the feature has already called out brands and ambassadors using the ‘wrong’ device. Notable examples including a Korean boyband sponsored by LG using iPhones or the Apple Music team sending a tweet via an Android device. Suddenly spotting these mismatches is a whole lot easier.

3D-printed heads let hackers – and cops – unlock your phone

There’s a lot you can make with a 3D printer: from prosthetics, corneas, and firearms — even an Olympic-standard luge. You can even 3D print a life-size replica of a human head — and not just for Hollywood. Forbes reporter Thomas Brewster commissioned a 3D printed model of his own head to test the face unlocking systems on a range of phones — four Android models and an iPhone X. Bad news if you’re an Android user: all four phones unlocked with the 3D printed head. Gone, it seems, are the days of the trusty passcode, which many still find cumbersome, fiddly, and inconvenient — especially when you unlock your phone dozens of times a day. Phone makers are taking to the more convenient unlock methods. Even if Google’s latest Pixel 3 shunned facial recognition, many Android models — including popular Samsung devices — are relying more on your facial biometrics. In its latest models, Apple effectively killed its fingerprint-reading Touch ID in favor of its newer Face ID. But that poses a problem for your data if a mere 3D-printed model can trick your phone into giving up your secrets. That makes life much easier for hackers, who have no rulebook to go from. But what about the police or the feds, who do? It’s no secret that biometrics — your fingerprints and your face — aren’t protected under the Fifth Amendment. That means police can’t compel you to give up your passcode, but they can forcibly depress your fingerprint to unlock your phone, or hold it to your face while you’re looking at it. And the police know it — it happens more often than you might realize. But there’s also little in the way of stopping police from 3D printing or replicating a set of biometrics to break into a phone. “Legally, it’s no different from using fingerprints to unlock a device,” said Orin Kerr, professor at USC Gould School of Law, in an email. “The government needs to get the biometric unlocking information somehow,” by either the finger pattern shape or the head shape, he said. Although a warrant “wouldn’t necessarily be a requirement” to get the biometric data, one would be needed to use the data to unlock a device, he said. Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project On Government Oversight, said it was doable but isn’t the most practical or cost-effective way for cops to get access to phone data. “A situation where you couldn’t get the actual person but could use a 3D print model may exist,” he said. “I think the big threat is that a system where anyone — cops or criminals — can get into your phone by holding your face up to it is a system with serious security limits.” The FBI alone has thousands of devices in its custody — even after admitting the number of encrypted devices is far lower than first reported. With the ubiquitous nature of surveillance, now even more powerful with high-resolution cameras and facial recognition software, it’s easier than ever for police to obtain our biometric data as we go about our everyday lives. Those cheering on the “death of the password” might want to think again. They’re still the only thing that’s keeping your data safe from the law. FBI reportedly overestimated inaccessible encrypted phones by thousands

Apple Pay finally launches in Germany

Apple’s mobile payment technology has finally launched in Germany, some four years after it debuted in the U.S. On its newly launched Apple Pay website for Germany, Apple lists partner banks and credit card companies at launch, with customers from the likes of Deutsche Bank, O2 Banking, N26, Comdirect, HypoVerensbank, Bunq and Boon able to tap up the payment method directly. Some fifteen banks and services are supported at launch. A further nine banks are slated as adding support in 2019, including DKB, INK and Revolut. iOS users in the country can now add supported debit or credit cards to Apple Pay to make contactless payments with their device, rather than having to carry cash. Apple’s Face ID and Touch ID biometrics are used to a security layer to the payment system. The local Apple Pay site also lists a selection of retailers, with Apple writing: “Apple Pay works in supermarkets, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and many other places. You can also use Apple Pay in many apps — and on participating websites with Safari on your Mac, iPhone or iPad.” Aside from convenience, the other consumer advantage Apple touts for the system is privacy, with Apple Pay using a device-specific number and unique transaction code — and the user’s actual card numbers never stored on their device or on Apple’s servers — which means trackable card numbers aren’t shared with merchants, so purchases can’t be tied back to the individual. While that might sound like an abstract concern, a Bloomberg report this summer revealed details of a multi-million deal in which Google pays for transaction data from Mastercard — in order to try to link online ad views with offline purchases in the US. Facebook has also long been known to buy offline data to supplement the interest signals it collects on users from inside (and outside) its social network — further fleshing out ad-targeting profiles. So escaping the surveillance net of one flavor of big tech can require buying into another. Or else going low tech and paying in cash. Apple does not say what took it so long to add Germany to its now pretty long list of Apple Pay countries but Apple Insider suggests the relatively late adoption was down to pushback from local banks over fees, noting that it’s four months after the official announcement of a German launch. It’s also true that paying by plastic isn’t always an option in Germany, as cash remains the dominant payment method of choice — also, seemingly, for privacy purposes. So Apple Pay is at least aligned with those concerns.

‘Google You Owe Us’ claimants aren’t giving up on UK Safari workaround suit

Lawyers behind a UK class-action style compensation litigation against Google for privacy violations have filed an application requesting permission to appeal against a recent High Court ruling blocking the proceeding. In October Mr Justice Warby ruled the case could not proceed on legal grounds, finding the claimants had not demonstrated a basis for bringing a compensation claim. The case relates to the so called ‘Safari workaround’ Google used between 2011 and 2012 to override iPhone privacy settings and track users without consent. The civil legal action — whose claimants refer to themselves as ‘Google You Owe Us’ — was filed last year by one named iPhone user, Richard Lloyd, the former director of consumer group, Which?, seeking to represent millions of UK users whose Safari settings the complaint alleges were similarly ignored by Google, via a representative legal action. Lawyers for the claimants argued that sensitive personal data such as iPhone users’ political affiliation, sexual orientation, financial situation and more had been gathered by Google and used for targeted advertising without their consent. Google You Owe Us proposed the sum of £750 per claimant for the company’s improper use of people’s data — which could result in a bill of up to £3BN (based on the suit’s intent to represent ~4.4 million UK iPhone users). However UK law requires claimants demonstrate they suffered damage as a result of violation of the relevant data protection rules. And in his October ruling Justice Warby found that the “bare facts pleaded in this case” were not “individualised” — hence he saw no case for damages. He also ruled against the case proceeding on another legal point, related to defining a class for the case — finding “the essential requirements for a representative action are absent” because he said individuals in the group do not have the “same interest” in the claim. Lodging its application for permission to appeal today, Google You Owe us described the High Court judgement as disappointing, and said it highlights the barriers that remain for consumers seeking to use collective actions as a route to redress in England and Wales. In the US, meanwhile, Google settled with the FTC over a similar cookie tracking issue back in 2012 — agreeing to pay $22.5M in that instance. Countering Justice Warby’s earlier suggestion that affected class members in the UK case did not care about their data being taken without permission, Google You Owe Us said, on the contrary, affected class members have continued to show their support for the case on Facebook — noting that more than 20,000 have signed up for case updates. If leave to appeal is granted, the legal team said it would argue that the High Court judgment was incorrect in stating the class had not suffered damage within the meaning of the UK’s Data Protection Act; and that the class had not all suffered in the same way as a result of the data breach. Commenting in a statement, Lloyd said: Google’s business model is based on using personal data to target adverts to consumers and they must ask permission before using this data. The court accepted that people did not give Google permission to use their data in this case, yet slammed the door shut on holding Google to account. By appealing this decision, we want to give affected consumers the opportunity to get the compensation they are owed and show that collective actions offer a clear route to justice for data protection claims. We’ve reached out to Google for comment. Update: A Google spokesperson told us: “The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. The Courts have already dismissed this case, finding it to be without merit.” This report was updated to clarify that the claimants have lodged an application for permission to appeal; rather than lodging an appeal itself

‘Google You Owe Us’ claimants aren’t giving up on UK Safari workaround suit

Lawyers behind a UK class-action style compensation litigation against Google for privacy violations have filed an application requesting permission to appeal against a recent High Court ruling blocking the proceeding. In October Mr Justice Warby ruled the case could not proceed on legal grounds, finding the claimants had not demonstrated a basis for bringing a compensation claim. The case relates to the so called ‘Safari workaround’ Google used between 2011 and 2012 to override iPhone privacy settings and track users without consent. The civil legal action — whose claimants refer to themselves as ‘Google You Owe Us’ — was filed last year by one named iPhone user, Richard Lloyd, the former director of consumer group, Which?, seeking to represent millions of UK users whose Safari settings the complaint alleges were similarly ignored by Google, via a representative legal action. Lawyers for the claimants argued that sensitive personal data such as iPhone users’ political affiliation, sexual orientation, financial situation and more had been gathered by Google and used for targeted advertising without their consent. Google You Owe Us proposed the sum of £750 per claimant for the company’s improper use of people’s data — which could result in a bill of up to £3BN (based on the suit’s intent to represent ~4.4 million UK iPhone users). However UK law requires claimants demonstrate they suffered damage as a result of violation of the relevant data protection rules. And in his October ruling Justice Warby found that the “bare facts pleaded in this case” were not “individualised” — hence he saw no case for damages. He also ruled against the case proceeding on another legal point, related to defining a class for the case — finding “the essential requirements for a representative action are absent” because he said individuals in the group do not have the “same interest” in the claim. Lodging its application for permission to appeal today, Google You Owe us described the High Court judgement as disappointing, and said it highlights the barriers that remain for consumers seeking to use collective actions as a route to redress in England and Wales. In the US, meanwhile, Google settled with the FTC over a similar cookie tracking issue back in 2012 — agreeing to pay $22.5M in that instance. Countering Justice Warby’s earlier suggestion that affected class members in the UK case did not care about their data being taken without permission, Google You Owe Us said, on the contrary, affected class members have continued to show their support for the case on Facebook — noting that more than 20,000 have signed up for case updates. If leave to appeal is granted, the legal team said it would argue that the High Court judgment was incorrect in stating the class had not suffered damage within the meaning of the UK’s Data Protection Act; and that the class had not all suffered in the same way as a result of the data breach. Commenting in a statement, Lloyd said: Google’s business model is based on using personal data to target adverts to consumers and they must ask permission before using this data. The court accepted that people did not give Google permission to use their data in this case, yet slammed the door shut on holding Google to account. By appealing this decision, we want to give affected consumers the opportunity to get the compensation they are owed and show that collective actions offer a clear route to justice for data protection claims. We’ve reached out to Google for comment. Update: A Google spokesperson told us: “The privacy and security of our users is extremely important to us. The Courts have already dismissed this case, finding it to be without merit.” This report was updated to clarify that the claimants have lodged an application for permission to appeal; rather than lodging an appeal itself

Interest rates and fears of a mounting trade war send tech stocks lower

Shares of technology companies were battered in today’s trading as fears of an increasing trade war between the U.S. and China and rising interest rates convinced worried investors to sell. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is where many of the country’s largest technology companies trade their shares, was down 219.4 points, or 3 percent, to 7,028.48. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 395.8 points, or 1.6 percent, to 25,017.44. Facebook, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Apple, Netflix and Amazon all fell into bear trading territory, which means that the value of these stocks have slid more than 20 percent. CNBC has a handy chart illustrating just how bad things have been for the largest tech companies in the U.S. Some of the woes from tech stocks aren’t necessarily trade-war related. Facebook shares have been hammered on the back of a blockbuster New York Times report detailing the missteps and misdirection involved in the company’s response to Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Investors are likely concerned that the company’s margins will shrink as it spends more on content moderation. And Apple saw its shares decline on reports that sales of its new iPhones may not be as rosy as the company predicted — although the holiday season should boost those numbers. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple has cut the targets for all of its new phones amid uncertainties around sales. The Journal reported that in recent weeks, Apple had cut its production orders for all of the iPhone models it unveiled in September, which has carried through the supply chain. Specifically, targets for the new iPhone XR were cut by one-third from the 70 million units the company had asked suppliers to produce, according to WSJ sources. Those sales numbers had a ripple effect throughout Apple’s supply chain, hitting the stock prices for a number of suppliers and competitors. But the U.S. government’s escalating trade war with China is definitely a concern for most of the technology industry as tariffs are likely to affect supply chains and drive prices higher. According to a research note from Chris Zaccarelli, the chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, quoted in MarketWatch, interest rates and slowing global growth are adding to trade war pressures to drive tech stock prices down. “Tech continues to be caught in the crosshairs of the triple threat of rising interest rates, global growth fears and trade tensions with China,” Zaccarelli wrote. “Trade war concerns with China weigh on the global supply chain for large technology companies while global growth fears worry many that future earnings will be lower,” he said.

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