Apple Closing Hole in iPhone Security
Apple is making it harder for law enforcement - or for anyone - to hack its iPhones. The company is closing a security flaw that allowed police to crack the phone's security and examine its contents.
"Apple said it was planning an iPhone software update that would effectively disable the phone's charging and data port - the opening where users plug in headphones, power cables and adapters - an hour after the phone is locked," writes Jack Nicas in the New York Times. "While a phone can still be charged, a person would first need to enter the phone's password to transfer data to or from the device using the port."
Law enforcement agencies are criticizing Apple, while privacy advocates applaud the move.
The rift between Apple and the law enforcement community became public in 2015 after a man killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, and the FBI wasn't able to hack into his iPhone.
AT&T is Now a Media Giant
What would Alexander Graham Bell think of this: AT&T is now a media conglomerate. AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner after a federal judge approved the merger.
"The $85 billion deal puts the many massive media properties owned by Time Warner - including HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN - under the ownership of one of America's largest internet, TV, and phone service providers," writes Jacob Kastrenakes in The Verge. "It creates a whole mess of potential conflicts of interest when it comes to content favoritism, with opponents of the deal drawing concern around AT&T's ability to promote its own shows and movies over those of other companies."
Senators Take on Amazon Echo
Two U.S. senators are demanding answers from Jeff Bezos. Republican senator Jeff Flake and Democratic senator Chris Coons want Bezos to explain why a woman's Amazon Echo device sent a recording of a conversation to someone in her contact list.
It might seem silly, but the investigation demonstrates how the tide of public sentiment is gradually turning against the mightiest tech titans.
"For decades now, companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have collected unlimited amounts of data on their customers, given them minimal control over that data, and offered even less transparency into how they collect and store it," writes Issie Lapowsky in Wired. Now, after seeing how data can be manipulated for political purposes through the Facebook scandal, lawmakers are reevaluating the freedom they've given tech companies all these years."
It would be tempting to dismiss this as grandstanding, but Flake and Coons are considered serious lawmakers. Their decision to confront Bezos might be the beginning of a new and interesting chapter in the history of the technology industry.