Good morning. It’s almost the end of 2023’s first week and we’ve got five things below to get you up to speed in the world of tech. Let’s get started.
1. Twitter’s Australian and New Zealand outage
Throughout the entirety of Wednesday, from about 6:30am AEDT to 11pm AEDT, Twitter went down for Australian users. We were on the case quickly and expected the outage to clear up within two hours, but it actually ran for about 16 hours. It’s back online now, although personally I’ve been experiencing linking and video loading issues this morning.
It’s taken us 20 minutes to get this tweet out, so uh… Twitter is not doing well. https://t.co/CNeJO7sWOq
— Gizmodo Australia (@GizmodoAU) January 3, 2023
2. Apple fined $12 million for illegally collecting iPhone owners’ data for ads
France’s data protection authority, CNIL, fined Apple €8 million (about $12 million in Australian dollars) on Wednesday for illegally harvesting iPhone owners’ data for targeted ads without proper consent. It’s an unusual sanction for the iPhone maker, which has faced fewer legal penalties over privacy than its Big Tech competitors. Apple makes privacy a selling point for its devices, plastering “Privacy. That’s iPhone” on billboards across the world. The French fine, though, is the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that Apple may not be the privacy guardian angel it makes itself out to be.
3. The EU wants to kill targeted ads by fining Meta $575 million
Still in Europe and the European Union wants to eliminate targetted ads by fining Meta (behind Facebook and Instagram) $575 million. The EU issued the fine against Meta on Wednesday, a decision that suggests Europe may be in its final days of widespread targeted advertising. One thing is certain: EU citizens are going to see even more pop-ups asking for consent to track them online than they already do.
This impacts everyone in ad tech 👀⛈⚖️💸💸https://t.co/nj8F33xpHc
— Zach Edwards 🔗infosec.exchange/@thezedwards (@thezedwards) January 4, 2023
4. U.S. regulators warn banks about crypto fraud and scams
Still on regulation, but this time in the U.S.. Major financial regulators consisting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) warned banking organisations against cryptocurrency scams and fraudulent activity in a joint statement on Tuesday. This is the first time the regulators issued a joint warning after months of banks requesting uniform guidance, rules, and clarity on cryptocurrency practices.
5. Eight freshwater streams in South Australia found to contain microplastics
Flinders University has, for the first time, detected microplastics flowing through eight freshwater streams running into the Gulf of St Vincent in South Australia, raising alarm bells about microplastics in Australian water. The abundance of particles was measured at between 6.4 and 5.5 particles per litre, ranging from 1.2 to 30 particles at different locations. It’s expected that microplastics could cause humans oxidative stress, DNA damage and inflammation, among other problems, however, their true extent of them is still unknown. Last year, a link was found between microplastics and IBD symptoms.
BONUS ITEM: I love the cool tech coming out of CES this year.
Next up for Samsung Display a concept phone screen called Slideable Horizontal. pic.twitter.com/Eyn9g24KlT
— David Katzmaier (@dkatzmaier) January 4, 2023
Have a lovely day.