Zoom to pay $85m to set aside privacy violation zoombombing allegations

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Zoom has agreed to an $85 million settlement for a class action lawsuit that accused the company of improperly sharing user data through third-party software integrations with various digital platforms.

The preliminary settlement [PDF] was filed over the weekend is currently awaiting court approval.

From March to May last year, 14 lawsuits were filed against Zoom, which then became a consolidated class action. In the lawsuit, the class members claimed Zoom misled users about its encryption capabilities, shared user data with digital platforms without consent, had inadequate security privacy controls, which resulted in zoombombings.

Zoombombings are unwanted unauthorised interruptions of Zoom meetings by outsider participants. The US Department of Justice last year made zoombombing a crime, with people that conduct zoombombing liable to fines or arrests on a variety of state or federal charges.  

The $85 million amount, if approved, would be allocated so that users who paid for an account will be eligible to receive the greater amount of either 15% of the money they paid to Zoom for their core Zoom Meetings subscription or $25 from April to October 2020. Meanwhile, other users who did not have a paying account may be eligible to receive up to $15.

While Zoom earned $1.3 billion in subscriptions from class members, the plaintiff’s lawyers said the $85 million settlement was reasonable in light of the significant risks of litigation.

“Although plaintiffs firmly believe their liability case is strong that class certification is warranted, it is uncertain whether the court ultimately would grant certification, deny a motion for summary judgment filed by Zoom, or ever find that plaintiffs are entitled to damages,” the plaintiff’s lawyers added.

Along with paying the $85 million payment, Zoom has also agreed to implement various changes focused on improving security, bolstering privacy, safeguarding consumer data.

The company has agreed to provide in-meeting notifications to make it easier for users to understwho can see, save, share Zoom users’ information content by alerting users when a meeting host or another participant uses a third-party application during a meeting.

Zoom will also not reintegrate the Facebook software development kit (SDK) for iOS into Zoom meetings for a year request that Facebook delete any US user data obtained from the SDK.

In the settlement motion, the plaintiffs have also applied to have Zoom pay for its legal fees, which would amount to an additional $21.25 million.

If the settlement is approved, Zoom will have denied any wrongdoings that were alleged in the lawsuit.

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Proposed right to repair labelling scheme gets backing from Australia’s consumer watchdog

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The Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) has backed the Productivity Commission’s proposed idea of introducing a labelling scheme that could assist consumers in making more informed decisions about electronics they purchase in the future.

“Rather than broad, indicative, non-binding durability guidance issued by a regulator, consumers, suppliers, manufacturers would find far greater benefit from prominent labelling by manufacturers of minimum trouble-free lifespans,” the ACCC said in its submission [PDF].

“As manufacturers have detailed knowledge of the materials used methods of construction they are far better placed to provide this information to consumers.”

The ACCC advised that if such an approach were to be taken, the label should not limit consumer guarantees. but rather apply as a further warranty alongside consumer law rights include information clearly stating an expected period from purchase that the product should function without failing.

“If implemented appropriately, a manufacturer product labelling scheme will equip consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions would be likely to drive greater inter-brcompetition between products that do not normally compete on product durability,” the ACCC said.

The Productivity Commission previously suggested as part of its inquiry into right to repair that a labelling scheme could help consumers better understthe life of a potential product, after being unable to find any clear evidence that manufacturers deliberately design products to fail early.

“There might be merit in some labelling scheme to help consumers understhow easy it is for their product to be repaired its durability,” Productivity Commissioner Paul Lindwall said last month.

Lindwall pointed out that such a labelling scheme exists in France could work in Australia, particularly as the cost to replace a product is often less expensive than to repair.

“The labour-intensive nature of repair is such that the relative price of new electronics (produced in mass in a capital-intensive factory) has fallen rapidly in real terms while repair costs have grown with labour costs,” he said.

The consumer watchdog has, on the contrary, opposed the idea to introduce a “super complaints” mechanism for consumer groups, saying it would have a “profound impact” on ACCC’s existing resources priorities. Rather, it insisted that its “ongoing processes” to address any “emerging” Australian Consumer Law issues was adequate.

“Dealing with a super-complaint … would force the ACCC to deprioritise existing projects priorities to achieve the deadline imposed by a super complaints process,” it said.

“The ACCC’s current process allows the agency to identify react to potential ACL market issues identified by consumer groups, gather evidence effectively, both from these organisations from broader market intelligence. In this respect, we consider the proposed super-complaints process to be duplicative as the purported benefits are already been captured by existing mechanisms.”

A product labelling scheme specifically for smart devices is something that the Department of Home Affairs has considered introducing as part of its commitment under the Cyber Security Strategy 2020. It noted that labelling products to guarantee a minimum period of security updates could help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions relating to the cybersecurity of their products.

“Cybersecurity labels may help consumers make more informed purchasing decisions at the point of sale. The Government is seeking industry feedback on a graded label similar to energy efficiency ratings, an ‘expiry date label’ which would indicate the length of time a smart device is guaranteed security updates, or the status quo,” it wrote in its submission [PDF].

At the same time, the Department of Home Affairs said introducing cybersecurity standards for smart devices could be another potential option.

“As a complement or alternative to cybersecurity labelling, the government is considering mandatory standards for consumer-grade smart devices. The government is seeking feedback on applying some or all of the standard ESTI EN 303 645, which requires manufacturers to deploy security updates in a timely way,” it added.

The Department of Agriculture, Water Environment has also thrown its support for a product labelling scheme to be introduced, but suggested that if it were to be introduced, the regulator costs costs to industry in designing new schemes needed to be considered.

“Further consultation with industry might indicate that expanding existing, verified labelling schemes already established on the Australian market may provide an optimal approach,” the government department said in its submission [PDF].

“For example, consideration could be given to leveraging the ARL (Australasian Recycling Label), which is the only evidence-based, national recycling labelling program on the Australian market. APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation) administers the ARL Program has the exclusive licence for the ARL in Australia New Zealand.”

It further added that the Productivity Commission could consider other options beyond labelling to improve consumer knowledge about premature obsolescence of products. These could include use of label digitisation such as low-cost electronic tagging, the development publication of public databases or consumer awareness campaigns, which could also be utilised to inform consumers when making purchase decisions, the Department of Agriculture, Water Environment said. 

MORE ON RIGHT TO REPAIR MOVEMENT 

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Huawei teams up with GAC Motor for level 4 smart SUV

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Image: GAC Motor

Chinese automaker GAC Group Huawei have joined forces to work towards producing a smart SUV that is planned to hit the market in 2023.

Labelled as the “first joint product of the two enterprises”, the electric vehicle will have level 4 autonomy “exciting new energy capabilities”.

While GAC will be providing the chassis, Huawei will be bringing the computing communication aspects, with the pair planning “eight models multiple series” of electric vehicles.

In June, GAC, Huawei, Didi said they would be “pooling resources, data, scientific research”.

“One exciting project that GAC is working towards in cooperation with Huawei Didi is ‘Level 4’ autonomous vehicles, which can operate almost entirely without input from humans (current driver-assist mechanisms are classed as Level 2 autonomy),” the trio said at the time.

“Combining resources from the three parties, intelligent L4 vehicles are planned to be mass-produced by 2024, utilising GAC design manufacturing capabilities automatic driving software from Didi Huawei. Didi’s intelligent hardware platform, Didi Gemini, is already being road-tested by several multinational car companies.”

Didi founder Cheng Wei has previously said the company wanted a million autonomous vehicles by 2025.

If the Didi script sounds familiar, it was once the vision of Uber, which took in $500 million from Toyota in 2018.

By December 2020, Uber sold its self-driving unit.

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Inflation angst spreads to India bonds as Reserve Bank downplays risk

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India’s sovereign bond market is pricing in growing inflation risks, even as the central bank sees the price pressures as transient.


The yield on India’s benchmark 10-year bond jumped 16 basis points in July, the most among similar-tenor notes from other Asian sovereigns, as retail inflation remained persistently above the Reserve Bank of India’s 2%-6% target range.


Still, the RBI is widely expected to leave its key rates unchanged on Friday continue with its easy monetary stance, as it prioritizes growth after the economy was ravaged by the deadly wave of Covid-19 infections. Governor Shaktikanta Das has insisted that recent inflation readings are only “a transitory hump.” Although, bond investors are skeptical.


The spike in inflation may not be transient while some lower readings are in the offing, it will pick up from December, according to Marzban Irani, chief investment officer for debt at LIC Mutual Fund Asset Management Ltd. “Yields are already at ultra low levels need to correct. I see the 10-year going to 6.5% then even to 7% in a year’s time,” he said.


The RBI, unlike central banks in New ZealSouth Korea, is constrained from taking a hawkish stance as India’s economic recovery is still nascent. Growth showed signs of cooling in June as the slow easing of lockdowns hurt activity. Economists still see consumer inflation picking up pace to 5.7% 5.2%, respectively, for the final two quarters of 2021, according to a Bloomberg survey.


India’s central bank has so far managed to keep yields low by conducting bond purchases, softening the blow from the near-record amount of sovereign debt sales this fiscal year, but there are signs that traders’ patience is wearing thin. The benchmark 10-year bond yield surged to 6.23% last month, the highest since March, as investors pushed for higher yields at an auction, prompting the RBI to seek help from underwriters to rescue the sale.


Even though steady rates are a given at this week’s rate review, any talk of policy normalization could further pressure bond yields higher. However, traders aren’t ruling out unconventional moves that the RBI is known to do as it navigates the growth versus inflation dilemma.


“The Governor has been clear that the policy focus remains on revival of growth,” said Suyash Choudhary, head of fixed income at IDFC Asset Management Ltd. “Inflation will likely continue to be viewed as transitory focus will remain on orderly evolution of the yield curve.”

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Tokyo Olympics 2021 LIVE, women’s hockey QF: GER 0 | 2 ARG at half time

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Indian women’s hockey team

On Day 10 of Tokyo Olympics 2021, all eyes would be on India women’s hockey team who will play their first quarterfinal in Olympics history against the strong Australian side today. The India vs Australia hockey match will begin at 8:30 am IST. India would be hoping a good performance from sprinter Dutee Chdiscus-thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, who was one of the two athletes to meet the automatic qualification mark [64.00m] moved into the final ranked second in qualification.

Tokyo 2020 Medal Tally

ALSO READ: Tokyo Olympics 2021 India contingent: List of Indian athletes, officials

 

India’s last hope in shooting

 

Former Navy man Sanjeev Rajput, now into his third Olympics, young Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, who is on his Olympic debut, will look to bring cheers to the Indian shooting contingent in Tokyo, when they compete in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 positions qualification round, at the Asaka Shooting range on Monday, the 10th concluding day of the shooting competitions.

 

Rajput Tomar are ranked sixth second in the world in this most gruelling shooting event on schedule.


Both Indians will have to fight hard for a top-eight spot, given the presence of the likes of defending Olympic champion Sergey Kamenskiy of Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) world No. 1 Istvan Peni of Hungary in the 48-strong field, among other heavyweight 3P exponents.


The Indian shooters have had a dismal outing in Tokyo, with only Saurabh Chaudhary making it to the finals of the 10m air pistol event but finishing seventh. All the other shooters in pistol, rifle shotgun shooting have dished out sub-par performances.

 ALSO READ: Olympics 2021: India men’s women’s Hockey full schedule, squad, timings


India today’s schedule

Athletics: 


  • Dutee Chin Women’s 200m Heat 4: 7:25am IST.

  • Kamalpreet Kaur in Women’s Discus Throw Final: 4:30pm IST.

 
Equestrian: 


  • Eventing Second Hose Inspection: 6am IST.

  • Fouaad Mirza in Eventing Jumping Individual Qualifier: 1:30pm IST

  • Eventing Individual Jumping Final: 5:15pm IST.

 Hockey:
 
India vs Australia in Women’s Semifinal: 8:30am IST.
 
Shooting: 


  • Sanjeev Rajput Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar in Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Qualification: 8:00am IST.

  • Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions Final: 1:20pm IST.

 
Important international events today 


  • 6.50 AM — ATHLETICS: Men’s Long Jump final (look out for Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle)

  • 8.40 AM — ATHLETICS: Women’s 100m Hurdles final

  • 1.30 PM 4.30 PM – FOOTBALL: women’s semis – USA vs. Canada Australia vs. Sweden

  • 6.10 PM – ATHLETICS: Women’s 5000m final (watch for Netherland’s Sifan Hassan, Kenyans Helen Obiri Agnes Tirop, Ethiopians Gudaf Tsegay, Senbere Teferi Ejgayehu Taye)

 

Tokyo Olympics 2020 live telecast India streaming details
 
The live broadcast of India’s Olympics matches will take place on Sony Sports Network. Sony TEN 1 HD/SD, Sony TEN 2 HD/SD Sony SIX HD/SD with English commentary. Sony TEN 3 HD/SD to live telecast Tokyo Olympics 2021 with Hindi Commentary. DD Sports will live broadcast India matches on its Direct-to-home DTH service.
 
The live streaming of Olympics 2021 will be available on Sony LIV App website.
 
Stay tuned for Olympics 2021 live updates….
 

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