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Pro-Apple protest against FBI in New York

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New York: A group of protesters assembled outside Apple’s flagship store because of  FBI’s attempt to install software with backdoors in all of Apple’s iPhones.

With posters saying “Don’t break our phones” and displaying cell phone images saying “No entry” in hands, the high-spirited protesters faced damp rain and bitter wind outside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store,  according to Xinhua news agency.

Jeff Lyon, the chief technical officer said, “We are standing in solidarity with Apple and their decision to oppose the FBI’s scheme to put backdoors to the iPhones”.

The protest occurred against the background of a major argument between the country’s law enforcement agencies and Apple over its security measures on iPhones.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a cue last Friday to force Apple to comply with a court order to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation to access data on an iPhone owned by the terrorist shooter of San Bernadino, California.

Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik used an IPhone 5C. But FBI couldn’t access the data on the phone without a passcode.This couple shot 14 people dead in December 2015 in San Bernadino and was later killed by Police.

In response to FBI’s request, a federal judge ordered Apple to create a software that evades a security feature that erases data in the iPhone after 10 unsuccessful unlocking attempts.

“This case sets a dangerous precedent for the FBI to get a court to order Apple to push new software on all their phones that create a government backdoor,” said protester David Moore.

In a statement released last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to obey with the court order, saying that “in the wrong hands, this software – which does not exist today – would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession,” which would in turn compromise the data security of all Apple’s customers.

“Once you break one phone, you break all the phones. All our phones are breakable using the same technology,” said protester Theo Chino.(IANS)

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New York Orders State to Investigate in Facebook Access to Data

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over privacy issues.

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FILE - The Facebook app icon is shown on an iPhone in New York. VOA

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered two state agencies to investigate a media report that Facebook Inc may be accessing far more personal information from smartphone users, including health and other sensitive data, than had previously been known.

The directive to New York’s Department of State and Department of Financial Services came after The Wall Street Journal said testing showed that Facebook collected personal information from other apps on users’ smartphones within seconds of them entering it.

The WSJ reported that several apps share sensitive user data including weight, blood pressure and ovulation status with Facebook. The report said that the company can access data in some cases even when the user is not signed into Facebook or does not have a Facebook account.

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Shares in Facebook took a short-lived hit after the Wall Street Journal report was published, but closed up 1.2 percent. Pixabay

In a statement Cuomo called the practice an “outrageous abuse of privacy.” He also called on the relevant federal regulators to become involved.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Shares in Facebook took a short-lived hit after the Wall Street Journal report was published, but closed up 1.2 percent.

In late January Cuomo along with New York Attorney General Letitia James announced an investigation into Apple Inc’s failure to warn consumers about a FaceTime bug that had let iPhones users listen to conversations of others who have not yet accepted a video call.

Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over privacy issues, including a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation into disclosures that Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

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Facebook is facing a slew of lawsuits and regulatory inquiries over privacy issues. Pixabay

New York’s financial services department does not traditionally supervise social media companies directly, but has waded into digital privacy in the financial sector and could have oversight of some app providers that send user data to Facebook.

ALSO READ: Samsung to Launch Tablet Folded Smartphone for $2000

In March, it is slated to implement the country’s first cybersecurity rules governing state-regulated financial institutions such as banks, insurers and credit monitors.

Last month, DFS said life insurers could use social media posts in underwriting policies, so long as they did not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or other protected classes. (VOA)