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Two-Hour Wait to Use Fully Functional 18-carat Gold Toilet “America” at Guggenheim Museum in New York

The fully functional toilet is a work of art called “America”

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FILE - The Guggenheim Museum in New York has installed an 18-carat, solid gold toilet that patrons can use. (Guggenheim). VOA

Nov 19, 2016: If you find yourself at New York’s Guggenheim museum with an urgent need to go to the bathroom, you probably shouldn’t try to use the museum’s 18-carat gold toilet.

Waits to use the golden throne are reportedly up to two hours.

The fully functional toilet is a work of art called “America.” It first went on display in September.

It’s the creation of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, who reportedly stated the art is about economic inequality.

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According to the museum, the toilet is a “a bold, irreverent work … ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity,” adding that the point of the exhibit is “making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent.”

A New York Times reporter was able to use the golden throne ahead of its opening to the public, saying it “looks best when in use, sparkling so much it’s almost too bright to look at, especially during the flush, which may be a new postmodern sublime.”

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According to newspaper, the arrival of the elaborate toilet was delayed because it was difficult to install. Its cost was underwritten by private donors and is not being revealed. The gold commode is to be available for use indefinitely at the Guggenheim restroom on the fifth floor ramp.

This is not the first time a toilet has been used as a work of art. In 1917, artist Marcel Duchamp called a porcelain urinal mounted to the wall a “Fountain” creating an uproar in the art community. (VOA)

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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.

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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)