Senator Asks FTC to Look Into Android, Apple Privacy Breaches
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports that third-party applications running on both the Android and iOS platforms can pilfer smartphone owners' private photos and contacts and post them elsewhere online without the owner's consent. Several reports have surfaced in recent weeks concerning applications that are accessing smartphone contacts and photo albums unbeknownst to owners. "These uses go well beyond what a reasonable user understands himself to be consenting to when he allows an app to access data on the phone for purposes of the app's functionality," said Schumer. "Smartphone makers should be required to put in place safety measures to ensure third party applications are not able to violate a user's personal privacy by stealing photographs or data that the user did not consciously decide to make public." Both Apple and Google have come under fire for the perceived privacy violations.
Apple Debuts HomePod, Its Competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo
Apple today announced the HomePod, a new in-home speaker similar to the Google Home and Amazon Echo. It features the Siri voice-based assistant and can act on spoken requests with a focus on music.
Facebook to Make Its Instant Articles Compatible with Google, Apple Formats
Facebook wants content to be more readable across the web and took steps this week toward that goal by tweaking the SDK for its Instant Articles. Facebook's Instant Articles give publishers a way to streamline content for consumption on mobile devices, but Instant Articles aren't compatible with the mobile-first styles used by Google and Apple.
Google Uses Machine Learning to Tweak Sheets
Google today rolled out new features for its Sheets spreadsheet application. Most of the new features target the desktop-based version of Sheets.
Apple's Move to iOS App Lands in Play Store
Apple today released an Android application called Move to iOS. The app helps owners of Android handsets migrate to the iPhone.
Google's 'About Me' Page Acts As Privacy Dashboard
Google has made available a new tool online for controlling what personal, work, and other data is shared publicly. Users can view, edit, and assign visibility to their phone numbers, email addresses, social network profiles, as well as basic personal identifiers such as age, gender, and locations.