The Cost of Sharing WhatsApp’s Data; APT3 Hackers Linked to Beijing

Posted May 18th, 2017 at 1:02 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

This combination of file pictures created on Dec. 20, 2016 shows the logos of WhatsApp (top) and Facebook. (AFP)

FILE – This combination of file pictures shows the logos of WhatsApp (top) and Facebook. (AFP)

Facebook Fined $122M in Europe for Misleading WhatsApp Filing

European Commission antitrust regulators slapped Facebook Thursday with $122 million in fines for providing “inaccurate or misleading” information for the vetting of its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. The Commission said Facebook claimed it could not automatically match WhatsApp user accounts on its platform, but then turned around and said it would do just that. It then introduced controversial changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy that allowed it to harvest user data. The fine, however, does not reverse the Commission’s decision to clear the WhatsApp purchase.

Study: Virtual Digital Assistants Will Overtake World Population by 2021

Virtual, AI-driven digital assistants are the next frontier in tech rivalry and are projected to see significant growth in coming years. Market research and consulting firm Ovum claims more than 7.5 billion active devices will have digital assistants installed by 2021. Asia and Oceania are projected to have 47.6 percent of voice AI-capable devices in use by that time. China’s virtual assistants were already installed on around 43 million devices in 2016 and more are coming.

Report Links APT3 Hackers to Chinese Government

Researchers at cybersecurity firm Recorded Future say members of the APT3 criminal hacking group, who previously exploited zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows operating systems, are on the payroll of the Chinese Ministry of State Security. The allegation is based on the discovery of two names – Wu Yingzhuo and Dong Hao – who had registered domain names used by hackers. The two individuals are allegedly linked to the Chinese Ministry of State Security.


Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

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