Roundup – Apple settles $50m keyboard lawsuit, Thailand confesses spyware and Twitter vs Musk trial gets fast-tracked
Apple agrees $50mn settlement over defective keyboards
Apple has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit by customers who claimed it concealed the vulnerabilities that “butterfly” keyboards on MacBook laptops are subject to, such as “sticky and unresponsive keys” and “dust or debris” that can make it difficult to type. The settlement covers consumers who purchased MacBook, MacBook Air and most MacBook Pro models between 2015 and 2019 in seven US states. Lawyers of the customers expect payouts of between $50 to $395, depending on how many times a keyboard has been replaced. Apple denies any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement which awaits judges approval.
Twitter gets fast-tracked Elon Musk trial over $44bn deal
Twitter has been granted an October trial in an attempt to hold Elon Musk to his $44bn takeover. A Delaware judge said the company deserved “a quick resolution”, adding that delaying the trial into 2023 could threaten deal financing: “The reality is delay threatens irreparable harm to the sellers,” said chancellor Kathaleen McCormick of the Court of Chancery in Delaware. This denies Musk’s push for a trial in February to allow for an “extensive investigation” into Twitter’s alleged misrepresentation of fake and spam accounts. Twitter is adamant that the deal terms force Musk to pay, regardless of the investigation which it describes a “distraction”.
US lobby groups query independence of India content appeal panel
US lobby groups have aired concerns over India’s plan to form a panel to hear appeals against content moderation decisions. The US India Business Council and US India Strategic Partnership Forum said that such a panel could act independently. The rules will create a Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) “which is entirely controlled by the (IT) Ministry, and lacks any checks or balance,” stated USIBC in a letter addressed to India’s IT ministry. The government said it would cease the panels if companies form their own self-regulatory system, but “if they don’t do it, the government will have to”, a senior Indian official told Reuters.
Thailand comes clean on using phone spyware, cites national security
Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, said that he is aware of Thai authorities using spyware in “limited” cases such as national security and drugs. He did not specify which government agency used the spyware or the individuals targeted, but he said he is aware it is being applied to “listen into or access a mobile phone to view the screen, monitor conversations and messages”.
“It is used on national security or drug matters. If you need to arrest a drug dealer you have to listen in to find where the drop would be,” said Thanakamanusorn.
Microsoft unveils it ‘sovereign’ cloud for governments
Microsoft has launched a public cloud for governments to give them “greater control” over their data. It also said they will need the cloud to “better compete” with rivals and expects public sector organisations to use its “Cloud for Sovereignty”.
“We do expect customers around the world… but the first few customers have been in Europe,” corporate vice president Corey Sanders said in an interview.
Microsoft added that the product will “fulfil obligations” around data governance, security controls, privacy of citizens, data residency and other legal requirements. It is also working with partners Leonardo and Proximus to provide personalised clouds for local governments.
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