Roundup – Snap and WhatsApp tighten security whilst Musk’s burdens lessen
WhatsApp launches a new set of privacy features
The features allow users to leave groups without everyone knowing, give users control over who can see when they’re online and prevent screenshots of auto-deleting “View Once” messages. According to Mark Zuckerburg – who leads WhatsApp parent Meta – the features are new ways to keep users’ messages as “secure as face-to-face conversations”. They are being launched alongside a global advertising campaign starting in the UK and India. According to Sky News, Meta has long stated it believes end-to-end encryption is the only way to ensure users are safely able to message each other, however the changes won’t yet been implemented across its other platforms amid concerns of blinding law enforcement to child grooming incidents.
In-app store operators come under scrutiny from South Korean regulator
South Korea’s telecommunications regulator The Korea Communications Commissions (KCC) plans to investigate app store operators such as Apple, Google and One Store over possible violations of in-app payment law. Under a law passed last year, these operators are banned from forcing software developers to use their payment systems. The regulator didn’t specify the scale of any possible fines for the infractions, however they could be as high as 2% of the average annual revenue.
“As we have at each stage of this process, we’ll continue to cooperate with the KCC,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement.
Snap unveils parents monitoring tool amid concerns over protection
The new feature called Family Centre has been launched amid social media companies coming under scrutiny for not providing enough protection. The feature allows parents to view their teens friends list and who they have messaged in the past seven days. They can also anonymously report any accounts, but won’t be able to see private or message content.
“It strikes the right approach for enhancing safety and well-being, while still protecting autonomy and privacy,” said Jeremy Voss, Snap’s head of messaging products, in an interview.
Snap will launch additional features in the coming months, including notifications to parents when their teen reports abuse from a user.
Elon Musk lines up $7bn backing for Twitter deal
Musk has lined up 19 new investors to help with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter. The commitments, totalling $7.1bn, enable Musk to breathe a sigh of relief should he be forced to complete the deal. Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder, will contribute the most ($1bn) and other investors include Silicon Valley firm Sequoia Capital and crypto exchange Binance. Musk – who was facing legal action after efforts to cancel the deal – will reduce debt from $12.5bn to $6.25bn, according to the government filing.
“It’s by no means a sure thing that he will actually close on this deal,” said David Yoffie, professor at Harvard Business School. “The financing is a huge risk.” But Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said the new investor group will help reduce those worries.
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