10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- "Serious" security flaws in TikTok could have let hackers add or delete videos, change privacy settings and steal personal data, it has emerged. After security firm Check Point informed TikTok's developer ByteDance of the vulnerabilities, they have now been fixed, BBC News reports.
- Amazon-owned Ring said it has fired four employees for abusing access to customers' video footage in the past four years. The video doorbell maker reported four instances where it fired employees for improperly accessing customers' videos in a letter sent to lawmakers Monday.
- Facebook and eBay are cracking down on the sale of fake online reviews after being warned by a UK regulator. The two firms have formally agreed "to better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews" after the regulator stepped in.
- An uncritical Teen Vogue story about Facebook caused bewilderment about whether it's sponsored content before the entire article vanished. Teen Vogue published and then promptly deleted a story about Facebook's 2020 election efforts. No one has any idea what's going on.
- TikTok accounts posing as politicians like Trump and Bernie Sanders keep cropping up, and it's another symptom of the app's ongoing struggle to police itself. President Trump and presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders don't have official TikTok accounts, but that hasn't stopped some impersonators.
- A judge has reportedly ordered Google to surrender all of Jussie Smollett's email, photos, and location data from a full year. Prosecutors have reportedly been granted a year's worth of Smollett's personal data to investigate whether the actor faked a racist, homophobic attack in 2019.
- Buzzy new streaming service Quibi has been shown off at the CES tech conference. According to the Financial Times, stars signed on to make content for the Netflix rival include Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, and Steven Soderbergh.
- Singer Grimes has posted a nude Instagram photo of her looking pregnant and comments about being "knocked up," leading to speculation that she and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are having a child. The meaning behind the photo is unclear, however: Grimes is known for trolling, and she has new music coming out in February, so the photo could simply be promotional.
- Emma Chamberlain, YouTuber and Gen Z influencer, says the term 'influencer' is "disgusting" in a cover story for Cosmopolitan. Chamberlain's quirky personality has turned her into someone teens follow online because they see her as someone relatable and just like them.
- Apple will pay 5 iPhone users for their best Night Mode photos. The five winners will be paid a licensing fee, and have their work featured on Apple.com and the company's stores.
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