Facebook bans another app by Cambridge Analytica for improperly sharing information. Australia has banned Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE from contributing equipment to its 5G network. And IBM has patented a novel way to help sleepy office workers stay awake.
All three of today’s stories are from Reddit.
First: Facebook has revealed that another social app developed by Cambridge Analytica – you know, the U.K. firm that famously harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users through online quizzes – has been suspended from the platform for… harvesting the data of millions of Facebook users. Around 4 million, to be exact. The culprit this time was the myPersonality app, which like Cambridge Analytica’s earlier “This Is Your Digital Life” app, required users to share both their personal data and that of their friends in order to use it, and collected most of its data before 2012. According to Facebook, since the company began investigating unscrupulous apps in March, it’s researched thousands and suspended more than 400.
Next: A diplomatic war between the Australian government and China’s two biggest telecoms is heating up on Twitter. According to TechCrunch, it started with Australia’s government issuing new security guidelines for 5G carriers, which essentially deemed companies like ZTE and Huawei, both of which are frequently accused of gathering and providing information to China’s repressive communist government, security risks and banned them from contributing to the construction of a national 5G network currently scheduled to launch next year. In a since-deleted tweet Huawei called the decision an “extremely disappointing result for consumers,” noting that it’s “a world leader in 5G” and “has safely and securely delivered wireless technology in Australia for close to 15 years.”
Finally: IBM has patented a device that could make it easier to stay awake at work by making it easier to get your hands on a cup of coffee. A drone patented by Big Blue – which, it should be noted, has registered more U.S. patents than any other company for 25 years in a row, not all of which make it to market – would be capable of monitoring the, quote, “cognitive state” of office workers and lowering a cup of joe – or, this tea drinker assumes, some other beverage loaded with caffeine – on an “unspooling string”. Other options suggested by the patent: Pouring the drink into an open cup, lowering it in a sealed bag, or simply allowing users to request a cup by raising their hand.