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Digital Digest – 14 April


In this week’s Digital Digest we take a look at Apple’s employee spying claims and a police force’s program to offer GPS trackers to people with dementia.

We then take a look at big tech as competition between video game giants hots up and Elon Musk’s Twitter dealings stoke controversy

Closer To Home

Apple whistleblower brings spying claims to UK

Former Apple employee Ashley Gjøvik has filed a privacy complaint against the iPhone maker alleging that the tech giant invaded employee privacy and engaged in unlawful data collection over ‘years and multiple countries’.

Ms Gjøvik claimed the company uses an app on employees’ iPhones that takes pictures and videos automatically whenever it registers a face on its camera. Apple also allegedly pressured employees to engage in other invasive data collection procedures, including scans of ears and ear canals.

The claim comes after Gjøvik was fired by Apple in September for violating the company’s rules on leaking confidential information. Gjøvik has previously claimed she experienced bullying and harassment from both colleagues and management and says she began raising concerns internally about workplace safety last March.

Police offer GPS trackers to people with dementia

Police forces are offering GPS devices to people with dementia who are at high risk of going missing. Avon and Somerset police are offering 30 devices,  created by local company MindMe, to those they consider most vulnerable as part of the force’s dementia safeguarding scheme. The technology was previously adopted by Sussex police in 2013. 

Should this technology prove to be effective it could be a massive addition to care provisions as 70% of dementia sufferers are deemed to be at risk of going missing at least once, according to research from the University of East Anglia. Sergeant Stuart King, who runs the scheme, stressed that MindMe’s devices are ‘not a substitute for good care’ in preventative and responsive measures for missing persons but the technology can make a ‘crucial difference’.

Big Tech

Big tech bids for video game developers as industry races to build subscription platforms

Microsoft and Sony, as well as Apple, Amazon and Netflix, are  racing to build and develop their own versions of a subscription-based video game library and platform

The race has sparked an acquisition spree, which saw Microsoft buy smaller video game companies like Call of Duty and Warcraft publisher Activision Blizzard. Independent developers have also welcomed the cash injection as it allows them to work on ideas that may not be commercially successful or may not appeal to mass audiences. 

Experts hope this new direction will usher in a more diverse era in the industry where smaller, indie developers can thrive and help move the genre forward without the commercial burden of having to make a globally successful game.

Elon Musk steps back from position on Twitter board despite becoming biggest individual shareholder

It was recently announced that Tesla CEO Elon Musk became Twitter’s largest individual shareholder owning a 9.2% stake in the company. 

His appointment was set to be made official on April 9th, however, on the same morning he decided not to take up the position. This was likely a strategic move on Musk’s behalf as being on the board would have meant that he would have had to agree not to buy more than 14.9% of Twitter’s stock. This restriction no longer applies, which could potentially clear the way for a takeover should Musk decide to do so.

And, in the latest turn of events, Musk is being sued by another Twitter shareholder for failing to disclose he had bought a stake in the company. US law requires that investors notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within 10 days if they acquire a stake bigger than 5% in a company. 

If his first two weeks are anything to go by, it seems likely that Musk’s time at Twitter will be turbulent. A prolific tweeter himself, he has been vocal about his vision for the platform. 

Also In The News

  1. Fortnite Developer Epic Games has secured $2bn in funding from Sony and the investment company behind the Lego Group to build a gaming metaverse. See here.

  2. Tim Cook has said a world without privacy is ‘less innovative’ and ‘less human’ in an attack on social media and search engines. See here.

  3. Netflix subscribers in Russia have launched a class action lawsuit over loss of service following the streaming service’s decision to stop streaming in the country. See here. 

  4. Amazon faces a potential wave of US workers joining trade unions following the successful vote to unionise by workers at the JFK8 site in New York. See here.

  5. Ukraine has accused Sandworm group, a Russian spy agency, of planting a malware ‘bomb’ in order to shut down part of the country’s electricity grid. See here.

Worth A Read

  1. Wired: Europe Is Building a Huge International Facial Recognition System

  2. Daily Telegraph: Why the Japanese company behind the Post Office scandal keeps getting taxpayer cash

  3. Financial Times: Football clubs are influencers and need to cut their crypto ties

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