Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Facebook admitted that it allowed Netflix and Spotify to access users’ private messages. The news came in response to a bombshell New York Times report that detailed how numerous companies had undisclosed access to user data.
- Facebook said there’s an innocent explanation for why it allowed Spotify and Netflix to access your private messages. Facebook says that the access was to allow users of those apps to share messages with each other via Facebook Messenger, like music recommendations on Spotify and movies on Netflix.
- Facebook has been hit with its first lawsuit from US regulators over how it let Cambridge Analytica scrape data.The California social networking giant has been accused of misleading users and failing to protect their data.
- Google has a new review process for handling controversial projects after the backlash over its censored search product for China. On Tuesday, Google announced that it has established a formal process to review new AI-based initiatives that involve sensitive policy questions.
- The Boring Company released video of a Tesla speeding through its newly-completed Hawthorne Tunnel. Elon Musk said in a speech at the tunnel’s unveiling that the company had reached a top speed of 110 mph in the tunnel.
- Dan Wagner, the founder of failed tech unicorn Powa, wants to buy collapsed augmented-reality startup Blippar.Wagner is best known for founding Powa Technologies, the e-commerce startup that was once thought to be worth more than $US2.7 billion, but collapsed in 2016.
- MoviePass got rid of a consultant accused of inappropriate behaviour toward women after executives threatened to quit, and now his quiet return has shaken the company. Bob Ellis, a former music manager who has ties to Hollywood stars, worked as a marketing consultant for MoviePass starting in April, eight current or former MoviePass employees told Business Insider.
- Uber lost an appeal against a British ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers, with access to holiday pay and the minimum wage. The company now plans to take its case to the Supreme Court.
- A Tesla Model S reportedly burst into flames twice after getting a flat tire. Minutes after the Model S was towed to an auto-repair shop, the front end reportedly caught fire, and reignited in the evening.
- Google released a “Home Alone” holiday ad featuring 38-year-old Macaulay Culkin. The ad includes a series of nostalgic scenes from the ’90s classic movie.
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