Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- Intel has been impacted by a chip security flaw that affects every chip released since 2011. Called ZombieLoad, the flaw is made up of four bugs and lets hackers exploit design flaws.
- Apple, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Amazon all released patches for the flaw. The bug could leak sensitive data like passwords and messages.
- San Francisco became the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other city departments. The ban is part of broader legislation that requires city departments to establish use policies and obtain board approval for surveillance technology they want to purchase or are using at present.
- Facebook will ban people who misuse its livestreaming feature for a period of time, according to CNN. The company didn’t detail its rules around enforcement, but spreading terrorist propaganda or hate speech will likely result in a ban.
- Google executives are clamping down on what information can and cannot be shared among employees, amid a wave of employee activism that has caused the tech giant to sideline numerous projects, including some that had the potential to be highly lucrative. In an internal email sent to employees last week and obtained by Business Insider, Google’s Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker re-enforced the company’s restrictions for sharing “need-to-know” information.
- Twitter is fighting vaccine misinformation by pointing people to reliable health information when they search for terms relating to vaccines. Social media companies have come under pressure for the spread of misinformation around vaccines on their platforms.
- Lyft’s chief operating officer, Jon McNeill, has blunt advice for drivers worried about being replaced by autonomous robo-taxis: become a mechanic. McNeill compared drivers today, facing an impending revolution from autonomous technology, to the telephone switchboard workers of decades past.
- Google has reportedly agreed to settle a class action lawsuit based on an issue with the microphones on its original Pixel smartphone, which was released in 2016. Pixel owners could be paid up to $US500 if they suffered from the defect, and even Pixel owners who had no problems could be entitled to $US20 as a part of the class action settlement.
- Facebook has hired two veteran compliance experts from blockchain startup Coinbase. The two hires come as reports swirl that Facebook is preparing to announce a product from its secretive blockchain team.
- Disney will take full operational control of streaming service Hulu from Comcast, effective immediately. Comcast will also have the option to sell its 33% stake in Hulu to Disney at a valuation of at least $US27.5 billion in 2024.
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