Daily Digest (7/14)

Wells Fargo Tells Employees to Remove TikTok From Company Devices; India Seeks to Limit Facebook, Google Dominance in Online Data; Canada’s Supreme Court Upholds Genetic Nondiscrimination Act; LinkedIn Sued Over Allegation It Secretly Reads Apple Users’ Clipboard Content. Click “Continue reading” below.

Wells Fargo Tells Employees to Remove TikTok From Company Devices

Wells Fargo has instructed employees who installed TikTok on company devices to remove the app over privacy concerns.

“We have identified a small number of Wells Fargo employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application on their device,” a Wells Fargo spokesperson told The Verge.

“Due to concerns about TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices.”

The bank’s directive was first reported by The Information.

It’s the latest company to raise security concerns about employees using the embattled video-sharing app, which hit 2 billion downloads in April. 

On Friday, Amazon said it sent an email “in error” to employees asking them to remove TikTok from mobile devices with Amazon email addresses. The company later clarified that there had been “no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.”

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, was among several apps recently revealed to be accessing user clipboard data when running in the background. TikTok says it has since removed the feature.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also has said that the White House was “looking at” banning TikTok, while U.S. military branches already have barred the app from government-owned devices.

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India Seeks to Limit Facebook, Google Dominance in Online Data

India needs a new data regulator to oversee the sharing, monetization and privacy of information collected online, according to an expert committee appointed by the government.

In a 72-page report seen by Bloomberg News, the eight-member panel said that “market forces on their own will not bring about the maximum social and economic benefits from data for the society” and identified key issues that a new regulator would have to address.

The regulator must ensure that all stakeholders followed rules, provided data when legitimate requests were made, evaluated risks of re-identification of anonymized personal data and also helped level the playing field for businesses, the report advised.

The document named U.S. giants Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google as the beneficiaries of first-mover advantages and network effects that had “left many new entrants and start-ups being squeezed and faced with significant entry barriers.”

The regulator’s envisioned role in facilitating data-sharing would be to lessen these effects while increasing innovation, economic growth and social well-being, according to the report.

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Canada’s Supreme Court Upholds Genetic Nondiscrimination Act

The Canadian Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) in a 5-4 decision on Friday.

The case arose from the Quebec Court of Appeal, in which the government argued that GINA was outside the federal government’s powers under the country’s Constitution Act of 1867.

Quebec argued that federal criminal power was being used to legislate on a matter reserved for the provinces under the constitution, exceeding the authority of Parliament and other federal agencies.

But the Supreme Court held it was within the federal government’s criminal law powers under the constitution, by prohibiting the risk of harm from genetic discrimination and genetic testing, viewing that “protecting fundamental moral precepts or social values” were legitimate bases on which to found that authority.

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LinkedIn Sued Over Allegation It Secretly Reads Apple Users’ Clipboard Content

Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn has been sued by a New York iPhone user, alleging that the platform reads and diverts users’ sensitive content from Apple Inc.’s Universal Clipboard application.

According to Apple’s website, Universal Clipboard allows users to copy text, images, photos, and videos on one Apple device and then paste the content onto another Apple device, Reuters reports.

But the lawsuit, filed Friday in a San Francisco federal district court by Adam Bauer, accused LinkedIn of reading the Clipboard information without notifying users.

LinkedIn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Developers and testers of Apple’s operating system iOS 14 found that LinkedIn’s application on iPhones and iPads “secretly” read users’ clipboard “a lot,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit seeks to certify the complaint as a class-action based on alleged violation of the law or social norms, under California laws.

According to the complaint, LinkedIn has not only been spying on its users, it has been spying on their nearby computers and other devices and has been circumventing Apple’s Universal Clipboard timeout.

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By DPN Staff