Daily Digest (11/18)

TikTok Expands Parental Protections; Facebook, Twitter CEOs Defend Election Actions; Twitter Launches Posts That Disappear in 24 Hours; 10,000 in Del. Affected by COVID-19 Breach.

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TikTok Expands Parental Protections

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, said Tuesday that it had expanded parental protections on the short video-sharing app.

TikTok expanded its “Family Pairing” feature, introduced earlier this year, which allowed parents to link their TikTok account with their child’s account, Reuters reports.

The company said parents now could decide if their children’s accounts should be made public or remain private.

Parents also can decide the content, users, hashtags or sounds their children can search for on the app.

Facebook, Twitter CEOs Defend Election Actions

The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday defended their actions on how they handled electoral “disinformation” in the 2020 the presidential election before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey told senators that they had programs in place to protect their platforms from being used to incite violence and disseminate falsehoods, The Associated Press reports.

During the hearing, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Conn., called “constructive” the steps the companies took during the election.

Republicans, including Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C., pushed for limiting the protections that shielded tech companies from legal responsibility for what users post.

“There’s Republican and Democratic concern about the power that’s being used by social media outlets to tell us what we can see and what we can’t, what’s true and what’s not,” Graham said.

Twitter Launches Posts That Disappear in 24 Hours

Twitter said Tuesday that it had launched tweets that disappear in 24 hours, called “Fleets.”

The disappearing posts are designed for new Twitter users who might be wary of the public and permanent nature of normal tweets, The Associated Press reports.

Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram already utilize similar features.

Before rolling it out globally, Twitter said it tested the feature in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea.

Joshua Harris, Twitter design director, and Sam Haveson, product manager, said in a joint blog post that Fleets was a “lower-pressure” way to communicate “fleeting thoughts,” as opposed to permanent tweets.

10,000 in Del. Affected by COVID-19 Breach

Delaware officials said that the personal information of 10,000 people who tested for COVID-19 accidentally was shared with an unauthorized individual.

The state’s Division of Public Health said Sunday that the breach occurred in August after a staff member sent two unencrypted emails, The Associated Press reports.

The files included test results, names, birth dates and cellphone numbers — though they did not include financial information, Delaware State News reports.

The unauthorized individual, who received the emails on Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, alerted the division about the breach and deleted the messages, according to AP.

The emails concerned people who tested between July 16 and Aug. 10, and those who tested on Aug. 15.

The agency said officials reported the breach to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Delaware Department of Justice.

— By DPN Staff