The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Yahoo waited too long to tell investors that it suffered two massive data breaches. Yahoo reported in September 2016 that hackers stole information associated with 500 million accounts; that theft occurred in late 2014. Last month, Yahoo disclosed that a separate data breach affected 1 billion users; that data breach occurred in 2013.
Snap has filed papers denying former employee Anthony Pompliano's claims that the company lied to investors about usage. "To rationalize his firing, Pompliano has ginned up preposterous allegations about Snap giving investors false user metrics back in 2015," Snap wrote in legal papers, according to The Los Angeles Times. "Those accusations are sure to grab headlines, but they fail to grasp reality.”
The popular selfie filter Meitu, which beautifies photos, is demanding permission for "far more personal data than it needs," and then sending the information to China, Ars Technica reports. The Android version of the app scoops up data including users' calendars, contacts and SMS messages.
Ads for Google and its products often appear in the top spot in search results, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. "The results show how Google uses its dominant search engine to boost other parts of its business and give it an edge over competitors, which include some of its biggest advertising customers," the Journal writes. Google currently faces antitrust charges in Europe for allegedly favoring its comparison-shopping service in the search results.
Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler warns that "nobody is safe" if the net neutrality rules are reversed. He added that without net neutrality, Internet service providers like Comcast, Charter or Verizon could use unfair tactics to hinder Amazon, which offers its own competing video service.
The developers of the ad-blocking app AdNauseam say Google has thrown the app out of the Chrome store and disabled the extension in Chrome for all users. Unlike most ad blockers, AdNauseam "clicks" on all ads and trackers. "The idea is basically to poison the well: by generating such a high level of noise, it makes the signal-to-noise ratio untenable, and renders tracking beacons and ad-delivery cookies moot," Consumerist writes.
Pirated versions of potential Oscar nominees "Hidden Figures," "Patriots Day," "La La Land," "Moonlight" and "Arrival" surfaced online last week, TorrentFreak reports this weekend. The versions online appear to have come from DVDs sent to industry insiders who vote on the Academy Awards.
CEO Lowell McAdam is considering whether to purchase a large cable company like Charter or Comcast, in hopes of competing with AT&T's recent purchase of DirecTV and expected purchase of Time Warner. Last month, McAdam told Wall Street analysts that purchasing a cable company like Charter "makes industrial sense."
AT&T’s $85 billion deal to purchase Time Warner will likely proceed, Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche predicted in a research note. But AT&T may have to spin off some major brands, Fritzsche said.
A proposed bill in Virginia would make it harder for cities and towns to offer muni-broadband service. The measure would prohibit local governments from building their own networks if an existing provider offers service at speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream. "That speed threshold is low enough that it can be met by old DSL lines in areas that haven't received more modern cable and fiber networks," Ars Technica writes.