PayPal was hit with a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of deceiving users about where their charitable donations go. The company allegedly gives the money to different organizations than those designated by donors. The lawsuit alleges that small charities don't receive donations unless they create a PayPal "Giving Fund" account.
Connected toy company CloudPets suffered a data breach that may have exposed information from more than 800,000 accounts. CloudPets' stuffed animals can send and receive voice messages from users, including children and their parents. A security researcher said the hackers accessed a database containing email addresses and hashed passwords. A company executive said there was no evidence that hackers were able to actually decrypt the password and access accounts.
Lawmakers in Georgia, Maryland, Illinois and Tennessee have introduced measures that would prevent Google, Uber and other companies that aren't car manufacturers from operating self-driving cars. GM apparently backs the bills, but an organization representing Ford, Uber, Lyft and Volvo opposes them.
Regulators in Germany told people to destroy the smart doll My Friend Cayla, which records conversations with kids. The doll allegedly asked children to answer questions about their favorite shows and toys and sent the data to an outside company.
Amazon is seeking to quash a subpoena for data recorded from an Amazon Echo near the scene of a murder in Arizona. The company argues that the data is protected by free speech principles. "The publicity generated by this search warrant in particular has led to numerous articles raising concerns about the use of Alexa-enabled devices and other in-home intelligent personal assistants, and in particular whether use of such devices exposes customers’ audio recordings and information requests to government review," the company argues in its court papers. …
Warner Bros. has settled a lawsuit against the talent agency Innovative Artists over leaked DVD screeners of "Creed" and "In the Heart of the Sea." The original complaint alleged that the agency created digital copies of the watermarked DVDs and placed them online -- apparently on a protected platform created for the agency's clients. But agency personnel allegedly provided access to outsiders, and the films eventually landed on piracy sites.
More than 50% of Web pages are now encrypted, according to data provided by the Chrome and Firefox browsers. Encryption got a boost when Facebook and Twitter implemented HTTPS by default, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Google has also put pressure on the tech community by using HTTPS as a signal in search ranking algorithms," the EFF added.
The Federal Trade Commission is investigating polices and practices of the auto loan company Credit Acceptance Corporation, which uses GPS technology to track vehicles in order to repossess them. The investigation is part of a larger FTC probe of the subprime car loan industry's use of tracking technologies.
An appellate court in New Zealand has ruled that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom should be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges. Dotcom, who is under indictment for a host of charges, including criminal copyright infringement and wire fraud, plans to appeal the ruling to New Zealand's Court of Appeal.
Internet service provider Cox Communications must reimburse music publisher BMG for $8 million in legal fees, a judge has ruled. Cox had already been ordered to pay BMG $25 million for contributing to copyright infringement by failing to disconnect alleged file-sharers. The broadband provider has appealed the earlier ruling to the 4th Circuit.