French Regulators Says Microsoft Collects Too Much User Data

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-07-22 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: French regulators accuse Microsoft of improper data use; Samsung denies Galaxy S7 Active smartphones have water leak problems; Corning makes Gorilla Glass more resistant to falls, breakage; and there's more.


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Today's topics include claims by French regulators that Microsoft is improperly protecting user data, Samsung is sticking to its claims that its S7 Active phones are waterproof, Corning strengthened Gorilla Glass, and Twitter's new account verification process.

A French regulatory watchdog group has accused Microsoft of collecting "excessive" amounts of data on users and then improperly protecting that data.

Among the issues are the collection of diagnostic and usage data not necessary for software operation, and insufficient security measures. For example, Microsoft's Windows 10 software offers unlimited attempts to clear a PIN.  

The regulatory group has issued a formal notice against the tech giant. This follows months of investigation into whether Windows 10 complies with the French Data Protection Act.

Consumer Reports recently claimed that two Samsung Galaxy S7 Active phones failed water-submersion tests, ruining the devices. Samsung has jumped to defend the smartphones, noting that the handsets meet IP68 water-resistance specifications.

The test submerged each of the two smartphones in the equivalent of 5 feet of water for a total of 30 minutes. When removed, the phones showed signs of screen and camera damage.

The Active is a variation on the popular line of Galaxy S7 smartphones from Samsung. Samsung hasn't provided any further insight or explanation as to how the Consumer Reports tests might have failed.

Corning's Gorilla Glass used in displays for mobile devices are an industry standard for durability, and that reputation is about to grow.

The new Gorilla Glass 5 allows the glass to survive falls on asphalt and concrete from about 5.24 feet about 80 percent of the time.

While it's not foolproof, that's a significant improvement from the company's Gorilla Glass 4, which saw the same percentage of survival for only 3.28 feet. The new device displays are expected to appear in the near future.

Twitter is now accepting applications for the coveted blue checkmark that appears next to celebrity, political and government users' names, confirming their identity.

While big names like Kanye West or the U.S. Justice Department are already verified, a number of organizations were quick to jump aboard—like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

The change arrives just days after actor and comedian Leslie Jones announced she was taking a break from Twitter following a deluge of racist and offensive comments.

Part of the abuse was coming from an account posing as Jones herself, potentially putting her public image at risk. Luckily, Verified accounts come with additional filters in Twitter's notifications tab, which is useful for filtering out both spam and offensive users.


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