Meta faces US$1.3 billion fine, largest fine ever for GDPR privacy violations Microsoft sounds the alarm over email fraud and why China’s AI answer to ChatGPT was banned from talking about Winnie the Pooh?

These top tech news and more for Tuesday, May 23, 2023. I’m your host, Jim Love, IT Director of IT World Canada and Tech News Day in the US.

European regulators fined Meta $1.3 billion for allowing European users’ data to be transferred to the US – the largest fine in GDPR history for a privacy breach.

The European Data Protection Board ordered Meta to bring data transfers in line with the GDPR and delete all “unlawfully stored and processed data within six months”.

The order appears to apply to Facebook user data, not Instagram and WhatsApp, which were not affected by the order.

Andrea Jelinek, the chairman of the Data Protection Board, claims that the Meta breach was “systematic, repeated and long-lasting”. She further stated that Facebook has millions of users in Europe, so the amount of personal data that is shared is huge. The unprecedented fine sends a strong signal to organizations that serious breaches have far-reaching consequences.”

Meta is appealing the ruling, calling it “unwarranted and unnecessary.”

Sources include: Hacker news

last week, Apple has announced a new ChatGPT app for the iPhone. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, an internal memo announced that Apple employees were prohibited from using ChatGPT for their work.

Apple also banned Copilot from GitHub. GitHub is owned by Microsoft.

Apple isn’t the only company that has banned ChatGPT and other generative AI models out of concern about possible data leaks from their organizations.

Their fears are well-founded. In March, a bug in ChatGPT temporarily allowed users to see the chat history of other users.

Following this issue, ChatGPT added an option that allows users to turn off their chat history and not contribute to the training of the AI ​​model with their interactions.

But cautiously, fearing other bugs or another way to leak key data, Apple has joined a list of other major companies that have banned or restricted use, including Samsung, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase and Amazon – although Amazon has its own set of AI tools.

Apple, unfortunately, does not.

Although Siri looks conversational, the “backend” is actually a database of expected questions and answers, far inferior to the generative artificial intelligence models of its competitors. In fact, Apple employees have reportedly expressed extreme dissatisfaction with Siri’s shortcomings stemming from its current structure.

Tim Cook praised the possibilities of artificial intelligence, but also noted that there are “challenges that need to be solved.” However, Apple is rumored to be working on an AI codena toolhoney Bobcat, which will bring generative artificial intelligence to Siri. According to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple is experimenting with using this new feature when Siri tells jokes. It is not yet clear when the company plans to expand the functionality of artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, Apple’s AI will be a joke. Oh! It was brutal.

Sources include: 9 to 5 Mac

And HP, which took a bit of heat last month when it appeared to be blocking the use of cheaper non-HP ink cartridges, has another problem. According to an article in Bleeping Computer, a recent firmware update disabled Office Jet printers worldwide.

These are reportedly HP OfficeJet 902x models, including the HP OfficeJet Pro 9022e, HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e, HP OfficeJet Pro 9020e All-in-One, HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e All-in-One Printer

The update, which starts automatically, leaves these devices with a blue screen of death with an error message on the touchscreen.

HP told Bleeping Computer that “our teams are working diligently to resolve the blue screen error affecting a limited number of HP OfficeJet Pro 9020e printers.”

Those not affected can try making sure their printers are not connected to the Internet until a fix is ​​available.

Sources include: A beeping computer

Microsoft is warning of an increase in business fraud in a new report called The Trust Game. The report notes that the FBI reported more than 21,000 complaints with losses of more than $2.7 billion.

According to the report, Microsoft says they’ve seen “an increase in sophistication of tactics, including masking Internet addresses to appear local and not trigger some of the alerts that identify and block their login attempts and other ‘suspicious activity.’ »

One factor driving the rise is the availability of “as-a-service tools” such as Evil Proxy, Naked Pages, and Caffeine, and increasingly one called BulletProftLink. This last suggestion allows relatively unsophisticated users to effectively create “industrial malware email campaigns.” According to the report, “BulletProftlink sells an end-to-end service iincluding templates, hosting and automated services’. Cybercrook callers receive victim’s credentials and IP address.’

Attackers also use IP/proxy services that marketers use for research to scale these attacks. Microsoft notes that one “IP service provider has 100 million IP addresses that can be rotated or changed every second.”

The report urges companies to maximize security settings, flag unknown users, set up strong authentication and educate users to be highly suspicious of any warning signs of potential fraud and implement a secure payment gateway instead of sending invoices by email or at least to verify any instructions over the phone or other secure confirmation.

Sources include: Microsoft Report “The Confidence Game”

And a report in the New York Post claims that a Chinese competitor to ChatGPT, called Ernie, has clashed with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The new AI, which has been described as “the best alternative to the dangers posed by OpenAI’s ChatGPT”, has apparently been programmed to avoid mentions of Si and Winnie the Pooh.

This is reported by The Post that when a reporter asked “what’s the relationship between Si and Winnie the Pooh”, not only did they not answer, but the reporter’s access to Ernie as was cut off.

Since Ernie was unavailable, we asked the Bard – no, not Bert, the Bard – and got the following uncensored version of the scandal.

In 2013, critics compared the image of Pooh and his friend Tigger to that of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama, which was seen as disrespectful. Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh led to the fictional bear being banned in China, along with movies, TV series and soft toys in the country. A meme comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh gained significant popularity among Western users on Reddit, Twitter and other online platforms in 2019.

Disney’s Christopher Robin was banned in China in 2018, reportedly due to the country’s crusade against images of Winnie the Pooh, which has become a symbol of resistance to enemies of the ruling Communist Party, namely Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

To which we can only say, Ta Ta for now

These are the top tech news for today. We broadcast a daily newscast five days a week as a special weekend interview with an expert on topics relevant to today’s tech news.

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I’m your host, Jim Love. Have a wonderful Tuesday!


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