Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- Facebook is reportedly under criminal investigation over deals that gave Apple, Amazon, and other companies access to user data. The partnerships, first reported in June, gave those outside companies to data including friend lists, contact information, and even private messages — and not always with the user’s consent.
- Uber is talking to SoftBank and Toyota about a $1 billion investment in its self-driving car business. The deal would value the self-driving car portion of Uber as a business worth $5 billion to $10 billion.
- Newly unsealed court docs revealed Google founder Larry Page threatened to leave if the company didn’t find a way to keep him in control. At the time he made the threat, Page was pressing Google’s board of directors to create a new class of stock that would allow him to retain control even if Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt sold their stock.
- Spotify is going to war with Apple, filing an antitrust complaint over fears it is crushing competitors. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took particular issue with Apple’s 30% tax on purchases made through the App Store.
- WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton renewed his attacks on Facebook and urged students to delete the social network. Acton sold WhatsApp to Facebook in October 2014 for $19 billion, and left at the end of 2017 after disputes with Facebook top brass.
- Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recorded a podcast with a fitness star who recently said that vaccines cause autism. The role of social media platforms in spreading anti-vaccination content has been under scrutiny recently due to a spike in measles cases.
- Twitter will now let you swipe straight into the camera. Twitter says videos and images captured through its camera will look a little different to uploaded media, in a bid to ensure authenticity.
- Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger went down for some users. Facebook had an outage, but said it wasn’t a DDoS attack.
- Amazon took down two books that claimed to have the “cure” for autism. Amazon removed the books after a US lawmaker sent a letter criticising the spread vaccine misinformation on its platform.
- A city in China is experimenting with using facial recognition for payment on the subway. A subway operator in Shenzhen is testing the technology as powered by a 5G network.
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