ShinyShiny snippets: TikTok fined £12.7m by UK’s data watchdog

TikTok has been fined £12.7m for failing to protect the privacy of children, the UK’s data watchdog has said. An investigation conducted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found the video-sharing app breached data protection law. It says the breaches happened between May 2018 and July 2020. TikTok says it disagrees with the ICO’s decision. It is one of the largest fines the regulator has issued. However, it is still half of what the ICO threatened last year. In September, the watchdog issued TikTok with a “notice of intent” – a precursor to handing down a potential fine. BBC

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch company founded by the billionaire Sir Richard Branson, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US after last-ditch efforts to find funding for the struggling space firm fell through. It comes less than a week after the company announced it was cutting 85% of its workforce, leaving roughly 100 employees to run what was left of the business. The US-based firm will seek a buyer for its assets. “While we have taken great efforts to address our financial position and secure additional financing, we ultimately must do what is best for the business,” the chief executive, Dan Hart, said. The Guardian

Full-size, self-driving buses will begin public services next month. Stagecoach announced that the ground-breaking scheme over the Forth Road Bridge will launch on May 15. It will cover a 14-mile route between the Ferrytoll park and ride in Fife and the Edinburgh Park train and tram interchange. The vehicles have sensors enabling them to travel on pre-selected roads at up to 50mph. They will have two members of staff on board. A safety driver will sit in the driver’s seat to monitor the technology, and a so-called bus captain will help passengers with boarding, buying tickets and queries. Daily Record

Tesla has issued a recall for its all-electric Semi truck just three months after it launched. According to a notice published online by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the voluntary recall involves an “electronic parking brake valve module [that] may fail to move into the park position when the parking brake is activated.” It added that “if the parking brakes are not engaged when the driver expects them to be and the driver releases the service brakes, the vehicle may unintentionally move, increasing the risk of crash.” Digital Trends

NASA has named a team of four astronauts who will embark on a historic venture around the moon ahead of a return to the lunar surface. Artemis II will see the crew board the Orion spacecraft, carried by the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket – the most powerful ever built – for a flyby of Earth’s only natural satellite. The team consists of American astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman, and Canadian spaceman Jeremy Hansen. Sky News 

Elon Musk is facing a $258 billion racketeering lawsuit after crypto investors accused him of intentionally inflating the price of dogecoin. Plaintiffs in the US case claim Mr Musk used his social media presence and an appearance on Saturday Night Live to drive up dogecoin’s price by “more than 36,000 per cent over two years and then letting it crash.” The filing alleges that Mr Musk “used his pedestal as World’s richest man to operate and manipulate the Dogecoin Pyramid Scheme.” Independent

Chris Price