ShinyShiny snippets: Meta fined €1.2bn for mishandling data

Facebook’s owner, Meta, has been fined €1.2bn (£1bn) for mishandling people’s data
when transferring it between Europe and the United States. Issued by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, it is the largest fine imposed under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. GDPR rules require companies to seek people’s consent before using their personal data. Meta says it will appeal against the “unjustified and unnecessary” ruling. At the crux of this decision is the use of standard contractual clauses (SCCs) to move EU data to the US. BBC 

In Meta’s quarterly earnings call in April, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was on the defensive. The metaverse, the vision of a globe-spanning virtual reality that he had literally bet his multibillion-dollar empire on creating, had been usurped as the new hot thing by the growing hype around artificial intelligence (AI). Critics had even noticed Meta itself changing its tune, highlighting the difference between a November statement from Zuckerberg, in which he described the project as a “high-priority growth area” and a March note that instead focused on how “advancing AI” was the company’s “single largest investment”. The Guardian 

The Government is under pressure to crack down on artificial intelligence (AI) generated music, amid a warning Britain risks becoming “less committed to basic property rights than the Chinese Communist Party”. Senior music industry figures have been lobbying Downing Street to tighten rules around the nascent technology, warning Britain’s approach to regulation was lagging behind that of China. Executives fear artists’ earnings will be undercut by AI-generated songs that rip off their melodies and voices. Telegraph 

Image: Apple

iOS 16.5 is now available to download on any iPhone newer than the iPhone 8, and despite being an incremental update, it’s an important one for your iPhone’s security.  Thought to be the last iOS 16 update before the iOS 17 beta goes live in June, iOS 16.5 patches a nefarious loophole that allows anyone to access your contacts book from your iPhone’s lock screen (an issue that presumably arose as a result of Apple’s decision to improve lock screen customization in iOS 16 proper). Previous versions of iOS 16 have patched similar vulnerabilities concerning access to Messages and the Wallet app through the iPhone lock screen. 

Sci-fi author Tim Boucher has produced over 90 books in nine months, using ChatGPT and the Claude AI assistant. Boucher, an AI artist and writer, claims to have made nearly $2,000 selling 574 copies of the 97 works. Each book in his “AI Lore” series is between 2,000 to 5,000 words long – closer to an essay than a novel. They are interspersed with around 40 to 140 pictures, and take roughly six to eight hours to complete, he told Newsweek. The Register 

Patients will soon be able to use the NHS app
to opt for private hospital treatment in an effort to cut waiting times, according to a report. Both of the main political parties are relying on more people choosing to pay for private care to bring down waiting times and free up the NHS. A report in The Times said that only 28 NHS hospitals currently allow patients to manage appointments via the app, although this is expected to be expanded, which is when the private hospital option will be offered. Sky News 

Chris Price