Facebook in hot water again over data deals with Huawei, Lenovo and others

You get some data, and you get some data…

It’s another bad day for Facebook, as the social network has confirmed that they gave user data to four Chinese companies, including tech device maker Huawei, which is on the U.S. government’s naughty list over security concerns. Other Chinese companies that received user data in so-called “sharing partnerships” include laptop maker Lenovo, smartphone and media player company Oppo, and electronics company TCL.

According to Reuters, Facebook had relationships with sixty companies that included access to some user data, but Facebook said it was usually for the purpose of creating access to mobile features for their users, such as when you post up that photo right to Facebook from your camera roll. Facebook says that over half of those relationships are now defunct and their deal with Huawei and the three other Chinese companies is about to end – as in this week.

Nonetheless, Congress isn’t happy with the latest news and it means even more microscopic federal scrutiny for Facebook, which fired back that the deals were on the up-and-up and that user data was not ported over to company servers – it stayed on the devices of users. No congressional action has resulted from the revelations as of yet; we’ll keep you informed if that changes

Have you priced hearing aids lately?

Apple’s WWDC event is wrapping up soon but one item that caught our attention wasn’t announced on stage: Live Listen, a feature in iOS 12 that will expand the functionality of Apple’s popular AirPods wireless earbuds. Live Listen is an app that connects to medical-grade MFI-certified hearing aids that also have smartphone connection abilities. In essence, it’s sort of a close-range speech amplifier for those with hearing issues.

But in iOS 12, it looks like Apple will expand the feature to AirPods, making them into a sort of budget hearing aid. Medical grade hearing aides can cost many thousands of dollars, so this could help out a lot of people. It could also expand how those of us with regular hearing can use the earbuds, such as being better able to communicate in a noisy environment. Check out how Live Listen works at the link.

Better, Faster, Sixer

If you like to explore photography past the capabilities of your smartphone, good news: Sony’s latest iteration of its popular RX100 pocket camera is a winner. Now called the RX100 VI, the latest update is packing a lot of features, including a 20-megapixel sensor, 8x zoom, full-on 4K video, and a pop-up viewfinder along with a big rear LCD screen for you traditionalists.

Sony has reworked the imaging chip and processor, so you can actually bang out photos at 24 frames per second at full resolution – 24-frame cinema enthusiasts should take note. It also shoots in slow-motion at up to 960 frames per second. Sure it’s $1,200 but it also slips all that performance right into your pocket, so who’s complaining? Certainly not us. Check out our first look.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.