10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
- A federal regulator has opened up an inquiry into the effort by Google and a massive hospital system to collect private health data on millions of Americans in secret. Google has been quietly working with the second-largest health system in the US, Ascension, on a healthcare data project.
- Google has fired one employee and put two more on leave for allegedly leaking company information to media. According to Bloomberg, Google fired the employees and put one on leave for leaking staffer names and details.
- Disney Plus launched in the US on Tuesday but was hampered by technical issues for some users. Some said they could not log in to the service, and the mobile app was down for some.
- President Trump and Tim Cook are going to tour an Apple factory in Texas together. The trip comes as Cook seeks further relief for Apple from the Trump administration’s tariffs on imports from China.
- Instagram is launching a new video tool that’s nearly a copycat of popular video app TikTok. Instagram is launching Reels, a new video format within Instagram Stories, that allows users to create 15-second videos set to music.
- Goldman Sachs will allow Apple Card customers to appeal their credit limit if they think it’s suspiciously low, US bank CEO Carey Hailo said on Monday evening. The bank is Apple’s partner for Apple Card and has been at the centre of accusations that it offers lower credit scores for women for no discernible reason.
- Shopping app Depop, which is popular among teens, has started attracting people who send creepy, harassing messages, and the company hasn’t figured out how to stop it. A new report from Business of Fashion and an Instagram account called “Depop Drama” both document the “dark side” of the clothing resale app, where anonymous users badger sellers with requests for nude pictures.
- Richard Plepler, the former CEO of HBO, is in talks to join Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV Plus, according to multiple outlets. Plepler’s new company RLP & Co. would create original content for the service under the reported deal.
- Facebook users noticed a bug on Tuesday that let the app access their iPhone’s camera while they scroll through their newsfeed. A real-time view from the iPhone’s rear-facing camera appears in the Facebook app when a user clicks on an ad and then rapidly clicks on a different app element.
- Facebook is on the defensive after its head of news was revealed to have cofounded a website critical of Elizabeth Warren. Campbell Brown, is a cofounder of a media outlet that has published opinion articles sharply critical of Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has advocated breaking up major tech companies.
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