Apps

Facebook will pay for your voice recording, if you agree

It’s for their smart speaker

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Much has been said about Facebook’s track record for violating user’s privacy. As such, the company took some steps to rectify its shortcomings. However, the company remains firm on its data collection practices.  After all, data from the users provide a lot of revenue opportunities for the company.

The company is now trying out an odd way to let it collect these data. Facebook is now resorting to paying willing users to have their voice recorded. By consenting to Facebook’s collection of your voice and personal details, you can get rewards which you can also exchange for a measly amount of money.

If you are eager to try out this Facebook’s new scheme, you can do so by downloading the Viewpoints app. The company launched the app months ago to test out new features for its platform. Through the app, you can receive an invite from the company prompting you to say “Hey, Portal” and the name of your 10 friends in exchange for a reward. Apparently, the social networking company is very eager to know everybody on this planet.

There’s a caveat for trying out though. Only US users can sign-up at the moment. Additionally, you have to say out the prompt five times in order to receive a single reward.

Where will Facebook use the data collected from you? The company is actively developing its new smart speaker — Facebook Portal. By donating your voice to a company with serious privacy violations in the past, you will help them fine-tune the product’s interaction with people.

The company assured that all activity coming from its Viewpoints app will never be shared on Facebook. Also, the company promises to never share all collected data with any other third-party companies without your permission. However, the company still has the right to use other data including payment and device data for better ad targeting.

A step in the right direction?

Over the years, governments and individuals have scrutinized major tech companies for invasive data collection practices. Much of the scrutiny lies in the lack of consent and permission and the scope of data collection. Facebook, in particular, got a bad rep over the years for collecting data anonymously. Worse, the company failed to safeguard this collected data, resulting in leaks with major political implications.

So maybe, this is a step in the right direction for the company. Data collection agreed upon by the users legitimizes the company’s practices — even if it is invasive and unnecessary in the first place.

Source: Android Authority

Apps

Top iOS 15 Features to look out for

FaceTime for Android, anyone?

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The next version of iOS rolls out this fall. There are new features such as FaceTime for Android, new Memojis, rebranded Safari and Messages app, personal identification card compatibility for Wallet, and more.

But in this video, we rounded up our Top 10 iOS 15 Features you should look out for.

Watch the whole video by clicking here.

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Apps

Voilà AI Artist turns your selfies into 3D cartoons, caricatures

And many more artistic renditions!

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Voilà AI Artist

From FaceApp to Zepeto, plenty of avatars from these apps proliferated social media platforms. Most recently, the Internet went crazy with cute avatars once more. You probably noticed how people have been posting a 3D cartoon version of themselves, akin to a Disney character. It’s all thanks to Voilà AI Artist — a photo-editing app using artificial intelligence to turn your photos into artistic renditions.

Get yourself painted as a Renaissance painting.

Voilà AI Artist

Have your selfies transformed into a 3D cartoon from an animated movie.

Turn your photos into a 2D cartoon…

Voilà AI Artist

… or even have your face drawn as a caricature.

Voilà AI Artist

Voilà AI Artist is developed by WeImagine.AI., a Canada-based team of creators and developers. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you’re concerned about the app’s privacy policy, read it here.

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Apps

The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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