News

SM Tickets caught selling their users’ data [Updated]

Your email address is in danger

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How much is your privacy worth? To most individuals, personal data is priceless. Without proper regulation, companies today classify privacy as commercial merchandise. Unfortunately, some of these companies hit closer to home than most people would prefer.

Such is the case with Redditor u/joshbeoulve. According to his Reddit post, he found evidence that the Philippines-based SM Tickets Online sold (or at least, gave) his data to another party (in this case, Manulife).

Image source: Redditor u/joshbeoulve

Tracking where data is transacted remains a complicated process. Thankfully, u/joshbeoulve uses temporary burner accounts to sign up for services. In this case, he created an email address specifically for SM Tickets Online. In other words, he gave that email address only to SM Tickets Online.

To his surprise, he received an email from a third party apart from the service in question — Manulife, a company closely affiliated with the SM-owned BDO. The email advertised an upcoming career recruitment event unrelated with any events from SM Tickets.

Image source: Redditor u/joshbeoulve

Burner account services (like Spamgourmet) are active deterrents against spam emails. They can accurately track where your email address ends up in. With u/joshbeoulve’s SM-exclusive account, it’s difficult to argue that SM didn’t handle his data.

Additionally, according to SM Tickets’ privacy policy, users will receive “a User ID which shall not be transferred or sold to another party” when they sign up for the service.

Unfortunately, the policy does not clarify what it means by “User ID” or “another party.” With the lack of clarity, the policy becomes another battle over legal lingo.

Regardless, the management and misuse of data is one of the most controversial topics today. Countries worldwide are cracking down on violations against user privacy. In the Philippines, the recently minted Data Privacy Act of 2012 has policed Philippine companies against privacy violations.

Update (6/2/2018): Since the incident, a representative from Manulife has reached out to Gadgetmatch with the following statement:

Manulife Philippines does not engage in list buying, and does not have any existing arrangements or agreements with any party that would have allowed the unauthorized use of data or of any official documents.

According to the company, the email was sent by a newly employed insurance adviser. After the incident, Manulife has placed the individual under investigation.

Currently, SM Tickets has not spoken out about the issue.

SEE ALSO: Facebook reinforces privacy and security amid growing threats

Enterprise

iPad and MacBook production to shift from China to Vietnam

Apple’s preparing for the worst

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Foxconn’s moving some iPad and MacBook production lines to Vietnam at Apple’s request. Apple intends to take a step back to protect its manufacturing might due to the ongoing trade hostilities between the US and China

According to a Reuters report, the new assembly lines in Vietnam will be operational in the first half of next year at Foxconn’s Bac Giang province. It’s not clear how much production is being moved, but the fact that a shift is already on the table means even the mightiest American company isn’t immune to the trade war.

“Apple requested the move,” a person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters. “It wants to diversify production following the trade war.”

Foxconn has announced a US$ 270 million investment to create a new subsidiary in Vietnam called FuKang Technology. Furthermore, the manufacturing vendor aims to make televisions in the plant for clients like Sony.

This will be the first time Apple has moved its iPad assembly line out of China. However, it’s also not surprising because the Cupertino giant started chalking redundancy plans months ago. Apple has announced a multi-billion dollar investment in India to expand its existing iPhone assembly line.

Trade War just isn’t pretty for anybody

While the trade war and ongoing hostilities between the US and China are yet to affect Apple directly, it intends to take no chance. It’s also considered a pragmatic reaction because many giants like Huawei, ZTE, and ByteDance have been caught in the middle, decimating their future ambitions and scope of expansion.

While American companies are yet to face the wrath directly, the deteriorating situation has prepared them to create back-up plans. Similarly, many other technology giants like Nintendo are also shifting their facilities to Vietnam in search of political stability and a business-friendly environment.

Read Also – Trade War: China’s loss is everyone’s gain

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Apps

Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows in 2021

Feeling the heat from Apple’s move to ARM

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is widely used globally and has remained the laptop and PC segment’s undisputed leader. However, Linux, as well as macOS, have gained considerable traction in the last few years. To maintain its edge, Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows soon.

According to a Windows Central report, internal discussions are ongoing over the possibility of bringing Android runtime to Windows 10. Currently, you can install a third-party emulation software like Bluestacks to run Android apps on a Windows device. But the experience is far from perfect and still requires a bit of a learning curve.

Apple has a significant lead in this regard because its move to an ARM-based M1 processor allows it to run iOS apps on macOS seamlessly. This ideally helps in bridging the software gap between two very different devices.

Microsoft has tried to achieve a similar goal with the Universal Windows Platform. But the results are still limited because there are barely any devices with a smaller form factor leveraging the operating system.

More importantly, Microsoft wants to bring Android apps to its Microsoft Store. While there’s no information on how it intends to achieve this, the report does say the release is expected by Fall 2021.

Microsoft no stranger to cross-platform apps

Microsoft has whole-heartedly adopted cross-platform compatibility and has a host of apps on iOS as well as Android. If it’s able to bring Android apps to Windows, it’ll challenge the status quo of Chromebooks, which has long been a pain for the Redmond giant in the affordable segment.

This isn’t the first time a company is trying to incorporate Android within its proprietary operating system. BlackBerry 10 supported Android runtime, and the brand leaned on it to make apps easily available. While the move was too late for BlackBerry, it isn’t the same for Microsoft.

It’s worth noting that the idea is in a very nascent stage right now. We don’t know how Microsoft intends to distribute Android apps or whether it’ll start supporting Google Play Services. Although one thing’s for clear — Microsoft is feeling the heat from Apple.

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Accessories

Xiaomi launches 5000mAh ZMI Power Bank, it’ll also warm your hands

Winter is coming…

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ZMI is one of Xiaomi’s ecosystem companies, and it is popular for making professional power banks. Xiaomi also sells power banks directly, and they’re in extremely high demand due to consistent quality, features, and affordable price.

Now, the brand is trying to do something new — a power bank that’ll also double up as a body or hand warmer more precisely. So, the power bank has a capacity of 5000mAh, enough for an iPhone once. If you’re living in the temperate or tundra region, the climate gets extremely cold during the winters. The gadget can also be used as a hand warmer.

It’s equipped with a PTC self-limiting temperature heating technology that’s patented and safe. The power bank consists of PID constant temperature control for precise control of the heating element. It can go up to 52-degrees Celsius, which is safe and comfortable for the human body.

The ZMI Power Bank can adjust the temperature according to your liking and deliver two to four hours of heating in one go. It has an LED light that can be used as a torch for convenience, and it can charge all gadgets like an ordinary portable charger.

For now, the sale is limited to Mainland China, and it costs CNY 89 (US$ 13.5).

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