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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

Apps

Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Samsung offers $100 for Galaxy S23 preorders

Or the upcoming Galaxy Book

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The Galaxy S23 series is coming. Samsung has officially scheduled the first Galaxy Unpacked event of the year for early February, heralding the coming of the Galaxy S23 series. While the flagship series will certainly wow a lot of users, buying one might crumple bank accounts so soon after the holidays. Luckily, Samsung is holding an early reservation promo ahead of the Galaxy Unpacked event.

If you reserve either the new Galaxy S23 or the new Galaxy Book now, Samsung is giving away US$ 50 worth of Samsung Credit. Additionally, users can reserve both devices and get US$ 100 worth of credit for use on any eligible products in the store.

Simply by signing up with your email address, you can use this link to save up to US$ 100 when you shop with Samsung.

The promo ends next Wednesday, February 1, by 11:59pm EST.

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Apple halts development of in-house chip

Broadcom is still in

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Apple is currently on a quest to reduce its reliance on third-party components for its devices. For the most part, the company is successful in doing so. Apple Silicon is already an important part of the brand’s identity — with work on more in-house components ongoing. Now, Apple is reportedly pausing development on one of its upcoming chips.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple will delay the development of its in-house connectivity chip. In the meantime, the brand will keep relying on Broadcom for the same components, going into the iPhone 15 series.

To be clear, the paused component only deals with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Apple is still developing its in-house modem for 5G connectivity — according to outside reports, at least. While the Broadcom deal will still continue, Qualcomm might still get the axe after Apple develops its replacement chip.

Given the positive response to Apple Silicon, building more in-house components might ultimately work well for the brand. If anything, the company can rest easier by controlling how one of its components is produced.

Besides Apple, other brands are also developing their in-house chipsets to rival component makers like Qualcomm. Google, for instance, is doing relatively well with the Tensor lineup. Additionally, though the upcoming series will rely on Qualcomm, Samsung is currently working to bring the Exynos lineup to match current standards.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone 15 Rumor Roundup: Goodbye Pro Max, hello Ultra

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