News

SM Tickets caught selling their users’ data [Updated]

Your email address is in danger

Published

on

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

You might need to pay Google for Android soon

Because of EU’s US$ 5 billion fine

Published

on

Will we soon have to pay to use Android? According to Google, that dystopic possibility might eventually become our reality.

Recently, the Silicon Valley giant butted heads with the European Commission over an anti-competition rap. According to the commission, Google is purposely preventing competitors from getting a leg up, creating a dangerous oligopoly on the mobile OS market.

Google currently requires phone makers to bundle eleven apps with their phones, if they want to use Android. The most concerning ones are Google’s Search and Chrome. The company draws much of its profits from their mobile ad revenue.

After weeks of deliberation, the EU has hammered down a guilty verdict on the accused. As a result, Google will pay a whopping US$ 5 billion in fines. On its own, the fine is just spare change for the multi-billion-dollar company.

However, the sanction also requires Google to unbundle the concerned apps from Android. Also, the EU requires Google to hand over an open-source version of their software to phone makers. As a result, Google’s entire revenue stream threatens to collapse. This also enables competitors to create their own versions of Android.

In response to this, Google CEO Sundar Pichai posted a statement on the company’s blog. Despite using a warm, imploratory tone, Pichai’s statement underscores a threat directed towards Google’s consumers and partners.

According to the post, Android’s ubiquity speaks for itself. Android powers 1,300 brands, 24,000 devices, and more than 1 million apps. Seemingly, the EU sanctions will undercut the millions of consumers that enjoy Android on a free basis.

Pichai concludes by introducing the possibility that Android might become a pay-to-play system.

“If phone makers… couldn’t include our apps… it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem. So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven’t had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model,” says Pichai.

If Google is issuing a threat, phone makers will initially feel the brunt of renewed pricing schemes. However, consumers will ultimately shoulder the responsibility of paying for their own mobile operating systems.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo now on more devices but Nougat remains the most popular

Continue Reading

News

Nokia 6.1 Plus unveiled as the international version of the Nokia X6

The first notched phone of Nokia goes global

Published

on

Nokia has started to roll out their new smartphones to the global market. After its initial launch, the Nokia X6 is now available outside of China. Under the name Nokia 6.1 Plus, the brand’s first notched phone is now on its way to Hong Kong.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus boasts the exact same specifications as the Nokia X6’s. The phone is still powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor with 4GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. Unlike the Nokia X6 though, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is only available in one memory/storage configuration.

Nokia 6.1 Plus in white and blue

The display of the phone measures 5.8 inches and has a Full HD+ resolution with a 19:9 aspect ratio. As you can see, the phone has a notch which could be a deal breaker for some, but it’s actually pretty popular among phone manufacturers.

A respectable 3060mAh battery is sealed inside the glass and metal body of the device. The battery also supports Quick Charge 3.0 through the reversible USB-C port.

What makes the 6.1 Plus different from the X6 is its Android One software. This means the phone will receive timely updates with no bloatware, just like the rest of the Android-powered Nokia phones currently in the market. Out of the box, the phone will have Android 8.1 Oreo.

In Hong Kong, the phone will be available starting July 24 for HK$ 2,288 or roughly US$ 290.

SEE ALSO: Nokia X5 (Nokia 5.1 Plus) is a more affordable X6, retains notch

Continue Reading

News

Samsung is finally updating the Galaxy J series to Android Oreo

At least some of them

Published

on

Samsung is not known to push out the latest Android version available, but they do make an effort to update their latest devices as much as possible. These past few months, the company has been busy updating their flagship and midrange phones. But what about the cheaper ones?

Today, Samsung passed a total of 11 models from the Galaxy J series through the Wi-Fi Alliance group. All of these phones are currently in the market and are now Wi-Fi certified with the latest Android 8.0 or 8.1 Oreo software.

Unfortunately, not all the Galaxy J phones are on the list but it’s a start. Here are the specific models that’ll soon get the Android Oreo update:

  • Galaxy J3 2017 (SM-J330FN, SM-J330F, SM-J330F/DS)
  • Galaxy J3 Pro (SM-J330G, SM-J330G/DS)
  • Galaxy J7 Neo (SM-J701MT/SS, SM-J701M/DS, SM-J701MT, SM-J701M)
  • Galaxy J7 Nxt / Galaxy J7 Core (SM-J701F, SM-J701F/DS)

Since the update is already been certified by Wi-Fi Alliance, it’ll be out in the coming weeks or maybe months, depending on Samsung’s timetable.

SEE ALSO: Samsung, LG promise to launch better midrange phones this year

Continue Reading

Trending