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Now, children under 13 cannot join Facebook and Twitter

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London, Nov 5: Under a new legislation to be debated in the UK’s House of Lords later this week, children under the age of 13 will be banned from joining Facebook and Twitter to keep them safe from child abuse on the social media platforms.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the government’s Data Protection Bill will legally enshrine the age at which children will be allowed to create accounts on social media platforms.

The proposal, however, might not get support from cross-party peers who are insisting that the measure must be accompanied by new rules forcing companies to adapt their sites for younger users.

The move comes as Home Secretary Amber Rudd is to meet executives from the Internet giants in the US this week.

Writing in a national daily The Sun on Sunday, Rudd said social media giants must do more to stop child sexual exploitation, adding that the companies have a “moral duty” to go “further and faster” in their efforts to tackle the abuse.

“Online technology had made ‘vile child sexual abuse content vastly easier to find’. It is with absolute urgency that I call on all Internet companies to go further and go faster in tackling online child sexual abuse.

“We need you all to bring your resources and your technical expertise to help us turn the tide on this horrendous scourge. It is your moral duty,” she added.

During her trip to Washington, Rudd will attend a roundtable discussion which will be joined by tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

As per a BBC report, new government figures show there was a 700 per cent increase in the number of indecent images identified on technology company servers and flagged to law enforcement agencies between 2013 and 2017.

Each month there are more than 400 arrests for indecent images of children offences in Britain and some 500 children are being protected from online sexual exploitation, BBC cited the government data as saying.

IANS

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‘Tech giants must spend real money on media literacy in India’

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New Delhi, Sep 22: To ensure smartphones remain a force for good, device makers need to spend some “real money” on media literacy in India so that people can take full advantage of the new technologies and learn to distinguish what messages to believe and what not, says the author of a new book on how the smartphone is changing the country.

“Media literacy should ideally start from elementary level in schools,” Ravi Agrawal, author of “India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy” told a gathering at The American Center here on Friday.

In the absence of such education, there could be misuse of technology, as evidenced by several cases of lynching incidents in India linked to rumours spread on WhatsApp, he said, while participating in a discussion on the impact of smartphones and the Internet on the Indian economy and society.

“Smartphones are doing to India what the automobiles did to America about a century ago. In fact, the power of smartphonoes in changing the lives of Indians has been stronger than that of automobiles and electricity,” said Agrawal, who is also the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy magazine.

While smartphones have opened new doors of opportunities for millions of people in India, the transformative power of the device has not always been for good, he pointed out.

“There have been intense discussions in the developed countries on how smartphones have driven screen addiction among teenagers which has been linked to depression and other mental health issues. But such discussions are missing in India,” he said, highlighting how the country is ill-prepared to deal with the adverse effects of technology.

Agrawal’s book, published by the Oxford University Press, has three parts: Opportunity, Society and the State.

“While the smartphone has unleashed many positive changes, it has not been so successful in breaking the barriers of class and caste in connecting Indians to their fellow countrymen,” said Agrawal who worked as CNN’s New Delhi Bureau Chief and Correspondent before joining Foreign Policy.

With 481 million Internet users (as of December 2017), India has the second highest Internet user base in the world after China, according to a report by not-for-profit industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Most of the people in India access the Internet through their smartphones.

IANS

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Samsung launches 2 smartphones in 2 Galaxy J series

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Gurugram, Sep 22: Refreshing its budget J series, Samsung India on Saturday launched Galaxy J4+ and J6+ for Rs 10,990 and Rs 15,990, respectively.

Galaxy J6+ and Galaxy J4+ with glass-finish design and Dolby Atmos will be available from September 25 on retail outlets, Amazon, Flipkart and Samsung Shop.

“Galaxy J series is India’s most popular smartphone series, making up almost a third of all smartphones sold in India. We are making the J series even more exciting by introducing side fingerprint, emotify, glass finish and new reflective colours,” Mohandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India, said in a statement.

Galaxy J6+ is equipped with 4GB RAM + 64GB storage while Galaxy J4+ comes with 2GB RAM + 32GB ROM.

Both the smartphones are powered by a 3,300mAh battery and run Android Oreo operating system (OS).

Both Galaxy J6+ and J4+ offer true HD experience as they have L1 Widevine certification. This, coupled with Dolby Atmos, enables consumers to enjoy a full 360 degree surround-sound experience.

Galaxy J6+ comes with “Side Fingerprint” sensor — a first for any Galaxy device — which unlocks the phone in the most secure manner.

Galaxy J6+ comes with 13MP+5MP dual rear camera and an 8MP front camera while the Galaxy J4+ sports a 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera.

The new smartphones come with true HD+ infinity design that gives users nearly 15 per cent more display area without increasing the overall size of the device, the company claimed.

Both devices are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor.

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Google still allowing third-party apps read your Gmail: Report

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Washington, Sep 21: After facing a backlash over reports in July that third-party app developers can read your Gmail, Google has once again defended its policy to allow third-party apps to access and share data from Gmail accounts.

According to a CNNMoney report on Thursday, Gmail lets third-party developers integrate services into its email platform.

“Developers may share data with third parties so long as they are transparent with the users about how they are using the data,” said the report, quoting from a Google letter sent to the US Senators.

Google also makes “the privacy policy easily accessible to users to review before deciding whether to grant access”, said Susan Molinari, Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the Americas at Google, in the letter.

The Wall Street Journal reported in July that despite assuring users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount”, the search giant is still allowing third-party app developers scan through Gmail accounts.

Gmail has nearly 1.4 billion users globally — more users than the next 25 largest email providers combined.

Later, Google said in a blog post that the company is continuously vetting developers and their apps that integrate with Gmail before it opens them for general access.

According to Google, it gives both enterprise admins and individual consumers transparency and control over how their data is used.

“We make it possible for applications from other developers to integrate with Gmail — like email clients, trip planners and customer relationship management (CRM) systems — so that you have options around how you access and use your email,” said Suzanne Frey, Director, Security, Trust and Privacy, Google Cloud.

Before a published, non-Google app can access your Gmail messages, it goes through a multi-step review process at the company, it said.

“It includes automated and manual review of the developer, assessment of the app’s privacy policy and homepage to ensure it is a legitimate app, and in-app testing to ensure the app works as it says it does,” Frey noted.

In 2017, Google had said its computers will soon stop reading the emails of its Gmail users to personalise their ads.

IANS

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