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Computer outage at the US Customs creates a mess!


International travelers are facing delays with their immigration in airports across the US. A huge computer outage on the systems used by the Customs and Border Protection has created quite a mess at various international airports in the country. The delays are confirmed to have occurred at O’Hare, Midway, Sea-Tac, JFK, LAX, SFO, PHL, and few other airports. In a statement given to The Verge, a CBP official said that the US Customs and Border Protection is under a temporary outage  at various airports of entry in its processing systems. The department is taking immediate action to solve the security issue causing technological disruption, the official said. The statement issued also said: “CBP officers continue to process international travelers using alternative procedures until systems are back online. Travelers at some ports of entry are experiencing longer than usual wait times and CBP officers are working to process travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security.”

By evening, the systems were coming back online. The department says that there is no certain indication that the outage was malicious. Passengers stuck at these airports posted various videos and photos of the slow-moving line because of the computer outage.


Users annoyed as Facebook and stagram face another outage


In certain parts of the world, users were left outside the Facebook and Instagram bubble as the social networking platforms faced an outage, yet again. Users complained that they weren’t able to upload pictures or update their status. some even complained that weren’t able to login to their accounts. Analysts say that Facebook and Instagram went down in the morning. The outage seems to have spread across regions in the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe. That’s almost worldwide! In the past too, Facebook-owned various social media platforms and messaging apps have been down affecting users worldwide. The latest outage of Facebook and Instagram is linked with the series of breakdowns that’s been happening to various service platforms around the world. Almost an immediate action was taken and the social media platforms are back and running now. However, the concern over security leading to further outages will always be there, unfortunately.


Japan, France, the UK, and Canada get Google’s Titan Security Key


When Google released its Titan security key for two-factor authentication, it was rolled out solely in the US. Google is now expanding the release to other countries that are Canada, Japan, France, and the UK. You can buy the Google Titan key in Google’s online store.

If you’re working on something sensitive and something that requires a higher dose of security, the Titan key could be a vital component for you. The Titan key is a physical key that works on your hardware for two-factor authentication. It’s appropriate for the FIDO standard allowing you to safely browse and access several apps and browsers. It eliminates the dependency on passwords that can be breached. The key is the source of verification that the user is really you. You can connect the key for this authentication either through a USB, NFC or Bluetooth.

While the key was first manufactured for Google’s internal use, the search giant later expanded it to others in the US only. It certainly feels like Google has taken quite a while to make it available to other countries, while a whole list of other region awaits the Key. For now, Google said that it’s working on the expansion.


You can opt out of human review for Alexa recordings


The mounting pressure from the European Union is being brought to action. Amazon gives its Alexa users the option to opt out of the human reviewing process for the digital assistants. Apart from Amazon, Google and Apple too under pressure from the EU. These two tech giants have paused the human reviewing process for now.

After facing a series of scandals with Alexa over voice recordings, Amazon has chalked out a better and clearer privacy policy when compared to its contemporaries. With the human reviewing process, Amazon has come out with an option when users can change their Alexa settings to stop human reviewing.

To change your settings, you need to go to your settings and select Alexa Privacy. Here you have the option called “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa”. The message that pops up when you open this tells you how the data will help Alexa to improve. At the bottom, you’ll find the message saying: “If you turn this off, voice recognition and new features may not work well for you.”

An Amazon spokesperson further issued a statement citing that the company takes “customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures.” The statement continued to further explain that “the voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.”


The Facebook Antitrust Investigation to complete soon


According to the Chairman of FTC Joe Simon, the verdict of the Facebook antitrust issue will be out soon, almost as early as next year. The Chairman wishes to have the findings of the investigation before the 2020 elections in the US. Hence, the findings of the investigation have a new deadline to complete before November 2020.

Chairman Simons said that “Any significant case that I’m trying to emphasize, I would want to be out before the election.” He also indicated that since Facebook has its tentacles in its sister companies- Instagram and WhatsApp, it would be difficult to ” execute a traditional antitrust breakup”. In a statement to the media, he continued explaining that if Facebook had a separate business structure and infrastructure, it would have been easier ” to have a divestiture in that circumstance than in where they’re completely enmeshed and all the eggs are scrambled”.

Simons also said: “On the other hand, you might have a situation where you have additional evidence that the company was engaged in a program to basically snuff out its competitors through a process of acquisition.” It was back in June when the FTC brought up the antitrust violations issues with Facebook. Now, the FTC has announced that the findings would certainly be released before the next elections.