Issue 1287 - Wednesday 20th January, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

Facebook claims to not operate in Australia and hold no data on Australians in Australia, so it doesn't need to adhere to privacy laws

Australia's privacy commissioner sued Facebook for the mass privacy breach that took place via the whole Cambridge Analytica thing and as part of its defense, Facebook reckons they don't operate a business in Australia and that they don't collect or hold data on Australian users in Australia. Absolute bullshit according to the judge who decided back in September that there's caching servers hosted locally and cookies on millions of Australian devices, so Facebook can't run away from this case. Months later, Facebook is appealing the decision to the full bench of the Federal court, arguing that "the appeal examines 'important questions' about how privacy laws define what it means to carry on business in Australia and 'collect' or 'hold' personal information". Fucking cowards.

Kogan fined for sending out 42 million emails in 3 days that had no way to unsubscribe

Kogan has been fined $310,800 by ACMA for sending "more than 42 million marketing emails to consumers from which they could not easily unsubscribe" between 13 December and 15 December 2019. To unsubscribe you had to log in to your Kogan account - couldn't do it without creating or logging in to an account. In addition to the fine, there's a 3 year court enforceable promise that "includes appointing an independent consultant to review its systems, processes, and procedures, producing a recommendation report within six months of the appointment, and implementing any recommendations from the review", along with training "staff responsible for sending marketing messages and report back every 12 months to the ACMA on actions it has taken in relation to consumer complaints". Ruslan Kogan might have to buy one less exotic sports car this year to pay this pissweak fine.

Microsoft invests in GM's robocar division and Rivian scores more funding to build big electric SUVs and pickup trucks

Microsoft has invested US$2b into General Motor's robocar subsidiary, Cruise. This investment lifts Cruise's valuation to US$30b - not bad considering GM purchased them for US$1b in 2016 and accounting for almost 40% of GM's total valuation. I think the reasons for Microsoft wanting a finger in this robocar pie is pretty obvious, but Satya Nadella spells it out if you're too thick to understand, "we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream" - it's all about the cloud baby. On the topic of car related investments, Rivian, the mob making big ol' USA style pickup trucks and SUVs powered by electricity instead of dino juice, got an etra US$2.65b in funding. It's now worth US$27.6b without having delivered a single vehicle.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Elon Musk's "not a flamethrower" is very much a flamethrower according to many cops and judges

Have a read of this TechCrunch story detailing the hassles owners of Elon Musk's brainfart flamethrowers have had with their obnoxious purchase. A bloke who took his flamethrower on the bus got put in jail and another guy had his house raided by police. Over 1,000 people who bought this thing had them confiscated in Switzerland, with one stooge trying to tell a judge that it was no different to owning a Bunsen burner. Look, I get it, a flamethrower would be cool to fuck around with - but goddamn, did you not think that law enforcement would have a problem with you brandishing it around in public?

Bargains

The End

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