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Instagram will start asking suspicious accounts to verify their identity with a government ID

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Instagram will begin requiring accounts it deems suspicious to verify their identities using a government-issued ID.
In its blog post, Instagram says this move is meant to help the company understand when accounts are “attempting to mislead their followers” and keep the Instagram community safe.
“This includes accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior, or when we see the majority of someone’s followers are in a different country to their location, or if we find signs of automation, such as bot accounts,” the Instagram blog said.
It’s unclear what this policy means for Instagram accounts not associated with a name, or those in which revealing their name could cause harm.
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Instagram plans to start asking accounts it deems suspicious to verify their identities using a government-issued ID.

The new policy is intended to target accounts from which Instagram sees “a pattern of potential inauthentic behavior,” Instagram said in its announcement. If an account asked to verify its identity declines to do so, Instagram says it may disable the account or “receive reduced distribution” — meaning its posts are down-ranked in followers’ feeds.

“This includes accounts potentially engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior, or when we see the majority of someone’s followers are in a different country to their location, or if we find signs of automation, such as bot accounts,” Instagram wrote.

However, it’s unclear what this policy means for Instagram accounts not associated with a name, and raises privacy concerns for accounts through which revealing their identity could cause harm — like accounts organising Black Lives Matter protests, or those using the platform to share sensitive information.

In its blog post, Instagram says this move is meant to help the company understand when accounts are “attempting to mislead their followers,” and keep the Instagram community safe.

The list of the types of IDs Instagram accepts reads like the options of items you can bring to get a license at the traffic department. If you don’t have a government-issued ID, like a passport or a driver’s license, Instagram accepts paycheck stubs, mail, bank statements, or credit cards.

Instagram did not respond to Business Insider’s request to explain its definition of a “suspicious” account. An Instagram spokesperson said they would provide comment to Business Insider, but did not respond by the time of publication.

The push to verify the identities of accounts comes just months before the 2020 election, amid a push from Instagram’s parent company Facebook to combat scrutiny it doesn’t do enough to fight misinformation and inauthentic activity. Back in late 2018, Instagram said it would start cracking down on fake and inflated likes, follows, and comments generated by third-party apps and bots on the platform.

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Google now allows you find the name of a song by humming and whistling

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Google has introduced a new feature that allows you to identify a song even if you don’t know the lyrics.

You can now hum, sing or whistle the tune into your phone and the name of the song will come up.

The technology to match tones to a database of identified songs through singing, humming and whistling — instead of from lyrics alone — has existed for more than a decade, and was a staple in the music app SoundHound as far back as 2009.

To start using Google’s new feature, open the latest version of the Google app or Google Search widget on your phone, then, tap the Microphone icon and say “what’s this song?” You can also tap the Search a song button. Finally, start humming, singing or whistling the tune to get your results.

Google announced the new feature on Thursday, October 15, and has started rolling it out globally to iPhone and Android users. It’s currently available in English for iPhone users and in more than 20 languages on Android.

This new tool only works on mobile devices, so at this time, it won’t work on your Google Home or Nest speakers.

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Apple sues recycling partner for reselling more than 100,000 iPhones, iPads and Watches it was hired to dismantle

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Apple is suing former recycling partner GEEP Canada — now a part of Quantum Lifecycle Partners — for allegedly stealing and reselling at least 103,845 iPhones, iPads and Watches that it was hired to disassemble. “At least 11,766 pounds of Apple devices left GEEP’s premises without being destroyed – a fact that GEEP itself confirmed,” reads a portion of Apple’s complaint, as reported by The Logic(via AppleInsider).

Apple sent the recycling firm over 500,000 iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches between January 2015 and December 2017, according to The Logic’s report. When Apple did an audit, it discovered 18 percent of those devices were still accessing the internet through cellular networks. That 18 percent doesn’t count Apple devices without a cellular radio, so it’s possible an even higher percentage of the gadgets were resold. 

Apple seeks to obtain at least $31 million Canadian dollars (roughly $22.7 million USD) from its former partner. The recycling firm denies all wrongdoing, but it doesn’t deny there was a theft — it has reportedly filed a third-party suit claiming three employees stole the devices on their own behalf. Apple disagrees, arguing that these employees were in fact senior management at the recycling firm, according to The Logic

Apple’s recycling robot
Apple’s recycling robot Daisy can disassemble nine different iPhone models to recover valuable materials.

Last year, humans left behind a record amount of e-waste adding up to 53.6 million metric tons of discarded phones, computers, appliances, and other gadgets. Like other tech companies, Apple has been trying to improve its environmental practices, including an effort to move recycling in-house with its own disassembly robots Daisy and Dave, which are designed to recover iPhone components that traditional recyclers can’t. 

However, the company still relies on other partners to recover valuable material from used devices, and from 2015 to 2018 GEEP Canada was one of them. Refurbishing and reselling devices was also part of GEEP’s business, though: while the company offered multiple e-waste management services during that period, it also explicitly stated on its website that its mission was to “encourage reuse whenever possible.”“PRODUCTS SENT FOR RECYCLING ARE NO LONGER ADEQUATE TO SELL TO CONSUMERS”

But from Apple’s standpoint, reselling these devices would not have been OK. Just because products were able to be resold on the grey market doesn’t mean they met Apple’s quality or safety standards. “Products sent for recycling are no longer adequate to sell to consumers and if they are rebuilt with counterfeit parts they could cause serious safety issues, including electrical or battery defects,” the company tells The Verge.

Apple filed the complaint in January 2020, but it’s known about the thefts since they were discovered between 2017 and 2018. Apple hasn’t worked with GEEP Canada since. 

In 2019, we published a report about how one poster child of recycling firms, Total Reclaim, advertised its ethical practices while actually shipping off hazardous waste overseas without following regulations.

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Apple to release iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 14 and tvOS 14 on September 16

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Image Credits: Apple

Apple said its latest iOS 14 software will be released on September 16, ahead of the company’s release of the next-generation iPhones.

We saw our first glimpse at iOS 14 earlier this year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, which included home screen widgets and reply threading in Messages. It also comes with new Maps features, including adding cycling as a transportation option, and routing for electric vehicle owners so they can find charging points along the way.

iOS 14 also comes with an in-built translator, an improved and redesigned Siri, and better security and privacy features in the Safari browser.

But one privacy feature promised by Apple will be delayed. Apple said it would allow iPhone users to opt-out of in-app tracking, which the company said would not be immediately enforced when iOS 14 is released. It follows an uproar from ad giants — including Facebook — which lobbied against the proposal. Apple said it would give developers until next year to adjust to the changes.

iOS 14 will be supported on iPhone 6s and later, and lands as a free download.

Apple said it will also release its upcoming iPadOS 14, watchOS 14 and tvOS 14 on September 16.

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