It has been a busy day in the tech, advertising and marketing sectors. We’ve seen acquisitions, another alleged Facebook privacy issue and Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).
Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 billion
Numerous rumors were posted over that weekend that Microsoft was about to acquire GitHub, a hosting service for the the Git version control system. The platform was previously valued in 2015 at $2 billion however the acquisition will go through for $7.5 billion.
GitHub hosts 85 million repositories and is a community of 25 million developers.
There are numerous potential consequences of the acquisition. A number of commentators are ruminating on:
- What will happen to Atom, a code editor launched by GitHub;
- How GitHub will change under Microsoft’s stewardship, with particular focus on Microsoft’s history of acquisitions and how they fared e.g. Skype, LinkedIn, Nokia;
- Microsoft’s competitive tactics e.g. historic decisions relating to Microsoft bundling Internet Explorer with its Windows operating system; and
- How it will affect some of GitHub’s competitors e.g. GitLab and BitBucket.
The EU is serving third-party content and spreadsheets containing hundreds of names and email addresses
The website of the European Union, Europa.eu, is serving publicly accessible spreadsheets containing the names, email addresses, telephone numbers and mobile phone numbers of individuals that have attended its various workshops and events, according to an Indivigital analysis.
In response to the development, it began removing third-party content from its website and proclaimed it’s not subject to the GDPR. It also stated it will follow new legislation set to be enacted later this year that broadly “mirrors” the GDPR.
Facebook’s data sharing agreements with Amazon, Samsung and other firms called into question
Facebook has maintained separate APIs for roughly 60 device manufacturers for the last 11 years, according to a report in The New York Times.
The report alleges that some of the information on users’ friends was shared with device manufacturers without their explicit consent. It also alleges that some device manufacturers could retrieve data on users’ friends even when those friends had placed restrictions on how their data could be accessed.
A number of commentators have questioned whether the move contravenes Facebook’s consent decree with the FTC from 2011. Facebook stated that friends’ information “was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends.”
The first day of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC)
Apple has dominated the homepages of most tech sites today (it’s slightly frustrating keeping up with coverage as many tech sites have resorted to publishing posts for each announcement).
Its WWDC will run from today through to the 8th June. Some of the announcements from today include:
- The new macOS 10.14 (now called Mojave) will be shipped with a dark mode, a redesigned app store and a new feature dubbed “desktop stacks.” It will launch this September or October;
- Social networks will no longer be able to track users across the web via Safari (Apple will disable the ability of third-party content, including comment threads and like buttons, to send user data);
- WatchOS 5 on the Apple Watch will no longer require users to summon Siri with the command “Hey, Siri” (the device will start listening for requests as soon as the user raises his or her arm);
- Another new feature for Apple Watch allows users to utilize it like a walkie-talkie; it will now also allow users to play background audio;
- Apple CEO Tim Cook announced payments to developers through the App Store over the last decade will exceed $100bn in the next few days;
- “Performance” was the main point of focus for the new iOS 12. It will be available on all Apple phones from the iPhone 5S and up and claims to launch apps up to 40 percent faster, and open the camera up to 70 percent faster, on an iPhone 6S;
- iOS 12 will also feature the first Apple-developed AR app: a digital measuring tape;
- A new ScreenTime app will show users how much time they spend using their phone;
- A new update to FaceTime will allow group calls that consist of as many as 32 people.
- Sharp is rumoured to be close to buying Toshiba’s computer business for $46 million – Reuters
- Apple is rumoured to be heading back into the advertising sector with a new contextual ad network (i.e. it won’t be utilizing behavioural targeting) – AdExchanger
- Vista equity partners acquires majority stake in ad verification service Integral Ad Science – WSJ
- Thanks to no competition, broadband satisfaction scores plummet – Techdirt
- ‘Bug’ in popular WordPress SEO plugin may have caused Google ranking dips – Indivigital