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Meta platforms: Countdown to million-crown daily fine in Norway

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Norway’s data protection authority, Datatilsynet, has announced that it will impose a daily fine of one million Norwegian crowns ($98,500) on Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, starting from August 14 due to privacy breaches. 

The decision comes after Datatilsynet warned on July 17 that the company would face penalties unless it addressed the identified privacy violations.

The regulator’s move targets Meta’s practice of harvesting user data in Norway, including physical locations, to enable targeted behavioural advertising, a common strategy among major tech companies. The fine is scheduled to remain in effect until November 3, pending any potential extension or permanence based on the decision of the European Data Protection Board.

Tobias Judin, head of Datatilsynet’s international section, emphasised the impending consequences, stating, “As of next Monday, a daily fine of 1 million crown will start to apply.” This enforcement reflects the authority’s determination to uphold data protection standards within the country and potentially across Europe.

Although Norway is not a member of the European Union, it operates within the European single market, which could lead to a broader impact if the case is referred to the European Data Protection Board. Datatilsynet has not yet taken this step.

In response to these regulatory challenges, Meta recently announced its intention to seek user consent within the European Union before facilitating businesses’ targeted advertising based on user activities on Facebook and Instagram. This adjustment aligns with a directive from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner issued in January, calling for a reevaluation of Meta’s legal basis for ad targeting in the region.

As the fine’s implementation date draws near, Meta Platforms will likely be under increased scrutiny not only in Norway but also from other European data protection authorities. 

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Users of WhatsApp will soon be able to lock chats on connected devices.

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Additionally, linked devices will now have access to the conversation lock feature. Users of WhatsApp will also soon have the option to tag their contacts in status updates.

Notably, WhatsApp users can link their devices to log in to the same account on different devices. However, several functions, such as conversation locks and status updates, are not accessible on the secondary devices.

Even if they are locked on the main conversations, anybody can still access your private chats on a connected device. WhatsApp is currently working on adding Chat Lock capability to connected devices in order to address this.

The chat lock feature on WhatsApp will soon be available on connected devices.

Prior to this, it was claimed that WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta, was developing new personalisation options for an iOS beta.

According to WABetaInfo, an update tracker portal for the instant messaging network, WhatsApp for iOS users will soon get the option to modify both the conversation bubble’s colour and the app’s primary colour scheme.

A feature that let beta testers choose the primary colour scheme of the WhatsApp iOS app from a selection of five colours was first tested back in January.

The instant messaging app is testing a feature that lets users change the colour of chat bubbles within conversations, though, in a new beta edition.

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Moon train operations are planned by NASA.

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The goal is to construct the first lunar train system, which will enable safe, independent, and effective cargo transportation on the moon, according to robotics specialist Ethan Schaler of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

He went on, “The day-to-day functioning of a sustainable lunar base in the 2030s will depend heavily on a robust, long-lasting robotic transport system.”

The Flexible Levitation on a Track, or FLOAT, is the name of the proposed lunar rail system. According to NASA, the establishment of a railway system on the moon is “critical to the daily operations.”

According to the space agency, the primary objective of FLOAT is to offer transportation services in regions of the moon where astronauts are engaged in activities. To do this, cargoes of lunar soil and other materials will need to be transported to various regions of the moon.

Each robot will be able to transport cargo of various sizes and shapes at a pace of roughly 1 mph (1.61 km/h), according to Dr. Schaler.

Notably, NASA also declared new initiatives last month to create and test new vehicle models intended for moon exploration.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission ‘ICUBE-Q’ reaches the moon orbit.

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Pakistan’s lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) entered orbit around the moon on Wednesday.

Pakistan’s historic lunar mission (ICUBE-Q) launched from Hainan, China, on Friday aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft.

According to the IST, the satellite ICUBE-Q was planned and developed in partnership with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s national space agency SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter is equipped with two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. ICUBE-Q has now been integrated into the Chang’e6 mission after successfully qualifying and testing it.

Chang’e6 is the sixth lunar exploration mission launched by China.

The launch event was streamed live on the IST website and social media platforms. Chang’6, China’s Lunar Mission, will land on the Moon’s far side to collect surface samples before returning to Earth for further research.

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