Can we PLEASE get some privacy?

The government's going after Facebook, Putin and Kim meet in Russia and Joe Biden's officially running for president.

Can we PLEASE get some privacy?

The government's going after Facebook, Putin and Kim meet in Russia and Joe Biden's officially running for president.

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✨  Good morning! Today is Friday, April 26, 2019, and we almost (almost!) don’t miss Will Smith.


• The Background

The Feds aren’t letting Facebook get away scot-free. Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien announced yesterday that the government plans to take the social media giant to court over its failure to protect Canadians’ personal information. The decision comes after a year-long investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which found that Facebook broke a number of Canadian privacy laws. The data scandal involved some 87 million users around the world, including more than 600,000 Canadians. CBC News

• What Else You Need to Know

The government began looking into the tech company’s operations after it was tipped off about an app called “This is Your Digital Life,” which encouraged users to complete a personality quiz, and then collected the information of the users that participated as well as their Facebook friends. The app’s functionality led to a joint investigation conducted by Therrien and his B.C. counterpart, Michael McEvoy, who discovered that the company broke several federal and provincial laws, including failing to obtain valid and meaningful consent of installing users; failing to obtain meaningful consent from friends of installing users; having inadequate safeguards to protect user information; and failing to be accountable for the user information under its control. (So basically, no privacy. At all.) One of the most concerning parts, according to Therrien, is that the government’s tried to find ways to ensure Facebook respects its privacy obligations moving forward, but the company has refused to submit voluntarily to audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years (which is why the commissioners are taking the matter to Federal Court). 

• What’s Next?

Facebook obviously disputed the report, saying they were “disappointed” with the findings and that “there’s no evidence that Canadians’ data was shared with Cambridge Analytica, and we’ve made dramatic improvements to our platform to protect people’s personal information.”


• Canada: For the Fish

Despite some provincial governments attempting to derail Canada’s plans and protections for the environment (ahem, Ontario), the federal government is standing firm. Yesterday, Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced new standards for marine-protected areas, which fully prohibit any oil-and-gas activity, mining, waste-dumping, and bottom-trawling. The new guidelines (which for now, will only apply to federally protected areas) bring Canada up to international standards set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. With the new rules, 8.27% of Canada’s marine and coastal areas are now protected (which is pretty close to the goal of 10% the government wants to hit by 2020). Globe and Mail 

• World: A Tale of Two Wild Cards

Two of the world’s most divisive leaders met yesterday to talk about how to piss off the rest of the world how they can be better allies and friends to the international community. Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un sat down near Vladivostok in Russia to talk about NoKo’s nuclear program — which apparently isn’t going anywhere unless Kim gets “international security guarantees.” Putin praised his fellow leader, saying Kim was “fairly open” and “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda.” Possibly taking a dig at the U.S. and POTUS, Putin said the world needs “to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world.” BBC News


“In that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime.”

– Former vice-president, Joe Bidenofficially launches his 2020 presidential campaign and offers up some harsh words for President Donald Trump and the Americans who’ve supported him. New York Times


• Microsoft Boost

Defying all expectations, Microsoft just topped a US $1 trillion valuation after the latest quarter, with shares rising 4.4%. The spike means the tech company is officially once again going head-to-head with the big boys, Apple and Amazon. (Kids of the ’90s are hella proud.) The boost comes in large part due to Microsoft’s successful transition from its Windows operating system to cloud-based services (pulling it out of the Stone Age and into the modern era). Apple, in contrast, sits at a measly US $980 billion. Microsoft’s Chief Executive Satya Nadella can be thanked for Microsoft’s recent rise by helping to bring Azure, their flagship cloud product, to market; it continues to see yearly growth, though it did slow down to 41% this year compared to 48% the previous year. Financial Post


• Time to Play

The Google Play Store is all about play, so it’s no surprise that its app and gaming awards are some of the most anticipated of the year. The tech giant just released the nominees across nine categories, including best breakthrough app, best breakthrough game, best accessibility experience, standout well-being app, best social impact app, most beautiful game, best living room experience, most inventive, and standout build for billions. Viki by Viki Inc. picked up two nods (best living room experience and standout build for billions), BuzzFeed’s Tasty app is nominated for the best breakthrough app, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City, Inc. is nominated for the best breakthrough game. The winners will be announced on May 6. MobileSyrup 


• Football: Top of the Class

Last night, football’s biggest and brightest prospects gathered in Nashville, Tennessee to see who would make it to the big leagues. With the first pick overall in the NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray, a quarterback out of Oklahoma. Murray’s been praised for his “off-the-charts athleticism,” and many are already comparing him to Super Bowl winner and Pro Bowler Russell Wilson (quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks). With the second overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers selected edge player Nick Bosa out of Ohio State; the New York Jets had the third pick and went with defensive tackle Quinnen Williams out of Alabama;  the Oakland Raiders picked edge player Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson for the fourth pick; and finally, rounding out the top five, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked linebacker Devin White out of LSU. CBS Sports

• Playoffs update 🇨🇦

↳ The Toronto Raptors play the first game of their second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at 7pm. 


• Bond’s Back

The cast of the next James Bond movie has just been announced and the world is hyped 🙌. In a live Twitter reveal event, the newly revealed cast of Bond 25 (the title is still TBD) answered questions from fans. Here’s who you can expect to see on the big screen: Daniel Craig’s returning (for the last time) as 007; Ralph Fiennes as M; Rory Kinnear as Tanner; Ben Whishaw as Q; Naomie Harris as Moneypenny; Léa Seydoux as Dr. Madeleine Swann; Jeffrey Wright from Quantum of Solacereturns as Felix Leiter; and new faces to the Bond franchise include Billy Magnussen, Dali Benssalah, Ana De Armas, David Dancik, Lashana Lynch, and Rami Malek in yet-unnamed roles (though it looks like Malek will be playing the villain). Cary Joji Fukunaga is directing with Phoebe Waller-Bridge (creator of Killing Eve) on board as a writer. Mashable 



• Legos for All

LEGO is making its much-loved toys more accessible. The company has teamed up with The Danish Association of the Blind and the Dorina Nowill Foundation for the Blind to create and launch LEGO Braille Bricks, featuring the Braille alphabet. The new blocks will teach visually impaired children to read via play, will be fully compatible with existing LEGO bricks and will launch in 2020. In addition to developing prototypes with the two aforementioned charities, which suggested the concept to LEGO in 2011 and 2017, respectively, the toy company has also worked on prototypes with British charities Leonard Cheshire and Royal National Institute of Blind People, and the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted. The complete 250-brick set will cover the entire Braille alphabet as well as numbers zero to nine, math symbols, and will be printed so that teachers and parents can participate in the fun. (Now if only they could make them softer for when they inevitably get stepped on…) CNN


• Hype and Herpes

Most Coachella-goers expect to come home with a hangover, but this year’s attendees left with a little something extra: herpes. (The gift that keeps on giving?) According to HerpAlert, an online treatment website for those affected by the STI, there’s been a massive spike in herpes cases in the communities surrounding the music festival, including Indio, Palm Desert, Coachella Valley, L.A., and Orange and San Diego counties. The site’s reporting that its team treats an average of 12 cases per day but treated upwards of 250 cases in the first two days of Coachella. TMZ


• Having a Ball

On April 26, 1989, the world lost a sitcom legend when 77-year-old Lucille Ball passed away after suffering a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. To this day, she’s remembered as one of the most brilliant comedians of our time.


• Police arrested the father of two of the suspected Sri Lankan suicide bombers yesterday after evidence led them to believe that he helped his sons carry out their respective attacks.

• The FBI and IRS descended on the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh yesterday as part of an investigation into whether or not she profited from a no-bid book deal. 

• Get your ears ready: Rumour has it Apple’s releasing two new AirPod models this year.  

• Could A Clockwork Orange sequel be around the corner? A 200-page follow-up to writer Anthony Burgess’s novel has been discovered in his archives. 


• Mom’s Value Meal

Consider your Mother’s Day gift sorted

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By Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States – Mark Zuckerberg F8 2018 Keynote, CC BY 2.0, Link