Hey there, welcome to the end of another exciting week in the tech industry and here is the weekly global tech roundup from Technext.
Global tech roundup brings all the major tech stories that hit the weekly newsstands in one bulletin.
After the proposed takeover deal involving Binance and FTX fell through this week, the embattled crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy. But its travails didn’t stop there, as individuals and companies that invested in the exchange were also caught in the fire.
The company will be facing a criminal investigation for possible criminal misconduct in the Bahamas.
In other news, Amazon has bowed to pressure brought on by the recent collapse of its stock in the market (losing $1 trillion in market value) and released 10,000 employees from its workforce.
In case you missed some of this news or some details, don’t worry; the Global Tech roundup has got you covered.
Here is a summary of the Bulletin
- FTX faces criminal investigation in the Bahamas
- Apple sued for collecting ‘too much’ user data
- Amazon fires 10,000 employees
- Paystack is now licensed in Kenya
- Twitter Blue suspended amid controversies
FTX faces criminal investigation in new development
It just seems the travails of FTX Exchange are not coming to an end soon. Since its “crash” and bankruptcy filing, the problems for the exchange have not ceased.
Several events, including the allegations of serious mismanagement of funds by the exchange and Binance’s announcement of its plan to liquidate approximately $580 million in FTT, aggravated the mess FTX found itself in.
But now, the company would be facing criminal investigations for possible criminal misconduct in the Bahamas, marking the latest development in the crypto giant’s implosion and Bankman-Fried’s fall from grace.
Spokesperson of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Chrislyn Skippings Sunday, made this known in a statement released to the public.
The announcement comes after the Securities Commission of the Bahamas suspended FTX’s registration and froze its assets on Thursday to “preserve assets and stabilise the company,” the commission said in a statement.
Following the news of FTX’s bankruptcy at the end of last week, the value of other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies, including alt-coins, dropped. Companies that reportedly invested in the coins were not left out as staff were let go at Nestcoin, and Genesis halted withdrawals.
The company has also been axed from operations in South Africa as the country’s cryptocurrency market maker Ovex cancelled and removed FTX as a juristic representative, cutting off its access to its local Financial Service Provider (FSP) licence.
Apple has been sued for invading users’ privacy, a cause that it had championed for years. The iPhone manufacturers had gone head to head with big tech firms, most notably Facebook owner Meta, about the issue in the past.
The allegations claim that Apple collected user data even when its customers had explicitly changed their settings to stop the company from doing so.
App developers and security researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry from the software company, Mysk, recently found that iOS sends “every tap you make” to Apple from inside one of the company’s own apps.
According to the developers, attempts to turn this data collection off, such as selecting the Settings option “disable the sharing of Device Analytics altogether“, did nothing to change this data collection process.
The data being collected is quite detailed, too. As Gizmodo points out, a user looking at the App Store app on their iPhone would have their search data, what they tapped on, and how long they were checking out an app, all sent to Apple in real-time.
A class action lawsuit was filed Thursday, claiming that Apple’s actions violate the California Invasion of Privacy Act. The lawsuit doesn’t focus explicitly on the fact that Apple is collecting this data. The suit highlights Apple’s settings, such as “Allow Apps to Request to Track” and “Share Analytics,” that give users the perception that they can disable such tracking.
Amazon plans to lay off 10,000 employees
Last week, we told you about Meta laying off 11,000 of its workforce because it could not cope with the expansion made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week, it has become the turn of Amazon in a season of layoffs in the tech ecosystem, reportedly sponsored by dwindling revenues and instability in the macroeconomic environment.
According to reports from the New York Times, Amazon is planning to lay off about 10,000 people in corporate and technology. The layoffs began on Tuesday with the company laying off some employees in its devices group, including in its retail division and human resources.
The job cuts would reportedly be the largest in the company’s history and represent less than 1% of Amazon’s global workforce and 3% of its corporate employees.
Amazon reported 798,000 employees at the end of 2019 but had 1.6 million full and part-time employees as of December 31 2021, a 102% increase. The New York Times said the number of layoffs “remains fluid” and could change.
This week, the company’s Managers started informing employees that they have two months to find another role within the company or accept severance, according to multiple reports. Amazon said it began notifying affected employees Tuesday following what the group called a “deep set of reviews” that resulted in the decision that “some roles will no longer be required”, according to a company blog post.
Paystack is now licensed in Kenya
Paystack has received Payment Service Provider Authorisation from the Central Bank of Kenya, which permits the company to provide payment services to businesses operating in Kenya.
The company, through its Business Operation and Expansion Lead, Caroline Muema says:
In every country in which we operate, Paystack strives to build fast, secure, and reliable payment services for businesses and customers. In Kenya – our fourth country where we operate locally, after South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria – we’re thankful to receive the authorisation required to operate in full compliance with regulations
With this license, Paystack will make it possible for companies in Kenya to accept one-time and automated recurring card payments. They will also be able to collect payments from clients using various regional and international payment methods, such as M-Pesa, Card payments (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), and Apple Pay.
Businesses can also use the Paystack Developer Documentation to build custom payment experiences and integrate with the fintech’s extensive inventory of plugins to collect payments through world-class tools such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Wix.
Musk suspends Twitter Blue subscription.
Recent events at Twitter have made members of the public wonder if Elon Musk knew what he had gotten himself into. Some have acclaimed the Twitter purchase as a not-so-thought-out deal that shouldn’t have happened in the first place if Musk had been careful to know the details before his bid.
But we are here now, and the tesla founder still makes mistakes that have characterised the purchasing process.
First, he intended to charge $20 dollars of the Twitter Blue subscription. Later, the company reduced the subscription price to $8. The $8-a-month verification scheme by the microblogging platform, which has drawn many controversies and criticisms, was suspended earlier this week.
This decision was announced in an internal note identifying service misuse as the reason behind the suspension. According to the Internal note, it said
An update on what we did tonight: hid the entry point to Twitter Blue, added the ‘official’ label for ONLY advertisers. Note: here is at least one way for users to sign up for Blue. Legacy Blue users can go to subscriptions and upgrade
This policy reversal is the latest in a series of moves that have led advertisers away from Twitter and confused users. While Musk aimed to increase the company’s revenue with Twitter Blue, these decisions have led to a revenue decline. According to the WSJ, Musk told staffers in a meeting that bankruptcy is possible for the company.
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