Venmo: how the US payment app exposes our private lives

A researcher has analysed millions of public transactions to prove just how much the app reveals about our life and habits

Anyone can track a Venmo user’s purchase history and glean a detailed profile – including their drug deals, eating habits and arguments – because the payment app lacks default privacy protections.

This was the finding of a Berlin-based researcher, Hang Do Thi Duc, who analysed the more than 200 million public Venmo transactions made in 2017. Her aim was to highlight the privacy risk from using a seemingly innocuous peer-to-peer app, and encourage people to change their privacy settings.

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Fallout 76: what you need to know about one of the biggest games of the year

Bethesda’s Todd Howard explains why the post-apocalypse simulator Fallout is becoming an online multiplayer, and why he is just as scared of it as the players

While billionaires buy up property in New Zealand and pay technologists huge sums of money for advice on how to keep their staff in check after “the event” – that is, whatever it is that wipes out enough of the planet to justify living in bunkers – the rest of us are left to deal with the looming threat of catastrophe by playing video games. Bethesda Game Studios’ Fallout series offers a very American take on the post-apocalypse: humans, ghouls and mutants protect their respective corners of the wasteland with big guns and power armour, in a retro future with sci-fi technology and a 1950s aesthetic. The games present a ravaged, irradiated all-American picket-fence fantasy with classic cars, suburban homes and US landmarks devastated by nuclear bombs.

Fallouts 3 and 4 are explorative role-playing games that cast the player as a survivor emerging from a vault after more than 100 years into a world they don’t recognise – though, after a few hours, they have significantly more weapons and resources than the average pitiable remnant of humanity. The games offer the player 100 or more hours exploring the wasteland and meeting its dogged inhabitants. But developer Bethesda surprised fans this year by announcing Fallout 76, an online multiplayer game set in the same universe. As one of the first survivors to emerge from the vaults, you’ll be up against other players as well as the usual mutants, monsters and hazardous environments.

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Artificial intelligence will be net UK jobs creator, finds report

AI and robotics forecast to generate 7.2m jobs, more than will be lost due to automation

Artificial intelligence is set to create more than 7m new UK jobs in healthcare, science and education by 2037, more than making up for the jobs lost in manufacturing and other sectors through automation, according to a report.

A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers argued that AI would create slightly more jobs (7.2m) than it displaced (7m) by boosting economic growth. The firm estimated about 20% of jobs would be automated over the next 20 years and no sector would be unaffected.

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Facebook protects far-right activists even after rule breaches

C4 Dispatches documentary finds moderators left Britain First’s pages alone as ‘they generate a lot of revenue’

Leading far-right activists have received special protection from Facebook, preventing their pages from being deleted even after a pattern of behaviour that would typically result in moderator action being taken.

The process, called “shielded review”, was uncovered by Channel 4 Dispatches, after the documentary series sent an undercover reporter to work as a content moderator in a Dublin-based Facebook contractor.

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