Hashtag Trending June 29 – Period tracking app privacy concerns; Google Hangout migration; new semiconductor plant in Texas

 

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Wednesday, June 29, and I’m your host, Samira Balsara.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned, there are now concerns that data from period tracking apps can be used as evidence in court. Experts told SBS News, that missing menstrual cycles is a common indication of pregnancy, and if the person is no longer pregnant, then it could indicate that they’ve had an abortion. This is made worse by the fact that some period tracking apps have had a history of sharing sensitive data. Because of this, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people deleting these apps from their devices. In addition, privacy advocacy group EFF advises people to use browsers with better security, turn off browsing history, cookies and sensitive location features in all apps.

Google has begun migrating Hangout messenger users onto its new platform, Chat. After sunsetting it for its Workspace users in February, free personal users on Google Hangouts will now be prompted to go to the new app when they access it. Those who access Hangouts through Gmail will have until July to make the switch, and the desktop version will remain functional until November. Google says it will remind users a month prior to the process to ensure they have enough time to prepare. All existing conversations in Hangouts will be transferred over to Chat.

Taiwan’s GlobalWafers will spend $5 billion to make silicon wafers in Texas. The company chose the U.S. for  its plant after a failed European investment, reported Reuters. Once completed, the plant will be used to manufacture 300mm silicon wafers and provide up to 1,500 jobs in the area. That’s good news for U.S. companies looking to source materials locally. On a grander scale, investment in semiconductor in the U.S. plays well into the country’s efforts to secure its supply chain. In recent years, America’s share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has fallen to 12 per cent, down from its peak of 37 per cent in 1990.

There’s no fire and forget when it comes to satellites. The Mars Express spacecraft launched 19 years ago will receive a new software update to enhance its functions. The craft orbits Mars, sending back high resolution photos of the planet’s surface. According to Windows Central, the spacecraft is running on an operating system built with Windows 98. The European Space Agency says that the software update will enable the craft, which houses the MARSIS instrument, to see below the surface of Mars in more detail. It will also improve signal reception and on-board data processing.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara.

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at sbalsara@itwc.ca

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