legal

Takata pleads guilty in airbag debacle, will pay $1 billion fine

Takata pleads guilty in airbag debacle, will pay $1 billion fine

As the latest update in the company’s long-running airbag scandal, Takata Corp has pleaded guilty to hiding the problems affecting its airbag inflators. As a result, it is confirmed that Takata will pay $1 billion as a fine, of which $850 million will go to automakers affected by the recalls, another $125 million will go toward victims affected by the defect, as well as their families, while the remaining $25 million will cover the criminal charge itself.

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Uber denies Waymo self-driving tech theft

Uber denies Waymo self-driving tech theft

Uber has denied stealing autonomous car technology from Alphabet's Waymo, after the Google spin-off accused the ride-sharing firm of copying its sensor technology. The allegations were made earlier this week, with Waymo saying that it was alerted to the issue inadvertently when a supplier sent over schematics of one of Uber's LIDAR designs. That design - for the sensor rig which scans the world around a self-driving car, mapping it in real-time - was strikingly similar to technology Waymo says it had developed itself.

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Samsung vice chairman’s arrest ordered by South Korean court

Samsung vice chairman’s arrest ordered by South Korean court

A South Korean court has ordered the arrest of Samsung vice chairman Jay Y. Lee, it has been revealed, as the latest event in the corruption scandal hitting the nation. The order was made by the Seoul Central District Court, which reportedly elected not to issue an arrest warrant for Park Sang-jin, Samsung Electronics’ president. Lee is reportedly now in custody at a detention center in Seoul.

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Fix self-driving car rules or face needless deaths, GM warns government

Fix self-driving car rules or face needless deaths, GM warns government

GM and Toyota will pressure lawmakers to loosen rules on self-driving cars, arguing that restrictive current regulations are leading to thousands of preventable deaths. Representatives from the two automakers will appear in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday this week, and according to prepared remarks will criticize existing laws on autonomous vehicles and the testing of such vehicles. Among their complaints are restrictions that demand traditional controls must be available.

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Even old email will need search warrants if US law is passed

Even old email will need search warrants if US law is passed

While recent events are still fresh in the memory and lives of those in the US, a new but related matter might rock the boat even more. Especially for those in the tech who are still in the middle of a tussle with the government. The House of Representatives has just voted to pass a bill that will require search warrants even for old emails. But while considered a win for privacy advocates, the bill could still be blocked in the Senate, just as it was last year.

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Vizio settles huge TV privacy case after spying on viewers [Updated]

Vizio settles huge TV privacy case after spying on viewers [Updated]

Vizio will pay $2.2m in penalties to settle a huge privacy lawsuit, that alleged its smart TVs tracked millions of viewers and then sold that personal data without permission. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in a joint-complaint filed with the New Jersey Attorney General, Vizio automatically tracked what owners of its connected TV sets were watching, despite not warning viewers that the monitoring was taking place. That information was then sold to advertisers and others for a profit.

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Samsung’s Note 7 recall prompts tough new battery regulations

Samsung’s Note 7 recall prompts tough new battery regulations

Eagle-eyed inspectors will be watching over Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 and other upcoming smartphones to ensure there's no battery explosion repeat, South Korean regulators confirmed today. In the aftermath of the Galaxy Note 7 recall - which saw Samsung forced to refund every buyer of the phablet worldwide, as well as hear its flawed flagship declared unsafe at the start of every flight - battery pack safety testing has suddenly become a high-profile commitment. Now, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy in Samsung's home country is weighing in too.

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US judge orders Google to turn over foreign emails in FBI case

US judge orders Google to turn over foreign emails in FBI case

Google has been ordered by a US court to turn over emails stored on servers outside the country to the FBI, in turn complying with a search warrant related to fraud investigation. The order came from Philadelphia's US Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter, who ruled that transferring the emails to the US for FBI review did not technically count as seizure of foreign information.

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EU probes Valve, game publishers over Steam region blocking

EU probes Valve, game publishers over Steam region blocking

Digital copies are games are quite convenient. Without the need for physical access, they are easier to distribute and can reach as many as possible. In theory, of course. In practice, however, games don’t always reach all countries, even countries that belong to the same region. That situation has prompted the European Commission, the European Union’s legislative body, to take a closer look into the business of “geo-blocking” games practiced by Steam owner Valve and five game publishers to see if this almost ordinary way of doing things is, in fact, an anti-competitive practice.

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The Oculus lawsuit just became a $4bn problem for Facebook

The Oculus lawsuit just became a $4bn problem for Facebook

Facebook faces a potential bill for $2bn in compensation and a further $2bn in damages, as its lawsuit with ZeniMax over Oculus goes to jury. The long-awaited lawsuit finally reached closing arguments today in Dallas, TX, with ZeniMax's lawyer suggesting a $4bn payout from Facebook was in order. According to the company, Oculus relied heavily on - but refuses to acknowledge or pay for - the input John Carmack.

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Tesla sues ex-Autopilot head for stealing self-driving tech

Tesla sues ex-Autopilot head for stealing self-driving tech

Tesla is accusing its former Autopilot chief of stealing self-driving car secrets and illegally poaching staff, a lawsuit in California filed this week reveals. Sterling Anderson was Tesla's Director of Autopilot Programs for just over a year until he left the electric car company in December 2016, and before that had been responsible for the design, development, and launch of the Model X SUV. However, he left to set up his own company working on autonomous cars.

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Can you use a cell phone while driving? An updated state-based law list

Can you use a cell phone while driving? An updated state-based law list

Is it illegal to drive while talking on a mobile phone without a headset in your state? Driving laws related to smartphone and cell phone use - or mobile phone use, if that's what you want to call it - vary greatly. Individual states change regulations on cell phone use while driving every once in a while - it's a state's issue, not federal, after all. What we're looking at is the laws that apply to each of our 50 United States as of the month of publication of this article - and updates may be applied, but will be noted.

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