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Photo: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket/Getty Images

In a rare move, Apple silently updated the Mac operating system Wednesday to remove a controversial hidden Web server installed by the Zoom Web conferencing app.

The bottom line: The moves undo the damage, but as we reported yesterday, the bigger question is: when will tech companies stop prioritizing features over privacy in the first place?

  • Apple confirmed to TechCrunch that the update was performed automatically and required no action on the user's part.

What they're saying: Zoom, which said it worked with Apple on the move, also issued its own app update Tuesday removing the Web server and giving users the ability to uninstall Zoom if they wish.

  • The company also apologized for its earlier handling of the issue and the way it communicated with the researcher who alerted the company to the vulnerability.
  • "In engaging this researcher over the past 90 days, we misjudged the situation and did not respond quickly enough — and that’s on us," the company said in a blog post. "We take full ownership and we’ve learned a great deal."

Meanwhile, Apple has temporarily disabled the "walkie-talkie" feature on Apple Watch due to a vulnerability that could allow eavesdropping of a nearby iPhone.

Go deeper: Why privacy still comes second for tech firms

Go deeper

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3 mins ago - Economy & Business

IPOs keep rolling despite stock market volatility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Stock market volatility is supposed to be kryptonite for IPOs, causing issuers to hide out in their private market caves.

Yes, but: This is 2020, when nothing matters.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
41 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.