Sep 5, 2017

FTC settles software security flaw case with Lenovo

Eric Risberg / AP

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it — along with 32 state attorneys general from around the country — had settled charges against Lenovo, Inc.

  • Lenovo preinstalled an advertising program called VisualDiscovery, manufactured by a third-party called Snapfish, that displayed pop-up ads based on a user's browsing history.
  • This "man-in-the-middle" technique collected the entirety of users' electronic communications without their knowledge or consent and put their information at risk of intrusion.
  • It's the "online equivalent of someone without your knowledge intercepting your mail, reading it, resealing it, and placing it back in your mailbox," said FTC Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen.

Why it matters: The Lenovo case shows a renewed commitment by the FTC to pursue consumer privacy cases. As highlighted by Ohlhausen in a call with reporters, this is the third privacy ruling handed down by the FTC in the last 30 days after similar cases involving Uber and TaxSlayer.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Spain's cases exceed China's — Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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