Hashtag Trending – Amazon is watching what you read, crypto scams make billions, Equifax breach update

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Amazon is really into our reading habits, scams involving bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency brought in at least $4.3 billion from investors in 2019, and the US charges four Chinese military hackers in Equifax breach.

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A story from the Guardian about Amazon’s interest in our reading habits is quickly making its rounds on LinkedIn. The retail giant, which accounts for 80 per cent of ebook sales, doesn’t merely keep track of what kinds of books we purchase: It keeps a running log of what we’re reading, when we’re reading, how long we’re reading and what we’ve highlighted, reports The Guardian. While Amazon says it does not share its reading habits data with third parties, critics have naturally begun to argue that such extensive data collection could open the door for invasions of privacy.

Cryptocurrency fraud really put itself on the map in 2019. Scams involving bitcoin and other cryptocurrency brought in at least $4.3 billion from investors in 2019, more than $3 billion in 2017 and 2018 combined. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “mimic investing opportunities” are becoming increasingly popular. Not only that, but it only took six scams to make up roughly 90 per cent of the funds stolen in 2019. Many people on LinkedIn say they’re baffled by the number of investors that are being fooled by these types of scams, and urge them to pay closer attention to every pitch that enters their inbox.

And lastly, Equifax has reared its head in today’s news cycle once again. The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges Monday against four members of China’s People’s Liberation Army for the 2017 hack of Equifax, a breach that exposed the personal information of about 145 million Americans and 8,000 Canadians. The announcement by Attorney General William Barr came after an indictment in Atlanta accusing the Chinese military personnel of conspiring with each other to hack into Equifax’s network and steal sensitive data. According to Bloomberg, the two members of the Chinese hacking group were charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit economic espionage and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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 Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Editorial director for IT World Canada and its sister publications, and former community reporter. Also a great pick up basketball player | acoop@itwc.ca

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