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February 19, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Feb. 19, 2013

European Data Protection Watchdog Ready to Crack Down on Google

European data protection regulators say they will crack down on Google by this summer for a privacy policy that enables the company to collect user information.

Regulators say Google’s policy, which was changed last March, is a high risk to users’ privacy, Reuters is reporting.

Google merged 60 privacy policies into one last year so user information would be accumulated on all its services, including YouTube, Gmail and Google+. Users are unable to opt out.

Europe’s 27 data regulators last October gave Google 12 recommendations on how to change its policy. The search engine firm was given four months to do so.

The French privacy regulator said Feb. 18 it would set up a further inquiry because Google had not yet addressed their concerns.

“Google did not provide any precise and effective answers,” the French regulator CNIL is quoted by Reuters. “In this context, the EU data protection authorities are committed to act and continue their investigations. Therefore, they propose to set up a working group, led by the CNIL, in order to coordinate their reaction, which should take place before summer.”

Google, however, says it gave the CNIL on Jan. 8 a list of steps it has taken to address the groups’ concerns.

Microsoft Raises Price of Office Software for Mac OS

Microsoft has upped the price of its Mac OS Office software.

Office for Mac Home and Students has risen from $120 to $140, a 16.7 percent hike. Office for Mac Home and Business rose 10 percent, from $200 to $220.

The increase puts the Mac OS software at the same price as Office 2013 for Windows. The price increase appears also to be accompanied by an end to Microsoft’s multi-license products. It is being speculated by various media outlets that the move is a bid to up consumption of the firm’s Office 365 subscription service.

Customers can pay $99.99 per household annually or $9.99 a month for a subscription to Home Premium version. Users download the software and it is regularly updated from a Microsoft data center.

The license lets the buyer install the suite on up to five Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs or tablets, and Mac OS computers. Multiple people in the household can use the suite, each with his or her own account.

Microsoft did not announce the price increase, but Computer World is speculating the price change was implemented the same day the firm launched Office 2013 and Office 365: Jan. 29.

Burger King Twitter Account Hacked

Burger King’s official Twitter feed was hit Feb. 18 by hackers with a love for McDonald’s.

Every item on Burger King’s Twitter page: logo, header and photo, was changed to reflect that of arch rival McDonald’s.

The background picture of Burger King’s account featured a picture of Fish McBites accompanied by McDonald’s logo.

The hacker also posted a number of tweets:

“We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you,” one post read, adding the sale occurred “because the whopper flopped.”

Yet other tweets made derogatory remarks about the restaurant chain’s employees.

Burger King pulled the plug on its account about an hour after the hack occurred — just before 12:30 p.m.

“It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of the BURGER KING® brand has been hacked,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to the media. “We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings. We apologize to our fans and followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”


Burger King's Twitter account was hacked Feb. 18 to make it look like the chain had been sold to McDonald's.

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked Feb. 18 to make it look like the chain had been sold to McDonald’s.