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Fitbit adds blood glucose tracking to its app
by João Carrasqueira
Fitbit is adding a new feature to its app that allows users to keep track of their blood glucose levels. Blood glucose measurements are part of the daily routine of many people, specifically those with diabetes, so Fitbit is hoping to make it easier to visualize past and current levels in one place, along with other health-related information.
These measurements are typically done by drawing blood, so Fitbit devices can't measure those levels themselves, but if you use the OneTouch Reveal app with a OneTouch monitoring system, the Fitbit app can import that data automatically, and support for other brands will be added over time. Otherwise, you can add the data manually.
The Fitbit app will allow users to set target ranges for their blood glucose, and view that information in the context of their habits, such as how much they exercised, slept, or ate that day. Additionally, Fitbit Premium members can see how often their levels were within range for the last 30 days, as well as share their information with their healthcare provider as part of their Wellness Report. Similarly, if you subscribe to Fitbit's Health Coach plan, users can give coaches access to their data so they can provide more adequate guidance.
Blood glucose tracking in the Fitbit app is rolling out in the United States and only in English.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft reveals details of requests filed by U.S. government to access customer data
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft has insisted on numerous occasions that it believes that organizations should play an active role in ensuring the privacy of their customers rather than simply relying on state legislature. Now, the company has revealed details of three instances where it fought for its customers' right to know that access to their data has been requested by the U.S. government.
Original gavel image via Brian Turner / Flickr Microsoft believes that its customers need to know when the government has requested access to their emails or other documents. As such, the company has challenged at least three secrecy orders in the past year in favor of its enterprise customers knowing about requests from law enforcement.
The first case was from a federal court in Maryland which prohibited it from informing the customer about an ongoing investigation. Microsoft challenged this decision in December 2019, with the case going in its favor in January 2020. The court documents were unsealed this week and can be viewed here. Although the organization's name has been redacted, the document reveals that while Microsoft initially complied to the government request, it later challenged that the counsel for the company in question needs to know about the order. However, the court strictly emphasized that if information is disclosed to individuals other than the counsel - especially the people being targeted in the investigation -, the whole operation would be jeopardized.
In the second case, there was a similar request from a federal court in New York, which Microsoft challenged in September 2020. The U.S. government agreed to inform the customer in October 2020 and the unsealed email related to this matter can be seen here. Once again, the customer in question has not been explicitly named.
The third case is an ongoing one which Microsoft has been fighting for the past two years. This also comes from another federal court in New York. Recently, the company has received legal support from various organizations and partners such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Associated Press, and The Washington Post, among others. This aid comes in the form of five amicus briefs - which are supporting documents through which the firms will be providing technical assistance and expertise to the court.
Microsoft went on to say that:
It is important to remember that these three cases highlighted by Microsoft are likely only some of the secrecy orders that the company has fought against. There are possibly other requests that the Redmond tech giant is not allowed to disclose as of yet because court orders for those have not yet been unsealed. Regardless, it does give a clear view that Microsoft is committed to ensuring the privacy of its customers and safeguarding their legal rights.
Uber announces help for New York restaurants and workers
by Paul Hill
Uber has announced that Uber Eats users located in New York will be able to contribute to their local restaurants during checkout in order to help them during the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent economic hardship. Every donation that is made will be matched by Uber who will pay into the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund up to a total of $5 million.
Uber's contributions will help the Relief Fund provide $500 grants to eligible restaurant workers including couriers working on apps like Uber Eats, who have been squeezed financially. Uber has confirmed that once it has experimented with the program in New York, it will expand it to cover the whole of the U.S., possibly as early as next week. Additionally, it wants to roll out the program to other countries where it serves customers.
Commenting on the news, Paul Barker, owner of Pauli’s North End in Boston, MA, and Uber Eats partner, said:
Earlier in the month, the firm revealed that it was scrapping the Delivery Fee for more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada on its Uber Eats platform. As a result, it has seen a significant increase in orders to independent restaurants since mid-March. It also revealed that restaurants looking to keep delivery orders coming have been signing up to the platform at ten times previous rates.
By Jay Bonggolto
Ring makes two-factor authentication mandatory for all users
by Jay Bonggolto
Ring announced today two extra security measures meant to help you fend off unauthorized access to your account and beef up privacy. The company says it is making two-factor authentication (2FA) mandatory for all user logins and is introducing more tools to limit the information you share with third-party service providers.
2FA has long been available for all Ring accounts. Starting today, however, you will need to verify your login attempt each time you sign in using a new device. The verification comes in the form of a six-digit code you'll need to enter before your access gets approved. That code will be sent to your registered email address or phone number. The goal is to prevent unauthorized access and know when someone else is trying to take hold of your account. This also applies to all shared users on your account.
Ring is also bolstering user privacy with new options in the new Control Center meant to restrict the things shared with third-party service providers. Starting this week, Ring users can choose not to share information with third-party advertisers. For those who will opt out, that means they will no longer receive personalized ads, although non-personalized ads will still be visible every now and then.
Additionally, the Amazon-owned service has paused the use of most third-party analytics services in the Ring apps and website as it works to let you opt out of those services in the Control Center. More options for limiting the information you share with third-party service providers are coming in early spring.
Uber launches ‘Make My Train' to alleviate commute stress
by Paul Hill
Uber has noted that people get stressed in the morning as they juggle various apps to plan their trip into work across different modes of transport. To assist commuters, Uber has launched ‘Make My Train’ which will show riders the train schedule of participating train stations and will allow them to select the train they want from within the Uber app. The data is sourced from real-time transit data so riders will know if there have been any delays.
Riders can choose how much time they want to havebefore the train leaves when they arrive at the station by and Uber will sort out the rest. Today, the feature will arrive on the U.S.’ largest commuter rail systems: the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in New York and Caltrain in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Using the feature is simple, just follow these steps:
Enter the station name as your destination Choose the train you want to take Select your target drop off time (or use the recommendation) Schedule a ride in the Uber app (except UberPOOL) and Uber will pick you up and get you to your station As governments around the world begin to encourage people to ditch their cars in favour of public transit as efforts are ramped up to tackle climate change, tools like ‘Make My Train’ will become more important in order to give people a seamless experience across transport types.
Uber has not issued a schedule for when 'Make My Train' will be rolled out to other areas.