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NHS Covid-19 app update blocked for breaking Apple and Google’s rules

NHS Covid-19 app update blocked for breaking Apple and Google’s rules

Technology
PA MediaAn update to England and Wales's contact tracing app has been blocked for breaking the terms of an agreement made with Apple and Google.The plan had been to ask users to upload logs of venue check-ins - carried out via poster barcode scans - if they tested positive for the virus. This could be used to warn others.The update had been timed to coincide with the relaxation of lockdown rules.But the two firms had explicitly banned such a function from the start.Under the terms that all health authorities signed up to in order to use Apple and Google's privacy-centric contact-tracing tech, they had to agree not to collect any location data via the software. As a result, Apple and Google refused to make the update available for download from their app stores last week, and have instead k...

Biden consumer watchdog seeks delay of Trump-era debt collection rules

Finance
Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a delay Wednesday to two debt-collection rules issued in the waning days of the Trump administration.Those rules broadly addressed how debt collectors may communicate with and make disclosures to consumers.Kathy Kraninger, the former CFPB head during the Trump administration, said the measures helped keep consumers informed. Critics argue that some aspects of the plan give companies too much power and allow them to hound indebted Americans for payments.More from Personal Finance:Biden tax plan may lead to more Roth retirement accountsSocial Security beneficiaries received most of the recent $ 1,400 checksPPP loan money will likely run out before May 31 deadlineBoth measures — issued in October and Decemb...
Pub trade calls time on ‘triple whammy’ of new COVID reopening rules

Pub trade calls time on ‘triple whammy’ of new COVID reopening rules

Business
The pub trade has reacted angrily to the prospect of a "triple whammy" of new coronavirus restrictions when sites reopen in England, warning they risk further damage to businesses after a year of disruption.Hospitality industry representatives have written to the prime minister to express their outrage at new guidance governing the start of outside-only trade - due from 12 April under Boris Johnson's roadmap. One major concern is that every customer aged 16 or over should now provide contact details to staff, either via the NHS COVID-19 app or in person, in a change from rules last year which covered just one member of a group. Image: Pubs can start serving outdoors from 12 April in England but it remains unclear if people can pay inside ...
Teachers lament ‘chaotic’ virus rules in German schools

Teachers lament ‘chaotic’ virus rules in German schools

Health
BERLIN -- Under pressure to ease Germany's virus restrictions, officials last month agreed to gradually reopen schools. Confirmed COVID-19 cases started climbing again, leading some states to backtrack while others pressed on and insisted that in-class teaching must be the rule.Caught in the middle are students, parents and teachers such as Michael Gromotka, whose plans to teach art to his year 7 to 9 students were upended last week when the state of Berlin nixed their return to school after months of remote learning.“It was all very chaotic," Gromotka said. "We got less than a week’s notice.”Gromotka, who is married to a fellow teacher and has a child in primary school, says the back and forth reflects the absence of a coherent strategy in Germany for how to safely keep schools open.Autho...

Defying rules, anti-vaccine accounts thrive on social media

Technology
With vaccination against COVID-19 in full swing, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter say they’ve stepped up their fight against misinformation that aims to undermine trust in the vaccines. But problems abound.For years, the same platforms have allowed anti-vaccination propaganda to flourish, making it difficult to stamp out such sentiments now. And their efforts to weed out other types of COVID-19 misinformation — often with fact-checks, informational labels and other restrained measures, has been woefully slow.Twitter, for instance, announced this month that it will remove dangerous falsehoods about vaccines, much the same way it’s done for other COVID-related conspiracy theories and misinformation. But since April 2020, it has removed a grand to...