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Today's Tech: Google adds privacy to Android "by mistake", German Amazon workers go on strike, and IBM gets sued by shareholders

App oops

Only one day after praising the "awesome" new privacy tools included in Android 4.3 Jellybean, the Electronic Frontier Federation (EFF) watchdog has issued a full retraction. It turns out one of those awesome features was included by accident. The setting, called "App ops" allowed users to easily control the privacy-threatening permissions that apps often try to obtain from users who download and install them. The watchdog has called the repeal of the App Ops setting "a Stygian hole in the Android security model," one through which "a billion people's data is being sucked through." Ouch.

Wir streiken

Amazon workers in Germany are preparing for another round of strikes this week aimed at higher pay and better working conditions. The strikes could continue throughout the Christmas season, endangering the company in one of its largest markets during its busiest time of the year.

Workers at Amazon's logistics centres in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig will go on strike again today, and will be joined for the first time by workers in Graben.

IB Mad as hell

IBM is being sued by its own shareholders for not disclosing the risks to its business posed by cooperation with the covert PRISM programme run by the NSA. The Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension and Relief Fund is suing the technology giant's CEO Virginia Rometty and CFO Mark Loughridge for keeping secret just how much the company's business could suffer if disclosures about its role in the spying scandal were ever made public. This comes in the wake of Cisco Systems blaming a 10 per cent fall in revenue on the damage done to its reputation in emerging markets like China, Brazil, Mexico, and India, due to involvement in PRISM. Being in cahoots with the NSA might have cost IBM more than $12.9 billion (£7.9 billion) due to loss of business in China, according to the claimants.

The UK gets scroogled?

Google has been branded "arrogant and immoral" for today trying to dismiss a court case brought against it by a pressure group of concerned British Internet users, who have accused the company of collecting large amounts of personal data without their consent. The company claims that the claim should not be heard by a UK court, but should be filed as a lawsuit in the state of California, where Google is headquartered. Google is expected to argue today that the case does not meet the standard necessary to be heard at the high court in London.

Delete doesn't mean delete

A new research paper written by Facebook data scientist Adam Kramer and Carnegie Mellon PhD student Sauvik Das has revealed how metadata about so-called "self-censored" posts are stored by the social media giant, and contribute to widespread analysis of user behaviour.

The research suggests that Facebook uses a code that records every time a message is written and then deleted, and sends that metadata back to its own databases to be analysed.

The collection of metadata apparently encompasses "aborted status updates, posts on other people's timelines, and comments on others' posts," as well as private messages. Facebook gathers this information using code sent to a user's browser, which records and analyses everything that a user writes.