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Weekly Tech Roundup: December 1

Facebook disabled ethnicity advert targeting system

ProPublica has found that one of Facebook’s targeting systems which the company makes available to advertisers is susceptible to abuse, wherein publishers could exclude demographics based on ethnicity or disability. Facebook has switched off these tools and COO Sheryl Sandberg has stated that the company will investigate the implications of such technology for “potentially sensitive segments.”

India’s communications regulator endorses net neutrality

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has stated that it opposes “discriminatory treatment” of internet traffic, and has ruled against carrier companies who wish to charge users more for data packages. “From an Indian context, India has a huge population, huge things are going to happen on the internet,” says chairman RS Sharma. “It is important that this platform be kept open and free and not cannibalised.”

Websites use your CPU to mine crypto-currency

New research has found that hackers use resource-draining code to perform in-browser crypto-mining, even after a user has closed a window or their entire browser. “Drive-by” crypto-mining has become a popular means of generating the crypto-currency Monero in recent months, harnessing the CPU resources of unwitting users who have visited compromised websites. At present, it appears to only affect versions of Chrome running on Windows 7 and 10.

The UK’s tech sector faces a tougher talent battle post-Brexit

Europe’s tech scene is going from strength to strength, with the recent election of Emmanuel Macron in France fuelling optimism. But according to a new report carried out by VC firm Atomico and the Slush tech conference, founders in the UK are more “pessimistic” about the future of their industry than their EU peers. The triggering of Article 50 has been cited as the event with the greatest impact on the sector, affecting hiring and funding opportunities.

Snapchat’s redesign bets on intimacy over popularity

The new and simplified Snapchat app, unveiled Thursday, addresses a number of historic usability issues, but retains the trademark Snap focus on personal relationships. So while other platforms offer a forum in which to broadcast and conduct discourse, Snapchat wants to remain the place where you enjoy private communication with friends and family.

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