Facebook under fire for alleged personal data breaches

Facebook under fire for alleged personal data breaches It's been a tough year for social media giant Facebook. After Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearings following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company has come under renewed scrutiny with news emerging about personal data breaches. Facebook has reportedly been bending rules for big business partners, and this explosive story is our main highlight in this week's subscription roundup. In other news, Microsoft may be planning to launch a Microsoft 365 subscription bundle targeted at consumers. As part of the holiday season promotions, Spotify is bringing back a popular feature and Apple is allowing gifting of in-app purchases. Meanwhile, Netflix is continuing with aggressive plans for global domination with 90 movies slated for release next year, while Amazon is challenging FedEx and UPS with a new air freight hub. 

Facebook bent privacy rules for major clients?

A new investigation has revealed that Facebook provided personal data access to some of its top clients. Reportedly, the company gave Netflix, Spotify and the Royal Bank of Canada the ability to read and delete users' private messages. It also gave companies such as Microsoft, Sony and Amazon the ability to obtain the email addresses of their users' friends. While Facebook has tried to clarify its position, if the allegations turn out to be true it will be yet another huge blow to the social media platform's credibility.
 
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Microsoft to launch a consumer version of its 365 subscription bundle?

After gaining a lot of success in the enterprise space with its Microsoft 365 subscriptions, the tech behemoth seems to be mulling a similar offering for retail consumers as well. While it is not entirely clear what the purported subscription bundle will include, speculation is that Skype, Bing, Cortana and Outlook Mobile, in addition to the Office 365 productivity suite may be a part of this subscription.
 
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Spotify relaunches Spotify Wrapped

Music streaming giant Spotify has brought back Spotify Wrapped - a special feature that shows all the songs and artists that users listened to the most throughout the year. Spotify has done this several times before and Spotify Wrapped offers great insights into the power users of the streaming service. It also shows how much time users spent on the service. Incidentally, Spotify crashed in the UK and some parts of Europe earlier this week leaving a lot of subscribers unhappy.
 
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Apple allows gifting of in-app purchases

Apple has been on a mission to expand its services revenue. Now, in a bid to cash in on the holiday season, Apple has enabled gifting of items eligible for in-app purchases. While the new change is found in the App Store Review Guidelines, it is not quite clear how the company intends to roll out this feature.
 
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Netflix wants to release 90 movies in 2019

SVOD giant Netflix is all set to lay down the benchmark for next year. The subscription service plans to release 90 movies in 2019, three times the average number released by traditional movie studios. Netflix Originals have gained a lot of critical acclaim, and its latest release Roma is being considered a major Oscar contender. If Netflix continues to dominate with its content quality, it is likely to hold on to the lion’s share of consumer subscription dollars as well.
 
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Amazon announces a new air freight hub to take on FedEx and UPS

Legacy freight carriers are facing the heat after Amazon Air’s latest expansion plan. Amazon has given more power to its air freight fleet by announcing a new freight hub in Texas, expected to be operational next year. Meanwhile UPS is already losing confidence among Wall Street investors with Amazon targeting its profitable business to consumer marketplace. Amazon Air began operations in 2015 and has quickly become a force to be reckoned with.
 
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Also read: Apple’s magazine subscription service likely to launch in early 2019