June 30, 2022

Hashtag Trending Jan. 7 – Norton helps to mine; Facebook takes data from deactivated accounts; IRC taxes online payment services

With files from Samira Balsara.

Norton 360 installs a crypto-miner feature, why Facebook continues to take data from deactivated accounts, and the IRS cracks down on third-party payment services. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Friday, January 7, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Norton has added a feature to its LifeLock security software that provides users with the ability to mine cryptocurrencies. The “Norton Crypto” tool is designed to help users mine cryptocurrency without having to rely on “unvetted code on their machines that could be skimming from their earnings or even planting ransomware.” According to a Norton blog post, the crypto feature will not mine on devices without permission. The post says, ”If you have turned on Norton Crypto, but you no longer want to use the feature, you can disable it through your Norton Crypto dashboard.

If you’ve ever deactivated your account on Facebook, there’s no guarantee your account and its data will disappear. According to an article from Digi Day, the company does not make it clear to users that when they deactivate their accounts, its data connections continue to suck new information from advertisers, revealing people’s personal interests, recent purchases and other online interactions. Facebook refers to this data dive as “Your Off-Facebook Activity.” It is comprised of data reflecting interactions people have with other companies. Then those firms pass along info to Facebook, such as information showing that someone registered for a website, bought a product or signed up for a subscription.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is cracking down on payments received through apps such as Venmo, PayPal and Cash App to make sure those users are paying their fair share of taxes. The new rule will require users to report a transaction to the IRS if they exceed $600 in a year. The $600 rule applies to payments received for goods and services transactions. For example, if you sell products on Etsy, you will get a 1099-K form if you sell more than $600 worth of products. Form 1099-K is used to report to the IRS goods and services payments received by a business or individual in the calendar year.

And now for something a little different. Looking for total work disconnect? If so, a job in Belgium may be up for consideration. According to a new proposed law for civil servants, bosses in Belgium will not be able to contact their employees after work hours. A “Right to Disconnect” bill will be introduced for civil workers on February 1 by Belgium’s Green Party Minister of Civil Service. The “Right to Disconnect” states that workers can only be contacted outside normal working hours in exceptional circumstances, and when the action required cannot wait until the next working period. It also says that employees should not be penalized if they do not respond to contact outside work hours.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, if you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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