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Recode Daily: Facebook turns to print to apologize for its data debacle

Plus, inside Amazon’s invite-only “camp for geeks,” cops are unlocking iPhones with the digits of the deceased, and the best account you’re not following on Twitter.

A full-page newspaper advertisement, taken out by Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, to apologize for the large-scale leak of personal data from the social network, on March 25, 2018.
A full-page newspaper advertisement, taken out by Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, to apologize for the large-scale leak of personal data from the social network, on March 25, 2018.
Oli Scarff / AFP / Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg continued his Facebook-Cambridge Analytica apology tour over the weekend, buying full-page ads in the Sunday editions of major newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Observer, a U.K. newspaper that Facebook allegedly threatened with a lawsuit when its reporters were about to publish a story about the data-harvesting controversy. Meanwhile, fewer than half of Americans trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws, according to a Reuters/Ipso poll released yesterday; 66 percent said they trust Amazon; Google, 62 percent; Microsoft, 60 percent; and Yahoo, 47 percent. Not everyone is buying Zuckerberg’s mea culpas: Analyst Jean-Louis Gassée says the Facebook CEO must think we’re idiots. [Eric Johnson / Recode]

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Now that the press is looking for them, expect more Facebook privacy problem stories, like this one: Facebook tracked phone calls and text messages made by Android phone users until last October. Facebook’s response: Users said that was okay. [Sean Gallagher / Ars Technica]

Uber is officially exiting Southeast Asia, selling its regional business to its primary competitor, Grab. As part of the deal, Uber gets a 27.5 percent stake in Grab, which was last valued at $6 billion. This is the third major market Uber has exited like this: In August 2016, China-based ride-hail behemoth Didi acquired Uber’s business in the country; in July 2017, Uber pulled its operations out of Russia by merging with competitor Yandex Taxi. [Johana Bhuiyan / Recode]

Here’s a rare look past the invite-only gates of Amazon’s MARS Conference, which stands for “machine learning, (home) automation, robotics and space exploration,” but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos calls it “summer camp for geeks.” The three-day Palm Springs confab brings together global power players to talk about Big Issues — gravitational waves, cutting-edge robot grasping technology, hyperefficient 3-D-printed rocket engines and AI, always AI. The magazine noticed a conspicuous absence of anyone from Google, Microsoft, Apple or Facebook, and suggests a “pop-up book club” recommending what the smartest scientists and technologists in the world like to read. [Daniel Terdiman / Fast Company]

Cops are opening iPhones with dead people’s fingerprints — and it’s entirely legal. An FBI forensics specialist detailed the first known case of police using a deceased person’s fingerprints in an attempt to get past the protections of Apple’s Touch ID technology. Don’t be surprised if cops start holding iPhone X devices up to the faces of the dead in the near future, if it hasn’t happened already. [Thomas Fox-Brewster / Forbes]

You just got comfortable with virtual- and augmented reality — now get ready to start talking about virtual embodiment, which aims to convince you not that you’re somewhere else, as with VR, but that you are someone else. VE technology doesn’t require fancy graphics; instead, tracking hardware — which allows your virtual body to accurately mirror the movements of your real head, feet and hands. Scientists and philosophers say these “embodied simulations” can change us profoundly, redefining “the very relationship we have to our own minds.” [Joshua Rothman / The New Yorker]

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