Day: July 8, 2020

How the U.S. seeks to protect children’s privacy online

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TikTok is under investigation for allegedly violating a settlement reached with U.S. authorities last year that resolved charges the popular app broke rules governing how children’s personal information is treated online.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, and the Justice Department, which often files court actions for the FTC, have opened a preliminary investigation into the matter involving the China-based video-sharing app.

Under rules dating to 1998 legislation, COPPA requires websites to get parental permission to collect data on children under the age of 13. Websites or online services are also expected to ban third parties from collecting the data.

COPPA also applies to mobile apps, gaming platforms and internet-connected toys, among others.

Under pressure from the FTC, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, agreed in early 2019 to pay a $5.7 million civil penalty for violating COPPA by

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Why Investors Should Keep an Eye on Changing Sales Strategies

In the first half of 2020, most car manufacturers are seeing decreased sales.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) recorded a 7% decrease in total vehicle sales in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the year-ago quarter, with sales falling 34% year over year in the second quarter. Ford (NYSE:F) saw a 21% decline in wholesales and a 15% decline in revenue year over year in the first quarter, with sales falling by a third in the second quarter compared to the prior-year quarter. Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) reported a 15% decrease in revenue in the first quarter compared to the prior-year quarter. Even Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) second-quarter deliveries fell 4.9% compared to the year-ago quarter, despite the much-awaited opening of its Shanghai Gigafactory.

One reason for the decreased sales is likely lower income from high unemployment numbers. However, another big contributor is the fact that most car sales are made

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10 Best Personal Finance Courses

If you want to learn how to make smart financial decisions, save more and eliminate debt, you’re in luck. Today, there are plenty of online personal finance classes offering money-management lessons.

Still, “people need to keep in mind that online personal finance courses should be seen as an education resource and not specific personal financial advice,” says Drew Feutz, a certified financial planner at Market Street Wealth Management Advisors in Indianapolis. “The information learned from taking a personal finance course should be applied within the context of your own financial situation, rather than following everything that is taught 100% to a T.”

“Some things that you learn about in a personal finance course may not be applicable to you or may not be appropriate to implement in your own life,” Feutz adds, noting that too often, people read or hear something from a personal finance expert or a course that

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Congress may slap limits on the next stimulus checks

It’s been more than three months since President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, the law that provided those $1,200 “stimulus checks” (and direct deposits and debit cards) to give Americans some financial relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

But maybe you could use more help. The outbreak is still raging and is worse than ever in many states. And millions are still struggling to meet expenses and deal with rising debt as unemployment remains high and incomes are squeezed.

So, the question keeps coming up again and again: When will there be another round of relief money?

White House and congressional officials are indicating that day may be getting closer, but they’re also suggesting new payments may come with limits.

Sorry to break it to you, but you may not get any cash this time.

How the next payments could be restricted

MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock
Senate Majority

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Visa Makes Payment Easy in Asia Pacific With Click to Pay

Visa Inc. V has expanded its click-to-pay feature in the Asia Pacific, which offers online shoppers an online checkout option that is fast, simple and secure.

The click-to-pay facility is built on the EMV Secure Remote Commerce (SRC) industry specification, accessible to the participating Australian and New Zealand businesses.

The service will be extended gradually to other regions, such as Hong Kong, Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore, later in the year.

The launch of this service comes at just the opportune time when e-commerce saw a surge due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to follow strict lockdown and social-distancing protocols, people avoided shopping via bricks-and-mortar stores and stuck more to purchasing stuff online, which in turn, drove the need for digital payments. With 41% of consumers in the Asia Pacific belt making five or more e-commerce transactions in the past three months will make the click-to-pay feature a big

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Ivy League First in Division I to Scrap Sports Competition

(Bloomberg) — The Ivy League is canceling sports competition for the upcoming semester because of health concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first Division I conference in the U.S. to scrap football.

The conference, whose eight members include Harvard University, Yale University and Princeton University, made the move Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The decision will affect not only fall sports, including soccer, but winter sports also played in the semester, such as basketball. The league is still open to the possibility of spring competition.

The decision follows similar pullbacks by smaller schools such as Bowdoin, Williams and Morehouse colleges, a contrast to the large universities that haven’t announced plans and regularly draw tens of thousands of fans.

U.S. colleges are presenting their plans for the semester that begins in August or September, instituting steps for the safe return of students. They’re also deciding

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Google, Amazon Funnel Money to Virus Conspiracy Sites: Study

(Bloomberg) — Digital advertising platforms run by Google, Amazon.com Inc. and other tech companies will funnel at least $25 million to websites spreading misinformation about Covid-19 this year, according to a study released Wednesday.

Google’s platforms will provide $19 million, or $3 out of every $4 that the misinformation sites get in ad revenue. OpenX, a smaller digital ad distributor, handles about 10% of the money, while Amazon’s technology delivers roughly $1.7 million, or 7%, of the digital marketing spending these sites will receive, according to a research group called the Global Disinformation Index.

GDI made the estimates in a study that analyzed ads running between January and June on 480 English language websites identified as publishers of virus misinformation. Some of the ads were for brands including cosmetics giant L’Oreal SA, furniture website Wayfair Inc. and imaging technology company Canon Inc. The data exclude social-media and online-video services, so

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What Is Toxic Positivity? Why It’s OK To Not Be OK Right Now.

“Everything will be fine.” “This too shall pass.” “Stay positive! It could be worse.” 

If you’ve ever gone through a difficult time (a breakup, a job loss), you’ve probably heard some of these phrases ad nauseam from friends and family. People who say them no doubt have good intentions; they’re simply trying to put a rosy filter on the tough time you’re having. “It gets better, stay optimistic,” they assure you. 

But if statements like this are all you’re hearing from your friends and family, that excess of positivity can be, well, negative.

This kind of encouragement and self-talk is so common that mental health experts have a name for it: toxic positivity. 

“Toxic positivity is the idea that we should focus only on positive emotions and the positive aspects of life,” said Heather Monroe, a clinical social worker and director of program development at Newport Institute.

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What if you were receiving the $600 every week and then it stopped? Your COVID-19 money questions, answered

It’s hard out there. And, in this time of uncertainty, USA TODAY is working to find answers to your money questions – anything from stimulus checks or unemployment benefits to your 401(k) or retirement plans. You can submit your questions here and read earlier answers below.

We will be updating the Q&A, so check back often. But, also look to these places:

… Will it continue or has it stopped for New Jersey? Do you need to contact anyone?

If you are still receiving unemployment benefits, the extra $600 should continue until July 25 in New Jersey. If the missed money doesn’t show up in your next payment, you should contact the state’s unemployment benefits office.

If you are back to work full time, you will no longer receive jobless benefits. If you are back to work part-time, you can receive partial unemployment insurance which should include the extra $600 … Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic Shifts Back-to-School Spending

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t stopping parents from hitting the back-to-school sales, but it may be changing what’s on their shopping lists.

Back-to-school spending for children in grades K-12 is expected to hit $28.1 billion — or $529 per student — which is relatively flat from last year, when $27.8 billion was spent, according to the 2020 Back-to-School survey by international accounting and professional services firm Deloitte, released July 8.

However, the uncertainty over whether students will be learning in-person or virtually is driving many parents to spend more on technology upgrades.

Improving the learning experience with technology

As the school season nears, parents have a lot on their mind. Two-thirds of the parents surveyed said they were anxious about sending their children back to school this fall because of the pandemic.

In addition, a majority of parents were not satisfied with their children’s learning experience during the last school year.

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