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Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

UPDATED: Silicon Beach Report Jan. 10: Activision and Bungie Split

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Ring

Gimbal acquires part of UberMedia; Bungie terminates Activision contract early, Ring’s security not so secure?

Bungie Parts Ways With Activision Blizzard

Bellevue, Wa.-based Bungie Inc., developer of popular Activision Blizzard Inc. title “Destiny,” split from the Santa Monica-based game publisher Thursday. According to Business Insider, the $500 million, 10-year contract signed between Bungie and Activision in 2010 is ending a year early but without signs of hostility. As of now, the rights to “Destiny” will be transferred to Bungie with no plans for other buyers.

Report Says Ring Released Security Camera Footage

Santa Monica-based Ring Inc., developer of surveillance doorbells, is facing accusations regarding lackadaisical security practices. The Intercept reports that beginning in 2016 Ring allowed a team of Ukrainian researchers and developers to access “every video created by every Ring camera around the world,” opening sensitive files to potential downloads. Additionally, the story says Ring provided its executives and engineers with privileged access to the company’s technical support video feeds, giving them the ability to eavesdrop on customers.

Ring released the following statement regarding the Intercept story:

“We take the privacy and security of our customers’ personal information extremely seriously. In order to improve our service, we view and annotate certain Ring video recordings. These recordings are sourced exclusively from publicly shared Ring videos from the Neighbors app (in accordance with our terms of service), and from a small fraction of Ring users who have provided their explicit written consent to allow us to access and utilize their videos for such purposes. Ring employees do not have access to livestreams from Ring products.

We have strict policies in place for all our team members. We implement systems to restrict and audit access to information. We hold our team members to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our policies faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties. In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.”

UberMedia Sells Division to Gimbal

Mobile advertising and location-data vendor Gimbal Inc., based in Santa Monica, acquired part of Pasadena-based data analytics firm UberMedia Inc Jan. 7. Gimbal did not acquire UberMedia’s entire business, but rather a portion of its managed media business unit. Socaltech reports Gimbal also adds several UberMedia employees to its roster as a result of the deal.


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