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Facebook app upgrade allows access to smartphone microphone

Winston Sih | posted Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

A new Facebook app feature that will allow the social media giant to access your smartphone microphone to capture sounds is raising privacy concerns.

In a release last week, Facebook said the user-optional feature could capture and identify audio, using the phone’s microphone. Facebook would then attempt to identify the song being listened to or the show being watched and incorporate it into a status update.

Facebook said no sound is stored, but admitted to International Business Times (IBT) that it plans to archive the data as code.

“If the feature finds a match, you can then choose to add the song, TV show or movie to your post,” the release states.


Facebook says the upgrade will be available in the coming weeks on both its Android and iOS apps in the U.S.

Dr. Ilka Gleibs from the London School of Economics told IBT that consumers should be worried because they have no control over what happens to the data.

News that Facebook could access audio from your phone led to a strong reaction on Twitter.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Barton Gellman, who has extensively covered Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency, tweeted that he was deleting his Facebook app in response to the upgrade.

Also last week, Facebook announced that it was increasing privacy controls for new users — assuring that posts are automatically set only to be visible to friends.

With files from Michael Talbot, CityNews.ca

Social Stream: #BTontheroad at the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Join us as Breakfast Television heads to the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa to kick off the May long weekend!

For behind-the-scenes updates and more, check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram postings using the hashtag #BTontheroad, as well as in the social stream below.

Latest video blog:

Click here to watch our previous #BTontheroad Live Eye segments.

Social stream:

Civil liberties group urges midtown school to drop breathalyzer tests before prom

Winston Sih | posted Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging a Toronto secondary school not to make its students take a breathalyzer test before they can get into their upcoming prom.

According to a report on the Post City website, the CCLA sent a letter to Ron Felsen, the principal of Northern Secondary School, on Friday to say the policy is unconstitutional.

Northern adopted the plan because of problems with students drinking at past proms and other events.

Any student with alcohol on his or her breath will be denied entry into the May 29 event at the Eglinton Grand. The school will also notify the student’s parents.

The move has the support of the parent council, but students who believe their rights are being infringed upon asked the CCLA to weigh in.

Malvern Collegiate Institute has had a similar policy in place for 14 years and said it has worked to curb drunkenness and ensure a safe event for students.

With files from CityNews.ca

Toronto to proclaim Monday as ‘Raptors Day’

Winston Sih | posted Monday, May 12th, 2014

The Toronto Raptors won’t be bringing home a championship this year, but Toronto is still paying tribute to the team by declaring Monday as Raptors Day.

Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly will make the proclamation at Nathan Phillips Square at 8:30 a.m.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey will also be on-hand for the announcement and celebration, along with point guard Greivis Vasquez.

Councillors and other members of the public have been invited to take part in the celebration.


The team was very close to making it into the second round of the NBA playoffs, losing Game 7 to the Brooklyn Nets by just one point.

However, the Raptors still set a new franchise record for wins and captured the Atlantic Division title.

During the playoffs, fans descended on Maple Leaf Square (dubbed Jurassic Park) to watch the game and cheer on the team. The fans not only inspired the team but also drew praise from the Nets.

Reel Fresh Toronto posted The Northern Uprising: A Video Essay on YouTube. Watch it below:

Will you be attending the event? What’s your favourite memory from the season?

With files from CityNews.ca

Kevin Frankish, The Iron Sheik duke it out on social media

Winston Sih | posted Friday, Apr 25th, 2014

Take a look at the hilarious social media back-and-forth that ensued when The Iron Sheik couldn’t make his appearance on Breakfast Television Thursday.

Then, The Iron Sheik watches and responds!

The social media buzz continues, and the man himself sends us an Instagram video message.

Upon more discussion of the back-and-forth on the air, The Iron Sheik sends us some choice words on Twitter and Instagram.

And with the help of wrestler Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Frankish shoots a message in return on the BT Instagram account!

Connected City: How Cold Turkey program works

Winston Sih | posted Thursday, Apr 24th, 2014

Connected City

A program called Cold Turkey can help you get your productivity back on track by blocking access to websites. City digital media correspondent Winston Sih takes a look at how it works.

Catch Connected City with Winston Sih on his weekly segment airing on CityNews: The 5.  View all previous segments by clicking here.

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