Cybertruck Recall, TikTok Ban Update, & More

Cybertruck Recall, TikTok Ban Update, & More
The Tesla Cybertruck got its first recall due to contamination in the glue that holds the accelerator pedal together.

Dear Studio Fam,

This week’s tech news rundown starts with some bad news for Tesla fans. We also have an update in our ongoing reporting of Federal regulation of tech, this time focusing on abuses in the coding bootcamp industry. There are also major developments in the TikTok regulation bill, and we take a look at how the biggest streaming service is preparing for the future of advertising-supported content. Finally, you’ll find news from the Federal court about how safe your iPhone actually is from a police search.


Tesla Recalls Cybertruck For Faulty Accelerator Pedals

Amidst a plummeting stock price and slowing EV sales growth, Tesla fans were met with even more bad news this morning: all 3,878 Cybertrucks delivered to date are subject to a recall due to a defect in the accelerator pedal. According to Tesla, the glue that holds the Cybertruck accelerator pedal together was contaminated with soap, increasing the likelihood of the pedal falling off and getting stuck in the floor mat. Two vehicles suffered the malfunction and none reported crashes or injuries. While many Tesla recalls are fixed with software updates, this recall requires Cybertruck owners to bring in their trucks for physical repair.

CFPB Bans CEO from Student Lending

BloomTech Institute, formerly known as Lambda School, settled charges of fraud and false advertising with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The charges stemmed from the coding bootcamp’s use of “income share agreements” that were marketed to students as “risk-free” arrangements that only cost the students money if they got jobs using their new skills. In reality, the agreements were actually loans with hidden finance charges. As part of the settlement, BloomTech is permanently banned from lending services, and BloomTech CEO Austen Allred is banned from lending services for ten years.

TikTok Divestment Rolled Up Into Foreign Aid Bill

The law requiring TikTok owner ByteDance to sell its social network to American investors seems likely to become law. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson confirmed this morning that he will roll up the “TikTok ban” into a larger bill that includes funding for Taiwan, Ukraine, and Israel. President Biden has confirmed his intent to sign it, setting the stage for an unprecedented showdown between Chinese and American tech firms.

Netflix To Stop Reporting Subscriber Numbers

Netflix announced record profit growth in the wake of its crackdown on password sharing, adding over 9 million new subscribers in the first month of 2024. But the streaming giant also said it would stop reporting absolute subscriber numbers, proclaiming that its new growth metrics will be centered around viewer engagement as the once-premium service expands its cheapest tier of service which includes traditional television advertisements.

Cops Can Use Your Finger To Unlock Your Phone

A Federal court has finally ruled on a long unsettled area of law: whether or not police can force suspects to unlock devices with their fingerprints. In the decision for United States v. Jeremy Travis Payne, the Ninth Circuit ruled that forcing a suspect to use a fingerprint scanner is no different than taking a blood sample from a suspected drunk driver. The central question of the case was whether a fingerprint unlock constitutes compelled testimony, which would violate the Fifth Amendment’s right against self-incrimination. “[T]he compelled use of Payne's thumb to unlock his phone…required no cognitive exertion,” the Court Ruled, “placing it firmly in the same category as a blood draw or fingerprint taken at booking.”

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