Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Sensitive: An anonymous posting on the information sharing app Secret claims that Apple (AAPL) is working on new EarPods that will feature heart rate and blood pressure-monitoring sensors. The post also indicates that the new earbuds will include Apple’s iBeacons location-finding technology “so they don’t get lost.” The post noted that the high-tech EarPods will use the lightning port to connect to iOS devices, instead of the audio jack. The sketchy post — made by someone who claims to have been recently fired from Apple — is somewhat supported by another report in MacRumors that Apple has hired Eric Winokur, an MIT researcher who reportedly helped developer an “an ear-worn ‘wearable vital signs monitor’” at MIT’s Medical Electronic Devices Realization Center. Winokur listed “Wearable medical device R&D” as one of his specialties on his LinkedIn (LNKD) page. Recent rumors suggest that Apple is planning to include health-monitoring sensors in its widely-rumored iWatch. Apple has also reportedly created a health-tracking app for iOS 8, which will launch later this year.
Disclosure: Apple is among a number of technology giants who are now notifying users when government investigators request to see their customer data, the Washington Post notes. In past years, tech companies tended to acquiesce to government demands without alerting customers that their data had been turned over to investigators. However, in the wake of revelations about the extent of domestic spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) last year, major tech firms are taking a harder stance against government snooping. Along with Apple, Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Facebook (FB) have expanded their user notifications regarding government data requests. Twitter (TWTR) has been informing customers of data requests for some years. In some cases, the technology companies cannot notify customers about law enforcement data requests due to court orders or other legal restrictions. Federal law enforcement officials are unhappy with the move, contending that it alerts criminals to on-going investigations. According to the report “investigators often drop data demands” when advised that the target will be informed so as not to alert the subject to the investigation. A Department of Justice spokesperson said of the new customer notification policies: “These risks of endangering life, risking destruction of evidence, or allowing suspects to flee or intimidate witnesses are not merely hypothetical, but unfortunately routine.” An Apple spokesperson said that the company will “update its policies so that in most cases when law enforcement requests personal information about a customer, the customer will receive a notification from Apple” later this month.
Payout: Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts now officially exited the company and will take some hefty bonuses with her, the Guardian notes. Though Ahrendts announced in October that she would be departing the British apparel-maker to join Apple, Burberry had remained mum about the exact date she would leave, generating speculation that she might remain at Burberry a little longer to oversee the transition to new CEO Christopher Bailey. Ahrendts will reportedly retain share bonuses worth £6.2 million as she leaves Burberry. Together with her annual salary of £1 million and £2.1 million annual cash bonus, Ahrendts leaves Burberry with final compensation of more than £9 million. Apple updated its website on Thursday to list Ahrendts as Senior Vice President, Retail and Online Stores.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.