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theEweekly Wrap

Apple reassures customers over privacy – Amazon buys .Buy domain – Netflix continues European expansion

Apple reassures customers their data is safe

Apple CEO Tim Cook has published an open letter on the company website, in an effort to reassure customers that their privacy is intact and a top priority.

Vulnerabilities in Apple's iCloud were blamed for the recent celebrity photo-hacking scandal, in which the private pictures of many A-list stars, including Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence, were leaked online.

Apple has also come under scrutiny this year in China, as the Chinese government has said it believes the iPhone's features pose a threat to national security.

In addition to Cook's open letter, Apple's website has been updated to outline the company's privacy policy and explain its approach to security in more detail.

One such page, Government Information Requests, begins with the statement: "Our commitment to customer privacy doesn't stop because of a government information request," which is enlarged at the top of the page.

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Amazon buys the .Buy domain name

Global online shopping giant Amazon has acquired exclusive access to the .Buy website domain in an auction held by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

According to Domain Name Wire, a website dedicated to news on the subject, Amazon paid $4,588,888 (£2,815,096).

The retailer reportedly outbid Google, as well as internet domain name registries Donuts and Famous Four Media. It is understood that only one other bidder was prepared to go higher than $1.5 million (£920,200).

Google also lost out on the .Tech domain name, which was bought by Dot Tech LLC for $6,760,000 (£4,147,035). Other outbid companies include Donuts, Uniregistry, Nu Dot Co and Minds + Machines. It was revealed that at least three of these bidders were ready to pay $6.2 million (£3,803,494) or higher.

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Netflix expands into Europe

Popular video-streaming service Netflix further expanded into the European market on Monday, starting with France. Before the end of the month, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland will also have access.

European viewers will even be able to watch a few American shows that Netflix does not have the rights to show in the USA - the most high-profile of which is the recent hit TV adaptation of the Coen brothers' mystery Fargo.

Netflix launched in the UK and Ireland in January 2012, and in the Netherlands and some Nordic countries shortly thereafter. The company recently revealed its subscription revenue has surpassed HBO's in the US, which came as a surprise to many analysts.

Given the service's popularity in all markets, Netflix now sets its sights on the rest of Europe. CEO Reed Hastings commented: "We've been building up to this for a long time. This is the biggest international expansion we've ever done, so it is hugely important. We've gotten a lot of attention, but that almost helps you grow - just being talked about helps."

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