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Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 3)

EU calls on streaming services Netflix and YouTube to limit streaming quality as data usage on UK networks has increased by 30% and by 50% in some European markets

The request is for streaming services to scale back their offerings standard definition to keep broadband networks from crashing.

More » Financial Times, The Guardian, TechRadar, Silicon Republic

 

Australia sues Facebook for breaching the privacy of over 300K Australians in the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook could face millions of dollars in fines over allegedly breaching the privacy of over 300,000 Australian citizens caught up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Josh Taylor, The Guardian »

The Australian information commissioner Angelene Falk has alleged Facebook committed serious and repeated interferences with privacy in contravention of Australian privacy law because data collected by Facebook was passed onto the This is Your Digital Life app by Cambridge Analytica for political profiling, which was not what it was collected for.

Data included people’s names, dates of birth, email addresses, city location, friends list, page likes and Facebook messages for those who had granted the app access to the messages.
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“We consider the design of the Facebook platform meant that users were unable to exercise reasonable choice and control about how their personal information was disclosed,” Falk said.

“Facebook’s default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy.”

More » Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Reuters, News.com.au, Seeking Alpha

Facebook owned WhatsApp claims to have 2 billion users

Unfortunately, they made the announcement that they are “Connect The World Privately.”

That’s a stretch. This is Facebook after all. And we all know how they love to vacuum up user data, along with their regular disregard for anything resembling facts and truth.

WhatsApp Blog

Amazon’s Ring doorbell sends customer’s personal data to Facebook and Google

BBC »

The Electronic Frontier Foundation found the Ring app was “packed” with third-party tracking, sending out customers’ personally identifiable information.

Five companies were receiving a range of information, including names, IP addresses and mobile networks, it said.

Ring said it limited the amount of data it shared.

The company told Gizmodo: “Like many companies, Ring uses third-party service providers to evaluate the use of our mobile app, which helps us improve features, optimise the customer experience and evaluate the effectiveness of our marketing.”

But the EFF said Ring was failing to protect users’ privacy, noting only one of the trackers it had found was mentioned in the company’s privacy policy.

What can you use instead of Google and Facebook? [Updated]

In recent months I too have been moving away from Google. I ditched evil Facebook a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. But I had been holding out for Google to follow through on their promises. They haven’t and it now feels like the Antarctic will melt before Google will change their business practices.

So, searches are now with DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and StartPage. And recently, I’ve been switching from Gmail to ProntoMail. I no longer use Chrome, except on rare occasions when I need to access Google services. WhatsApp is an extension of Facebook, and so I’ve never used it. I use the much safer Signal and Telegram instead.

Tom Jackson, BBC »

If Google knows everything you have ever searched for, it has a detailed catalogue of your interests, hopes and fears. Facebook knows who your friends are, what you like and what you talk about online.

Online data scandals have raised concerns about the power that information brings. Facebook is facing a fine of $5bn for its part in the notorious misuse of data by political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Concern is growing. A survey by the Washington-based digital agency Rad Campaign and analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies last year, for example, found three out of five responders in the US distrust social media when it comes to protecting their privacy.

I think as more and more people recognize that Facebook, Google, and others are simply using them, they too will look for alternatives.

UPDATE » Here’s a similar take the subject from TechAltar »

Facebook promises to ban videos that are either heavily edited or deep fakes as it tightens policies around misleading media

Facebook has a major problem with credibility. They often state one thing and do another. Facebook’s statements and policies carry little weight.  I’m happy to wait to see what they actually do.

From Facebook » 

We are strengthening our policy toward misleading manipulated videos that have been identified as deepfakes. Going forward, we will remove misleading manipulated media if it meets the following criteria:

  • It has been edited or synthesized – beyond adjustments for clarity or quality – in ways that aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they did not actually say. And:
  • It is the product of artificial intelligence or machine learning that merges, replaces or superimposes content onto a video, making it appear to be authentic.
    This policy does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words.

Over 267 million Facebook users had their personal data exposed online

Christine Fisher, writing for Engadget »

More than 267 million Facebook users allegedly had their user IDs, phone numbers and names exposed online, according to a report from Comparitech and security researcher Bob Diachenko. That info was found in a database that could be accessed without a password or any other authentication, and the researchers believe it was gathered as part of an illegal scraping operation or Facebook API abuse.

Dianchenko says he reported the database to the service provider managing the IP address of the server, but the database was exposed for nearly two weeks. In the meantime, he says, the data was posted as a download in a hacker forum.

Read the whole article at Engadget »

Canadian courts powerless to order Facebook to hand over private messages

Result » Canadian federal legislators need to enact legislation that will be enforceable within Canadian jurisdiction.

If Facebook, and others, want to operate within Canadian borders, they must be expected to work within Canadian society’s rules, regulations, and customs.

Kate Dubinski, writing in CBC News »

The case involved Facebook messages that police in London, Ont., wanted to access in order to proceed with a homicide investigation and trial.

Because Facebook is an American company, the usual legal process involves Canadian authorities applying for evidence, in this case from the Facebook Messenger app, through a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT). The treaty has been used for decades by police on both sides of the border to get access to physical evidence.

In this case, a judge issued a production order — essentially a legal order for Facebook to give up the information. Authorities thought that would be quicker than the treaty process, which takes about four months.

But when it became clear this fall Facebook would fight tooth and nail against having to comply with a Canadian judge’s order, the Crown applied through the MLAT for the messages and received them.

Read the whole article in CBC News »

High-profile Android apps including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, still have vulnerabilities discovered years ago

Here is another reason I have personally decided not to go back to Android.

Adrian Potoroaca, writing for TechSpot »

According to a report from cybersecurity firm Check Point, there are tens of vulnerabilities that are found every day, some of them in the apps themselves and others in external shared code libraries that are used by those apps to enable specific features. Updating them to keep up with the most current security threats is a monumental task, so app developers have to prioritize which ones get fixed first.

The researchers decided to take a look at how many apps in the Google Play Store are currently still using vulnerable libraries. They hunted specifically for three vulnerabilities that are rated critical and were disclosed in 2014, 2015, and 2016. This won’t surprise the infosec community, but the resulting list includes over 800 popular Android apps and games that have been downloaded a total of 5 billion times.

Among the affected apps are some that people use very frequently, like Facebook, WeChat, Messenger, Instagram, AliExpress, TuneIn and SHAREit. The shared libraries have all been updated since the vulnerabilities were discovered, but new versions of those popular apps still use the outdated libraries.

Check Point »

If you have a mobile device, you know how important it is to keep the core operating system and all installed apps up to date. It comes as a shock to discover that these precautions are of no help when the app maintainers neglect to incorporate security fixes into their versions of popular components. Keeping track of all security updates in all external components of a sophisticated mobile app is a tedious task, and it’s no surprise that few maintainers are willing to expend the effort. Mobile app stores and security researchers do proactively scan apps for malware patterns, but devote less attention to long-known critical vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, this means there’s not much the end user can do to keep his mobile device fully secure.

It should be noted that the Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger apps are all Facebook products. One of the largest corporations in America, Facebook, cannot be bothered to protect it’s users and find the time and resources to upgrade it’s products.

Furthermore, Google isn’t doing enough to encourage app developers that use the Play Store to keep their apps secure.

Sasha Baron Cohen’s thoughts on social media and tech industry responsibilities

#DoingWhatsRight

“Greatest Propaganda Machine in History”

More » BBC, The Daily Beast, ZDNet, The Times of Israel

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