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Tag: Facebook (page 1 of 2)

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


“Greatest Propaganda Machine in History”

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

Facebook app has been secretly accessing iPhone and iPad cameras

Most would call it a bug. I suspect, behind closed doors, Facebook secretly calls it a feature. Facebook has yet to post an official response.

Roland Moore-Colyer, writing for The Inquirer »

And it seems to be down to how the Facebook app handles access to iPhone and iPad cameras in the latest version of iOS 13. To squash the bug for the time being, iPhone and iPad users can simply remove the Facebook app’s camera access in the device settings, or just purge the app from their iGadgets completely.

If you’re into conspiracy theories, you might argue that this was a deliberate move by Facebook to gobble up more user data. And we’d not blame you given the data handling mess that came to light last year with the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing scandal, as well as other borks by Facebook in keeping its user data private.

More » CNET, The Guardian, TechCrunch, The Hacker News

Facebook to pay maximum UK fine in Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook has agreed to pay a £500,000 fine, the maximum allowed by the UK’s data protection watchdog, for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Facebook last year had appealed the penalty.

Reuters » 

Facebook has agreed to pay a 500,000 pound ($644,000) fine for breaches of data protection law related to the harvesting of data by consultancy Cambridge Analytica, Britain’s information rights regulator said on Wednesday.


The fine may be small for a company worth $540 billion, but it is the maximum the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) could issue and represents the first move by a regulator to punish Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The ICO issued the fine last year after it said data from at least 1 million British users had been among the information harvested by the researcher and used for political purposes.

Read more »

ICO Statement

More » The Register, BBC, The Mac Observer, The Inquirer, The Guardian, NPR, TechCrunch, CNET, ZDNet, Security Affairs


EU’s top court rules Facebook can be forced to remove illegal content worldwide (Updated)

The ruling means social media platforms, like Facebook, now have the added responsibility of patrolling their own sites and networks for content ruled illegal.

Foo Yun Chee, writing for Reuters »

Facebook can be ordered to police and remove illegal content worldwide, Europe’s top court said on Thursday, in a landmark ruling that rights advocates say could allow authoritarian regimes to silence critics.

The ruling came just a week after the same court told Google that it does not have to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law globally, garnering praise from freedom of speech advocates as courts try and figure out just how much responsibility for content platforms should have.

Adam Satariano at the NY Times writes »

Europe’s top court said on Thursday that an individual country can order Facebook to take down posts, photographs and videos and restrict global access to that material, in a ruling that has implications for how countries can expand content bans beyond their borders.

The European Court of Justice’s decision came after a former Austrian politician sought to have Facebook remove disparaging comments about her that had been posted on an individual’s personal page, as well as “equivalent” messages posted by others. The politician, Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek, a former leader of Austria’s Green Party, argued that Facebook needed to delete the material in the country and limit worldwide access.

American tech giants often don’t appreciate that free-speech is regulated against hate, racism, homophobia, harassment, nudity, etc… in many countries outside the USA. So this decision will be met with a lot of resistance in the USA. However, it will be welcomed in many other parts of the world.

At the same time, it’s difficult to see how European rules can be enforceable outside of their jurisdiction, unless, perhaps, when the offending content originated from within European jurisdiction.

More » Bloomberg, Gizmodo, The Hollywood Reporter, Engadget


Zuckerberg says Facebook will sue to stop EU’s global content takedowns » TechCrunch


Facebook privacy investigation leads to tens of thousands of app suspensions

Nicole Lindsey at CPO Magazine writes »

As part of its ongoing privacy investigation into the way third-party app developers use data, Facebook announced in a blog post that it has suspended “tens of thousands” of apps. Such a wide-scale app suspension initiative, of course, is entirely unprecedented. Just 12 months earlier, Facebook said that the app suspension initiative, which was launched in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, had only impacted 400 apps. So what led to this massive app suspension by Facebook over the past year?

What’s wrong with this picture » Facebook promises not to stop politicians’ lies & hate

Josh Constine at TechCrunch writes (emphasis added) »

Facebook confirms it won’t fact check politicians’ speech or block their content if it’s newsworthy even if it violates the site’s hate-speech rules or other policies. This cementing of its policy comes from Facebook’s head of global policy and communication Nick Clegg, who gave a speech today about Facebook’s plans to prevent interference in the 2020 presidential election.

But by seeking neutrality, Facebook may become complicit in the misinformation and malevolence some politicians will use it to spread. It leaves users to fend for themselves as they try to discern fact from fiction and opinion from reality. Clegg claims the idea is for users to “judge what politicians say themselves.”

Read more »

More » Ars Technica

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