facebook

Auto Added by WPeMatico

Audit Approved of Facebook Policies, Even After Cambridge Analytica Leak

Audit Approved of Facebook Policies, Even After Cambridge Analytica Leak

Nicholas Confessore reports via The New York Times: An auditing firm responsible for monitoring Facebook for federal regulators told them last year that the company had sufficient privacy protections in place, even after the social media giant lost control of a huge trove of user data that was improperly obtained by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The assertion, by PwC, came in a report submitted to the Federal Trade Commission in early 2017. The report, a redacted copy of which is available on the commission’s website, is one of several periodic reviews of Facebook’s compliance with a 2011 federal consent decree, which required Facebook to take wide-ranging steps to prevent the abuse of users’ information and to inform them how it was being shared with other companies. The accounting firm, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, effectively gave Facebook a clean bill of health. “Facebook’s privacy controls were operating with sufficient effectiveness to provide reasonable assurance to protect the privacy” of users, said the assessment, which stretched from February 2015 to February 2017. But during that period, Facebook was aware that a researcher based in Britain, Aleksandr Kogan, had provided Cambridge Analytica with private Facebook data from millions of users.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
'Login With Facebook' Data Hijacked By JavaScript Trackers

'Login With Facebook' Data Hijacked By JavaScript Trackers

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Facebook confirms to TechCrunch that it’s investigating a security research report that shows Facebook user data can be grabbed by third-party JavaScript trackers embedded on websites using Login With Facebook. The exploit lets these trackers gather a user’s data including name, email address, age range, gender, locale, and profile photo depending on what users originally provided to the website. It’s unclear what these trackers do with the data, but many of their parent companies including Tealium, AudienceStream, Lytics, and ProPS sell publisher monetization services based on collected user data. The abusive scripts were found on 434 of the top 1 million websites including freelancer site Fiverr.com, camera seller B&H Photo And Video, and cloud database provider MongoDB. That’s according to Steven Englehardt and his colleagues at Freedom To Tinker, which is hosted by Princeton’s Center For Information Technology Policy.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Facebook To Design Its Own Processors For Hardware Devices, AI Software, and Servers

Facebook To Design Its Own Processors For Hardware Devices, AI Software, and Servers

Facebook is the latest technology company to design its own semiconductors, reports Bloomberg. “The social media company is seeking to hire a manager to build an ‘end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization,’ according to a job listing on its corporate website, indicating the effort is still in its early stages.” From the report: Facebook could use such chips to power hardware devices, artificial intelligence software and servers in its data centers. Next month, the company will launch the Oculus Go, a $200 standalone virtual-reality headset that runs on a Qualcomm processor. Facebook is also working on a slew of smart speakers. Future generations of those devices could be improved by custom chipsets. By using its own processors, the company would have finer control over product development and would be able to better tune its software and hardware together. The postings didn’t make it clear what kind of use Facebook wants to put the chips to other than the broad umbrella of artificial intelligence. A job listing references “expertise to build custom solutions targeted at multiple verticals including AI/ML,” indicating that the chip work could focus on a processor for artificial intelligence tasks. Facebook AI researcher Yann LeCun tweeted about some of the job postings on Wednesday, asking for candidates interested in designing chips for AI.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Facebook Admits To Tracking Users, Non-Users Off-Site

Facebook Admits To Tracking Users, Non-Users Off-Site

Facebook said in a blog post yesterday that they tracked users and non-users across websites and apps for three main reasons: providing services directly, securing the company’s own site, and “improving our products and services.” The statement comes as the company faces a U.S. lawsuit over a controversial facial recognition feature launched in 2011. The Guardian reports: “When you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook,” Facebook’s product management director, David Baser, wrote. “Whether it’s information from apps and websites, or information you share with other people on Facebook, we want to put you in control — and be transparent about what information Facebook has and how it is used.”

But the company’s transparency has still not extended to telling non-users what it knows about them — an issue Zuckerberg also faced questions over from Congress. Asked by Texas representative Gene Green whether all information Facebook holds about a user is in the file the company offers as part of its “download your data” feature, Zuckerberg had responded he believed that to be the case. Privacy campaigner Paul-Olivier Dehaye disagreed, noting that, even as a Facebook user, he had been unable to access personal data collected through the company’s off-site tracking systems. Following an official subject access request under EU law, he told MPs last month, Facebook had responded that it was unable to provide the information.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Former Cambridge Analytica Employee Says Facebook Users Affected Could Be 'Much Greater Than 87 million'

Former Cambridge Analytica Employee Says Facebook Users Affected Could Be 'Much Greater Than 87 million'

Cambridge Analytica and its partners used data from previously unknown “Facebook-connected questionnaires” to obtain user data from the social media service, according to testimony from a former Cambridge Analytica employee. From a report: Brittany Kaiser provided evidence to the British Parliament today as part of a hearing on fake news. Kaiser, who worked on the business team at Cambridge Analytica’s parent company until January of this year, wrote in a statement that she was “aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys” used by Cambridge Analytica or its partners, and she said she believes the number of people whose Facebook data may have been compromised is likely higher than the widely reported 87 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Facebook Competitor Orkut Relaunches as 'Hello'

Facebook Competitor Orkut Relaunches as 'Hello'

An anonymous reader quotes Bloomberg:
In 2004, one of the world’s most popular social networks, Orkut, was founded by a former Google employee named Orkut Buyukkokten… Orkut was shut down by Google in 2014, but in its heyday, the network had hit 300 million users around the world… “Hello.com is a spiritual successor of Orkut.com,” Buyukkokten told BloombergQuint…
“People have lost trust in social networks and the main reason is social media services today don’t put the users first. They put advertisers, brands, third parties, shareholders before the users,” Buyukkokten said. “They are also not transparent about practices. The privacy policy and terms of services are more like black boxes. How many users actually read them?”
Buyukkokten said users need to be educated about these things and user consent is imperative in such situations when data is shared by such platforms. “On Hello, we do not share data with third parties. We have our own registration and login and so the data doesn’t follow you anywhere,” he said. “You don’t need to sell user data in order to be profitable or make money.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Nearly 1 In 10 Americans Have Deleted Their Facebook Account Over Privacy Concerns, Survey Claims

Nearly 1 In 10 Americans Have Deleted Their Facebook Account Over Privacy Concerns, Survey Claims

An anonymous reader shares a report from BGR, summarizing a survey from TechPinions: With the outrage surrounding Facebook’s privacy policies reaching a fever pitch over the past few weeks, there has been something of an underground movement calling for users to delete their Facebook account altogether. To this point, you may have seen the DeleteFacebook hashtag pop up on any number of social media platforms in recent weeks, including, ironically enough, on Facebook itself. While Zuckerberg last week said that the company hasn’t seen a meaningful drop off in cumulative users, a new survey from Creative Strategies claims that 9% of Americans may have deleted their accounts.

The report reads in part: “Privacy matters to our panelists. Thirty-six percent said they are very concerned about it and another 41% saying they are somewhat concerned. Their behavior on Facebook has somewhat changed due to their privacy concerns. Seventeen percent deleted their Facebook app from their phone, 11% deleted from other devices, and 9% deleted their account altogether. These numbers might not worry Facebook too much, but there are less drastic steps users are taking that should be worrying as they directly impact Facebook’s business model.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Mark Zuckerberg Denies Knowledge of Non-Consensual Shadow Profiles Facebook Has Been Building of Non-Users For Years

Mark Zuckerberg Denies Knowledge of Non-Consensual Shadow Profiles Facebook Has Been Building of Non-Users For Years

It has been widely reported that Facebook builds profile of people even if they have never signed up for its services. However, in a hearing with the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wednesday, when New Mexico Representative Ben Lujan asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg if he was aware of the so-called practice of building “shadow profiles”, Zuckerberg denied knowledge of it. Here’s the exchange: Lujan: Facebook has detailed profiles on people who have never signed up for Facebook, yes or no? Zuckerberg: Congressman, in general we collect data on people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes to prevent the kind of scraping you were just referring to [reverse searches based on public info like phone numbers]. Lujan: So these are called shadow profiles, is that what they’ve been referred to by some? Zuckerberg: Congressman, I’m not, I’m not familiar with that. Lujan: I’ll refer to them as shadow profiles for today’s hearing. On average, how many data points does Facebook have on each Facebook user? Zuckerberg: I do not know off the top of my head. Lujan: Do you know how many points of data Facebook has on the average non-Facebook user? Zuckerberg: Congressman, I do not know off the top of my head but I can have our team get back to you afterward. Lujan: It’s been admitted by Facebook that you do collect data points on non-[Facebook users]. My question is, can someone who does not have a Facebook account opt out of Facebook’s involuntary data collection? Zuckerberg: Anyone can turn off and opt out of any data collection for ads, whether they use our services or not but in order to prevent people from scraping public information … we need to know when someone is repeatedly trying to access our services.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Facebook Data Collected By Quiz App Included Private Messages

Facebook Data Collected By Quiz App Included Private Messages

In addition to the public profile data of up to 87 million Facebook users, political data firm Cambridge Analytica also reportedly harvested people’s private messages, too (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). The New York Times reports: On Monday, Facebook began informing people whose data may have been compromised by Cambridge Analytica through an app developed by the researcher Aleksandr Kogan. In its notifications, Facebook said that while the information harvested was largely limited to what was on people’s public profiles, “a small number of people” also shared information from their Facebook timeline, posts and messages. Facebook did not specify how many people’s messages were gathered and said it was taking as broad a view as possible when notifying people that their data may have been taken.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook
Some Facebook Employees Are Quitting or Asking To Switch Departments Over Ethical Concerns

Some Facebook Employees Are Quitting or Asking To Switch Departments Over Ethical Concerns

Some dissatisfied Facebook engineers are reportedly attempting to switch divisions to work on Instagram or WhatsApp, rather than continue work on the platform responsible for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to a recent report from the New York Times. An anonymous reader writes: Many believe Facebook should have done more to handle the data responsibly, and the events that followed increased scrutiny against Facebook, reportedly taking a toll on employees working on the platform. Since the news came out, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have spoken to the media on a few occasions, but it was days before the company commented on the scandal, which it now estimates around 87 million total users affected. Then, a leaked memo from Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth written in 2016 revealed a “growth at all costs” mentality that put Facebook in a position to be held responsible for the situation it’s found itself in. As it became evident that Facebook’s core product might be to blame, engineers working on it reportedly found it increasingly difficult to stand by what it built.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Go to Source

Posted by amiller in Blog, facebook