Items tagged with Facebook

It should come as no surprise that video conferencing software is seeing a sudden uptick in usage—more people are telecommuting in order to social distance themselves amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Zoom is among the beneficiaries of the current situation, though not without controversy. New research indicates that Zoom's iOS app is sending analytical data to Facebook on the sly. Apps sending information to Facebook is not the least bit uncommon. Many apps and services tie their offerings into Facebook, and it can be convenient for users who do not want to juggle yet another account. But when it comes to sharing analytical data, that sort of thing should be made clear to users, and require... Read more...
The government is urging people to keep their distance from others to help slow and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The government is currently in talks with Facebook and Google along with a range of other technology companies and health experts to determine how they may be able to use location data gathered from smartphones to glean information about the coronavirus. Public health experts believe that private companies may be able to compile data in an anonymous and aggregated form that could be used to map the spread of the infection. Details of the talks come from a trio of unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post, which claim that the project is in the early stages. While analyzing... Read more...
For a period of time yesterday, Facebook was on the fritz, blocking content that did not run afoul of any rules, including posts on the coronavirus. However, those were not the only ones. As our own Marco Chiappetta noted, some of his boxing friends had posts blocked about Roger Mayweather's death, while others had entertainment related posts flagged and removed. "Count me in. My post on letting seniors in grocery stores early for shopping during the crisis was marked invisible for being against community standards," our own Dave Altavilla noted in response to Marco's Facebook post. Quite frankly, I could have done without the news that the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, had decided... Read more...
WhatsApp is popular because its end-to-end encryption gives users warm fuzzies over the privacy and security of their chats. However, the chat messaging application might not be quite as secure or private as you thought (or at least that was the case). That's because Google had been indexing links to group chats, which in turn allowed any Joe or Jane to join and see potentially private information. Apparently this had been going on for several years. As a result, there were hundreds of thousands of indexed chat group links on the web, all of which were a simple Google search away. Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. The "Invite to Group via Link" feature allows groups... Read more...
U.S. lawmakers have been on a mission to kill end-to-end encryption as we known it. And we're not just talking about killing encryption (or at least providing backdoors) on devices like iPhones or the Google Pixel 4, but also online software platforms from Facebook and Google. The bill is entitled "The Eliminating Abuse and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019,” which of course has to work out to some hip catchphrase, which in this case is the "EARN IT Act". Sponsors of the bill include Senators Lindsay Graham (R) and Richard Blumenthal (D). At its heart, the senators claim that the legislation is aimed at stopping child sexual abuse and the exploitation of... Read more...
“Dark mode” or “night mode” has long been popular with tech users. It is also now increasingly being adopted by major apps and operating systems. However, is dark mode simply an aesthetic preference or can it provide benefits to users? Companies and services like Google, Apple, and Facebook offer or plan to offer dark mode to help reduce eyestrain, increase battery life, and decrease display flickering.  Many apps and operating systems tend to prefer light user interfaces (UI). This brighter interface or “dark-on-light color scheme” was originally introduced in word processors to mimic the look of dark ink on light paper. A light UI is generally considered... Read more...
Tax season is upon us, and one thing nobody wants to deal with is getting audited. In a sense, however, that is what some major tech corporations have to deal with, as the Federal Trade Commission announced it is looking into hundreds of prior acquisitions made by Alphabet (including Google), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft. The FTC is essentially asking major tech companies to open their books and make sure that everything is on the up and up. It also wants to "deepen its understanding" of how large technology handle acquisitions, including they get reported to federal antitrust agencies, and whether some of the smaller mergers fall under the radar of potentially being anti-competitive.... Read more...
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an article today that says one of the main goals of the social network in 2020 is to build "much stronger privacy protections for everyone on Facebook." Zuckerberg says that Facebook knows it has a lot of work to do in that realm, which is why it's making it a priority not only for the teams at Facebook but for Zuckerberg personally. Since today is Data Privacy Day, Zuckerberg says that he wanted to share some of the work his company is doing to give users more control over privacy both on and off Facebook. Over the next few weeks, Facebook will start showing nearly 2 billion people around the world a prompt encouraging them to review privacy... Read more...
Facebook announced it plans to crack down on the proliferation of video content that has been manipulated in certain ways to appear as authentic and intentionally misleading. Also known as "deepfakes," these kinds of videos use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to superimpose content onto a video clip. The timing of Facebook's decision to beef up its enforcement of misleading videos comes during the early part of a US presidential election year. This is the fourth year of US President Donald Trump serving as the command in chief, and barring an unlikely eviction through an impeachment trial in the Republican-led Senate, he will seek re-election. It is important to note that... Read more...
Welp, the days of being able to sign up for Facebook's Messenger service without also being a member of the social network are apparently over. If you have friends and family members who have been bugging you to hop on board Messenger, you will need to create a Facebook account to do so, if you do not already have one. This applies to new users only. Anyone who already registered a Messenger account without an accompanying Facebook account can continue to use the messaging service as normal, at least for the time being. "If you’re new to Messenger, you’ll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections," A spokesperson at Facebook said in a statement... Read more...
Facebook can't seem to do anything right when it comes to privacy. Despite that fact, people continue to use the social network, and the latest privacy issue has exposed the phone numbers of 267 million users. The phone numbers were in a database that included both phone numbers and Facebook user IDs. Security researcher Bob Diachenko along with Comparitech discovered the Elasticsearch database. They believe that the database belongs to a cybercriminal organization rather than Facebook. Diachenko went to the ISP managing the IP address to remove it. The database was left unsecured on the web for nearly two weeks before it was removed. The team says that such an extensive database is likely being... Read more...
In an effort to lessen its dependence on established operating systems, including Android and iOS, Facebook is developing its own from the ground up. One reason why this is important to Facebook is because it is so involved with hardware in the virtual reality space, with its acquisition of Oculus and future plans. The situation sort of reminds me of how Valve viewed Microsoft with the release of Windows 8. There was fear that Microsoft would build a walled garden, and Valve reacted by developing SteamOS based on Linux. It was part of a broader strategy that also included Steam Machines, which never really became the massive success Valve had hoped. Facebook finds itself in a different spot,... Read more...
Facebook has been fighting with the U.S. government and the governments of other countries over end-to-end encryption plans that would block anyone, Facebook included, out of chat conversations on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. The Federal government doesn't like that as it says that encrypting everything gives abusers a place to practice their craft without fear of being caught by authorities. Facebook's WhatsApp already has end-to-end encryption, but the social network wants to apply that to Facebook Messenger and Instagram. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that if Facebook didn't add the backdoor, "we're going to do this for you." In response,... Read more...
Facebook is testing a new data tool that will enable its users to more easily transfer their uploaded photos over to Google Photos, if that is what they want to do. It is actually available right now to people in Ireland. Worldwide availability is planned for the first half of 2020, and in the meantime, Facebook said it will continue making refinements to the tool. "We want to build practical portability solutions people can trust and use effectively. To foster that trust, people and online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services. We hope this product can help advance conversations... Read more...
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