Items tagged with Facebook

When someone resets a password, a code is typically sent to an account holder's email, which is then input into a website (or app) for verification purposes. Moreover, protections should prevent that code from being brute-forced by a hacker, but this isn't always the case. Laxman Muthiyah, a security researcher, recently reported that he could have hacked any Microsoft or Instagram account due to flaws in how the password changing mechanism was implemented. Last year, Muthiyah collected around $80,000 between two bug bounty programs from Facebook and Microsoft after finding similar issues with both companies' password change processes. In the Instagram vulnerability, a password recovery system... Read more...
One would think that a company would learn from its mistakes after causing mass public outcry and departure from its platform. However, it seems that is simply not the case for WhatsApp, which has decided to plunge forward with its new privacy policy though it has since bled millions of users. According to a blog post that was uploaded yesterday, WhatsApp wants to put its privacy policy updates in the rearview mirror and push forward. In the coming weeks, the company will show an updated privacy policy to people that they can “read at their own pace.” WhatsApp then explained that people might go shopping around for other messaging apps, and some of the competitors may not be all they... Read more...
Yesterday, Facebook banned Australian news from being shared internationally via its social network, and banned Australians from viewing or sharing any news on the platform. This action inadvertently roped in unrelated Facebook webpages and ultimately caused Australian outcry. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg went on Today to express his disappointment with Facebook. During his interview, Frydenberg explained that when Facebook moved to pull news sharing for Australia, the company “endangered public safety.” Australians lost access to information about vaccines, domestic violence help, fire and rescue, and other public services on Facebook without any advance notice. Moreover,... Read more...
The battle for paying new publishers in Australia has ramped up today after Facebook took some drastic measures. The social media company has now blocked Australian news from being shared on the platform globally after the threat of new rules loomed from the country's government. Interestingly enough, this action has swept up unrelated Facebook pages in the ensuing commotion. Yesterday, Facebook made a blog post about the proposed "Media Bargaining law," claiming that it "fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between our platform and publishers who use it to share news content." As the Australian government contemplates the law, Facebook was left with the choice of preparing to comply... Read more...
Facebook has been working hard to adhere to Apple's new privacy policy that will soon be implemented across its iOS and iPadOS platforms. Apple's goal is to give users more granular control over what personally-identifiable data can be obtained and used by installed apps. And that pertains to all third-party apps; no one is going to be getting a free pass here. Well, with the exception of Apple apps, which we'll discuss a bit later. This of course is of obvious concern to a company like Facebook, which has built an entire business model around knowing just about everything possible about you and your likes/dislikes to build a global social networking behemoth. But after Apple announced the elimination... Read more...
There's no love lost between Facebook and Apple. The two companies have been at odds with one another for years, with the respective CEOs throwing jabs in interview and through social media. The bad blood between the two has only magnified ever since Apple outlined new privacy guidelines at WWDC 2020 that would force companies to disclose how a customer's data is being used and let them opt-out of tracking in iOS 14. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg came out swinging at the policy earlier this week, stating that Apple is emerging as its biggest competitor. He also called out Apple's push for privacy, saying that the company has ulterior motives. "We have a lot of competitors... Read more...
It has been one crazy month for the messaging service WhatsApp. Many users fled WhatsApp after it shared its upcoming privacy update. However, one messaging service’s loss is another’s gain. Telegram recently added a feature where users can import their WhatsApp chat history and contacts on iOS devices. This new feature was released with Telegram’s 7.4.1 update on iOS. Users are not only able to import their chat history from WhatsApp, but can do the same thing with similar platforms. Most of these messaging services have an “Export Chat” option in their settings. These services will then create a zip file that can be exported through the iOS Share Sheet to Telegram.... Read more...
In this episode of Misbehaving Bots, automated Telegram miscreants have been found selling private Facebook user data in an unscrupulous forum, for $20 a pop (or even less). Maybe this is why the bots gobbled up all the latest generation CPUs, graphics cards, and game consoles—it's not cryptocurrency mining, but hawking Facebook data! Not really, of course. Those are two completely separate scenarios, they just happen to both involve bots. And of course there are humans pulling the strings of these automated tools, so no offense meant to our future robot overlords, if any of them in the making are reading this. But anyway, let's talk about the latest privacy screw-up involving Facebook.... Read more...
Both Facebook and Google have come under scrutiny in recent years over antitrust and privacy abuses. In late October, the United States Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company was abusing its power as a "monopoly gatekeeper" to the internet for "billions of users and countless advertisers worldwide."  Facebook, on the other hand, is facing antitrust lawsuits from 48 states and the FTC over what is described as a "buy-or-bury" strategy aimed at third-platform services trying to access the social networking behemoth. Now, however, it looks as though both Google and Facebook have another problem to deal with concerning... Read more...
Sometimes it is not what you say, or even how you say something. Rather, it is what you do not say that can speak the loudest, or be of the biggest concern. And so it goes with Facebook's recently updated privacy policy for WhatsApp, a cross platform messaging service that became massively popular because of its focus on privacy. Facebook seems to have shot itself in the foot, however, when last week it announced a revised policy that will effectively force users to accept Facebook data collection through the app. The policy goes into effect next month (February 8), and as you might imagine, not everyone is happy about the changes. Quite the opposite. This prompted Facebook to post a WhatsApp... Read more...
Earlier this week, WhatsApp unveiled a new privacy policy that effectively forced users to share data with Facebook. For an app that touted its user privacy and end-to-end encryption in the past, this recent development is none too kosher. It did not sit well with many users and prominent ones, like Elon Musk, who quickly and directly suggested on Twitter to switch to Signal. After Facebook bought out WhatsApp, there were concerns that the app would head down the wrong path as far as data privacy goes. It appears now that those concerns were on the mark, as Facebook will now be collecting data from the app starting on February 8th. If you do not want data collected, you do not have an option... Read more...
Following the absolutely shocking and horrifying events yesterday when a mob of protestors stormed the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., America's top social media companies have cut off President Donald J. Trump's most frequently used tools to reach the masses.  Twitter struck the first blow yesterday after it removed President Trump's video that addressed the mob, which was at the time occupying the US Capitol. In the video, he called the protestors "special people" and asked for them to "go home” as they ravaged House and Senate offices and even took to the floor of the Senate. The President also continued to spread misinformation, stating that the he actually won the election and... Read more...
WhatsApp was once hailed as an excellent and secure method for contacting people. However, Facebook bought out WhatsApp, and since then, it has dealt with several privacy and security lapses. Now, Facebook is tightening the noose around WhatsApp by forcing users to accept Facebook data collection through the app. Starting on February 8th, users joining WhatsApp will automatically be sending data to Facebook due to the terms and privacy policy changes going into effect. Current users will likely soon see a notification in-app, which will give them the option of accepting these terms or deleting their account. You can see what this notification looks like below. If you follow the link to the... Read more...
It's always risky to give an app access to a social media account. Legit apps can create some fun on social media. For instance, at the end of each year, lots of users on social media love to create collages or video montages of their most popular posts. However, when an app claims to do one thing but in reality hijacks, modifies, or even deletes a social media account, it can be an arduous task to get control back. The target this year seems to be fake apps to create "Top Nine" posts on Instagram.  Developer BetaLabs has created and maintained CreatorKit since 2016, and one of its functions is to create and post a Top Nine collage. To do so, the app needs access to an Instagram account.... Read more...
Facebook is approaching 3 billion monthly active users (up from 2 billion in 2017), which is more than the combined population of China (~1.4 billion), the United States (~331 million), and the United Kingdom (~68 billion), to put that figure into perspective. Its massive footprint in the social media space underscores why topics like privacy and security are so important. As it pertains to the latter, Facebook has a few things planned to make its platform more secure in 2021. The importance of account security extend far beyond the inconvenience of having someone breach your account, only to have you reset your password to lock them out. We now live in an era where fake news can have real world... Read more...
The battle over privacy online rages between key platform holders who strive to protect their users from monopolistic megacorps that earn their money turning personal data into cash. In this particular case, the platform owner is Apple, a megacorp of its own whose recent App Store policy changes on iOS and macOS force app developers to disclose how user data is utilized. The opposition here is Facebook, which has made its fortunes on the backs of the users who willingly post all the intimate details of their lives on the free service.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken its stance, and unsurprisingly, it's backing Facebook's user base, and by extension, Apple's position on... Read more...
The relationship between Facebook and Apple has become quite tense over the last couple of years. The two companies have battled over their various policies and typically rely on the internet to criticize each other. However, Facebook has recently taken a rather old school approach to air their grievances. Facebook has placed ads in newspapers that lambast Apple’s upcoming data gathering policy. The ads have appeared in newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post and are targeted at Apple’s policy changes. According to Apple, “Apps will be required to receive user permission to track users across apps or websites owned by other companies,... Read more...
If being stuck inside has you feeling down and bored with regular games, perhaps VR is the way to go, especially if you can get a headset on sale. Though the Oculus Rift lineup is officially dead, that does not mean you cannot still get your hands on one. With the Oculus Rift S at $299 ($100 off) at Amazon, this is a bargain entry into VR for anyone. Despite the arrival of the Quest 2VR, the Rift S was (and technically still is) a solid option for VR. Facebook and Oculus are likely trying to get rid of inventory before the sales stop in Spring 2021, though, so this may be a last chance purchase. In any case, even though sales may stop, you should still be able to use and enjoy the headset, and... Read more...
Facebook has long been suspected of anti-competitive practices. Forty-eight states and territories and the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have now filed twin lawsuits against Facebook to address this issue. Facebook has responded to these lawsuits by stating that it is ready to fight against what it views as an injustice. What are the lawsuits about? The lawsuits accuse Facebook of monopolistic practices, especially through what they refer to as a “buy-or-bury strategy.” They contend that Facebook prefers to purchase platforms it perceives as a direct threat. Platforms that refused to sell would be subject to the “wrath of Mark” which would further discourage... Read more...
One of the most popular features of apps like Snapchat is messages that disappear after a set period of time. Whether you are sending lewd messages or sensitive information, self-destructing messages can protect against images and information leaking out. Recently, WhatsApp released information about "Disappearing Messages"; its own take on self-destructing messages. This functionality has some odd caveats but could be helpful for people using the Facebook-owned messaging service. Disappearing Messages would work how you would generally expect once the feature is enabled. When a chat with a group or an individual has the feature turned on, messages will automatically disappear after a certain... Read more...
Microsoft, Amazon, and Google all now have cloud gaming streaming platforms, and Facebook is not a company to be left out in the cold. Today, Facebook has announced that it launched “several cloud-streamed games in the Facebook app and on browser — playable instantly, with no downloads required.” This streaming service will not be like the others; however, as Facebook claims it will be launching with native mobile games to kick things off. The typical idea of game streaming services is to bring PC-based games to all platforms, as Microsoft did with Project xCloud. Facebook is doing it differently, though, as the company writes that it is “not spinning off a separate cloud... Read more...
In August, Facebook decided to start merging Oculus and Facebook accounts for their Oculus VR brand. Until January 1st, 2023, existing users will not need to link their accounts, but any new Oculus hardware will require a Facebook account. With the link, Facebook gets to see things such as your VR apps, friends list, and other information. If you decide that Facebook is no good and want to delete your account, you will also lose your Oculus profile, which includes all purchased games. When Facebook announced the move to merge Facebook and Oculus accounts, users found it a bit off-putting and reminisced of Google's push for its own Google+ back in the day. Just a few months later, after some people... Read more...
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