Items tagged with (NASDAQ:FB)

Over the last week, we have reported on a Facebook data leak that released phone numbers, emails, date of birth, names, and more, impacting nearly 533 million users. This leak occurred in 2019 but recently came to light as it was being spread online for free, and Facebook did not handle the situation well. The social media company has now released a blog post explaining what happened, but is that enough, or is Facebook trying to shift the blame? Mike Clark, Product Management Director, penned a blog yesterday on Facebook's Newsroom explaining what was occurring with the leaked data. He stated that the data was not obtained through hacking but by "scraping it from [the] platform." Scraping... Read more...
It was a solid two-year run for the Oculus Rift S, which helped make VR gaming on PC a little more affordable (the headset launched at $399). These days, however, Facebook is far more interested in its wireless Oculus Quest 2 headset to serve the mainstream VR segment, and has ended production of the Rift S. Facebook may have come to the conclusion that it can consolidate its VR hardware portfolio, as there is no other Rift headset in the works that we are aware of. On the surface, that might sound like disappointing news for gamers who want to play on PC. But one thing that is neat about the Quest 2 is that even though it is a standalone headset, it can also optionally be plugged into a PC to... Read more...
It was recently revealed that the personal information of roughly 533 million Facebook users was leaked in August 2019. Unfortunately, Facebook has not provided a way to check if your personal information was compromised and has not stated whether it intends to do so in the future. However, there are a few third-party sources that can possibly confirm whether or not your information was part of the massive Facebook data leak. The information featured users' names, dates of birth, gender, location, listed places of work, phone numbers, and email addresses. Not all of the above information was leaked for each of the impacted users. Nevertheless, it is suspected that at least the phone number, Facebook... Read more...
As an iPhone user for the past several years, there have been times when I wished there was a way to side-load apps, without resorting to a process known as jailbreaking, which typically involves exploiting a vulnerability to to remove software restrictions. Well, guess what? It is not going to happen any time soon, or perhaps ever, considering Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments on the matter. It is an interesting topic, because side-loading gives way to third-party app stores. That would have all sorts of implications, not the least of which is potentially cutting into a major source of revenue for Apple, which collects a royalty charged to app developers (both for apps sold on the App Store,... Read more...
Personal data belonging to 533 million Facebook users has once again found itself leaked online, this time for free, which potentially opens it up to a lot more malicious eyeballs. That's not a good thing, obviously. In response, Facebook finds itself in damage control, posting the same tone-deaf response to multiple Twitter posts pointing to the leak. "This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019. We found and fixed this issue in 2019," Liz Bourgeois, Facebook's Director of Strategic Communications, posted several times in response to tweets linking to articles on the situation. We count at least five tweets with the same cringe-worthy response. It is true that it has been around... Read more...
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is not a fan of Apple's upcoming privacy changes headed to iOS 14, which will give users more granular control over what personally identifiable information apps can collect and use. Er, correction—he was not a fan of them, but now apparently thinks they could put the largest social network on the planet in an even "stronger position." What changed? Nothing, really, other than his outlook, or at least what he is portraying as his outlook on the situation. If we back up several weeks, Zuckerberg tried to get out in front of Apple's privacy change by pinging Facebook users with pop-up messages saying the ability to track their activity will "provide a better... Read more...
In March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on a podcast to talk about the future of augmented and virtual reality. In his discussion, he explained that he wanted to see Facebook manufacture its own hardware and thought that the platforms would be the next big thing in tech. Furthermore, he explained that interacting with AR/VR worlds would require neural interfaces for human-computer interaction. Now, Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) Research is showing off technology in that vein. As augmented reality and virtual reality technologies mature and develop, new ways of interacting with these platforms are needed. If the technology is used in public, it would be not easy to use voice commands or have... Read more...
Last year, Facebook unveiled the Oculus Quest 2, a Snapdragon XR2 powered standalone VR headset for just $299. While the specs and features are nothing to balk at, it seems what is presently available as far as processing goes is not enough for Facebook. In an interview posted yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg delved into the future of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), explaining that Oculus wants to rely less on other companies in Silicon Valley in the future and improve the overall user experience overall. Throughout the interview, one of the most important topics was having something of a full-stack ecosystem that includes custom silicon and a custom OS. At present, most VR or AR solutions involve... Read more...
Recently, Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been on the hook for privacy and data tracking concerns. While the company is not backing down on the new policy, it is implementing new features which help with other concerns, such as cloud backups. At present, users can backup their conversations to the cloud, but they are not encrypted. This may be changing soon. Though we do not yet have an official announcement from WhatsApp, app beta-tester @WABetaInfo on Twitter has posted screenshots of the possible new feature for both Android and iOS. In both mobile OSs, a phone number and password are required to encrypt the data sent to the cloud. Moreover, the password will not be sent to WhatsApp and will remain... Read more...
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...
Facebook does not exactly have a squeaky clean record when it comes user privacy (remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal?), so naturally an ambiguous update to its WhatsApp privacy policy concerned many people. Millions of them, actually, who have decided to leave WhatsApp behind and seek out alternative services for their secure instant messaging needs. Let's back up a moment, for context on the current mass exodus. Earlier this month, Facebook tweaked the privacy policy for WhatsApp, which suggested that effective February 8, the app would automatically send some data to Facebook. In essence, WhatsApp users would effectively be forced to share certain data with Facebook. This caught the attention... 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...
WhatsApp has been embroiled in a flurry of confusion since a change in the company's privacy policy sparked the ire of many. People such as Elon Musk suggested that users switch to rival Signal as it does not collect nearly as much data, and that call to action sparked millions to download Signal. All this chaos did not fall on deaf ears, though, as WhatsApp is pushing back its changes and trying to clean up the mess it made. Today, WhatsApp penned a blog post in an attempt to make amends and try to clear the air after what happened earlier this week. The explained that it "heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update," and it lays the blame on "a lot of misinformation... 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...
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...
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