Items tagged with (NASDAQ:FB)

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...
Over one billion people rely WhatsApp on a monthly basis for both personal and business use. Security vulnerabilities could therefore prove detrimental to communication and workflow. If you use WhatsApp, you will definitely want to make sure you have the latest version installed on your device. Security researchers recently discovered a WhatsApp bug that could completely wipe out your group chat histories. Security researchers at Check Point created a tool referred to as the “WhatsApp Manipulation Tool”. The tool essentially altered the parameters of the app. The researchers were able to use the new parameters to obtain access to the encryption and decryption keys that are generated... 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...
Anyone who uses WhatsApp—and many people do, with the developers claiming 1.5 billion monthly active users—should make sure they have the latest version installed. Otherwise, they could be susceptible to a critical vulnerability that could allow hackers to infiltrate their text messaging conversations, pictures, and other private information. The vulnerability is listed as CVE-2019-11931. In short, a hacker could remotely compromise a device through WhatsApp by sending over a video file injected with malicious code. All the hacker would need is a phone number of a targeted user. "A stack-based buffer overflow could be triggered in WhatsApp by sending a specially crafted MP4 file to... Read more...
In this day and age, online account security is constantly under attack by nefarious parties that are looking to settle scores, makes a few bucks, or simply trying to make a name for themselves. 2K Games found this out the hard way last night after a number of its social media accounts were hacked in a massive security breach for the game publisher. Not only was the company's Facebook account compromised, but its Twitter profile was also taken over by foul-mouthed pranksters. One social media account being compromised is bad enough, but this was a coordinated attack across multiple mediums, which is much more troubling security problem for 2K Games. Messages posted to Facebook and Twitter consisted... Read more...
John Carmack is a legend in the gaming world best know by gamers for his work at id Software. Carmack left id to pursue a position with Oculus and work on the Oculus Rift VR headset. Carmack has announced via Facebook that starting this week he is moving into a "consulting CTO" position with Oculus. He says that he will still "have a voice in the development work" but notes that the endeavor will consume "a modest slice of my time." As for what Carmack plans to do with the remainder of his time, he intends to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI). Carmack notes that in all the things he has done in games, aerospace, and VR, he has always felt that he had "at least a vague line of sight"... Read more...
Facebook is a company that is no stranger to controversy, privacy lapses, or downright bizarre behavior that has drawn the ire of users and politicians on Capitol Hill. The company's latest misstep is likely to further tarnish the company, which just hasn't been able to catch a break during 2019. There is apparently a "bug" in the current version of the Facebook app for iOS that results in some pretty atypical behavior. According to Joshua Maddux, who first discovered the oddity and posted video evidence to Twitter, the Facebook app is actively querying the iPhone's camera in the background when scrolling through the News Feed.  If you have an iPhone, and have given the app access... Read more...
Facebook continues to be unable to keep data on its users safe from developers who shouldn't have access to that information. The social network notes that since April of 2018, it has been reviewing the ways that developers can use Facebook to share data with outside companies. Since that time, it has removed or restricted developer APIs like the Groups API, but it has found that 100 developers still accessed this data for longer than it intended. Facebook's Konstantinos Papamiltiadis wrote in a blog post that Facebook found, as part of an ongoing review, that some apps retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures, in connection with group activity from the Groups... Read more...
Artificial intelligence has frequently been used to better identify people and objects. But can AI also be used to mask someone’s identity? Facebook recently announced that it has created video de-identification technology that can hide people from facial recognition. Facebook has combined an “adversarial autoencoder” and a “trained-face classifier”. An autoencoder is an artificial neural network that learns a representation for a set of data unsupervised. Adversarial autoencoders were introduced in 2016 and are able to “match the aggregated posterior of the hidden code vector of the autoencoder with an arbitrary prior.” Classifiers typically use an algorithm... Read more...
Facebook's attempt to create a cryptocurrency appears to be stillborn as major partners are pulling out of the project. PayPal backed out of the project recently, and now reports indicate most of the other major backers have walked away. Facebook has now lost the backing of Mastercard, Visa, eBay, and Stripe. Regulators around the world have put the Libra project under a microscope for months. Facebook announced its Libra project in June and intended to have the cryptocurrency available in 2020. The plan was to integrate Libra into Facebook services and use the currency for e-commerce transactions on its platform and others. Initially, there were several major backers of the project, and those... Read more...
How do you get to Sesame Street? Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg may hold the key. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Primary School is working alongside the Sesame Workshop to offer a new education curriculum.  The Primary School and Sesame Workshop have been working together on this new curriculum over the last two years. They have tested the curriculum at The Primary School’s site in East Palo Alto, California. The program is centered on the “whole child” approach, which concentrates on a student’s academic, cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and mental needs. The new curriculum is particularly focused on integrating “social emotional learning... Read more...
Many companies are working hard to improve their artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. AI could impact everything from medicine to silly Instagram overlays and everything in between. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are all toiling to gain an edge in the AI field by leveraging their massive treasure troves of data, but what are their existing privacy policies and user data security track records? Which of these companies cares the most about protecting your privacy? Should you even trust Amazon, Apple, Facebook, or Google with your data? We examined the kind of data that is collected by the above companies and how it is shared, their virtual assistants, and privacy controls. We also reviewed... Read more...
Facebook is making a major investment into mind control, and while that would normally scare the spit out of us, we are actually optimistic about this latest venture. Or acquisition, we should say—Facebook has agreed to acquire CTRL-labs, a brain-computing startup that developed a wristband users can control with their minds. Following the acquisition, CTRL-labs will join the Facebook Reality Labs team. The goal is to flesh out technology that allows for interacting with devices in "more natural, intuitive ways." How exactly this will manifest remains to be seen, though Facebook seems intrigued by the idea of a neural wristband. "The vision for this work is a wristband that lets people... Read more...
Do you remember the Facebook Phone, aka the HTC First? That device crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. What about the Facebook Portal? That smart display family launched last year in sizes up to 15.6-inches, but it hasn't exactly won over the consumer market like competing entries from Amazon (Echo Show) and Google (Nest Home Hub Max). Facebook is now trying again to prod consumers into buying its first-party hardware, which brings us to the Portal TV and some other new Portal hardware. The Portal TV looks somewhat like a reincarnation of the unloved Microsoft Kinect camera for the original Xbox One. The device plugs into a free HDMI port on your television and allows you to partake... Read more...
In the infinite wisdom of Facebook, the world's largest social network felt it necessary to put a call out to Android and iOS users—practically every person with a mobile phone—to pay attention to new location controls being rolled out to their devices from Google and Apple, respectively, because simply put, "Facebook is better with location" tracking. The rather blunt blog post by Facebook explains some of the ways users might benefit when allowing Facebook to track their location, including the background when not actively using the Facebook application. "It powers features like check-ins and makes planning events easier. It helps improve ads and keep you and the Facebook community... Read more...
Anyone who has a Facebook or Instagram page and thinks that posts they make to a private account are actually private may be disappointed. Photos and videos that are put into private accounts on Instagram and Facebook are still vulnerable to a straightforward workaround that allows any of that content to be shared. The workaround also enables the sharing of Instagram Stories content as well. A user only needs a very basic understanding of HTML to exploit the workaround and the ability to make a few clicks. The user simply needs to inspect the images and videos that are loaded on the page and pull the source URL from the page. That public URL can be shared with people who aren't logged into Instagram... Read more...
Earlier this week, we brought you news that Facebook had yet another epic privacy fail after information pertaining to hundreds of millions of users was found on an external server. The server was fully exposed and publicly accessible, leaving roughly 420,000 million Facebook IDs and their associated phone numbers available for anyone to peruse and use for their own nefarious deeds. This revelation came after a string of privacy and security goofs by Facebook, so a new safeguard that the company is putting in place might put some of its regular users at peace. Facebook announced this week that it will allow its users to opt-out of some facial recognition features available on the site.... Read more...
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