Privacy-minded changes to smartphone operating systems which foreground the background activity of third party apps are helping to spotlight more of the surveillance infrastructure deployed by adtech giants to track and profile human eyeballs for profit.
To wit: iOS 13, which will be generally released later this week, has already been spotted catching Facebook’s app trying to use Bluetooth to track nearby users.
Facebook has a major loophole that allows nefarious users to get around its strategy to stop fake news.
The social media giant has been taking its fight against misinformation and fake news more seriously in recent years. The company has taken action against malicious accounts spreading disinformation. Its updated its policies to keep misinformation off the platform. Studies have even shown that the steps Facebook has taken are working. That’s all good news!
However, a recently discovered loophole proves that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of his company still have a lot more work to do.
New York attorney general Letitia James is leading a multistate investigation into whether Facebook violated antitrust laws, she said in a statement Friday.
“I am proud to be leading a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general in investigating whether Facebook has stifled competition and put users at risk,” James said. “We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising.”
She’s joined in the investigations by the attorneys general from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.
Facebook’s Instagram said today it is launching new tools designed to combat bullying on its platform, especially among teens.
One tool, which Instagram has already begun rolling out to users, is focused on would-be bullies. It uses artificial intelligence to notify users when a comment they’ve just composed might be considered offensive. “This intervention gives people a chance to reflect and undo their comment and prevents the recipient from receiving the harmful comment notification,” says Instagram head Adam Mosseri in a blog post Monday. “From early tests of this feature, we have found that it encourages some people to undo their comment and share something less hurtful once they have had a chance to reflect,” he writes.
If you were so inclined, you could spend the hours equivalent to a full-time job tracking how many ways Facebook has flubbed user privacy. The company’s chutzpah rating has been relentlessly strong. For example, it asked banks for user financial information while it was getting virtually pelted for playing so fast and loose with consumer data.
Now there’s yet another issue. Facebook announced that the passwords of “millions of Instagram users” had been kept in plain text–readable by anyone who could and wanted to–the way last month tens of millions of Facebook users learned their passwords had been so mishandled.
Another day, another Facebook data scandal. This time the scandal involves Facebook uploading the complete address books of 1.5 million new users without their consent. Facebook said these new users’ contacts were “unintentionally uploaded” since May 2016, reports Business Insider.
Here’s why Facebook says this mistake happened. Prior to May 2016, Facebook offered an option for new users to verify their email account and upload all their contacts from that email account at the same time. The uploading of contacts was so Facebook could see who you knew and make friend recommendations based on your contacts.
FOLLOWING MORE THAN two years of constant turbulence for Facebook, the company’s vice president of communications, Caryn Marooney, is leaving the company, Facebook has confirmed. Marooney, who previously cofounded the technology communications firm The Outcast Agency, joined Facebook in 2011 as director of technology communications, after representing the company at Outcast. Most recently, she has been responsible for all global communications. Marooney’s final day is not yet set, but spokesperson Vanessa Chan said she would be staying on to bring her replacement on board.
A 16-year-old South Sudanese girl was sold for marriage via Facebook in a disturbing case that’s been described as “reminiscent of latter-day slave markets.”
The winning bid in the auction was for 500 cows, three cars and $10,000, and the girl was married off at a ceremony on Nov. 3 in the country’s Eastern Lakes State, according to Plan International, a humanitarian organisation focused on children’s rights.