facebook

Fri
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

WhatsApp Attempts to Slow Spread of Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is to change its policies to reduce the risk of people passing on bogus information. The WhatsApp changes follow a "significant increase" in forwarded messages since the COVID-19 pandemic began. WhatsApp lets ... users form and join multiple chat groups: for example, one for work colleagues, one for personal friends and one for neighbors. One key feature is that it's relatively simple to forward a message from one group to another, which means information can spread rapidly. That's particularly problematic when it comes to false and even dangerous information ... (view more)

Tue
07
Apr
John Lister's picture

Chrome Cookie Change Put on Hold due to Pandemic

Google has temporarily reversed a change intended to increase security and privacy in the Chrome browser. It says it can't risk disrupting websites when so many people are more reliant on the Internet than normal. The change was to the way Chrome ... handles third-party cookies . These are small text files placed on a computer when it visits a website. Unlike standard cookies, they aren't accessed by the site in question, but rather a third-party and are often associated with unpopular behavior such tracking a user's activity across the web to build up a profile of their interests to target ... (view more)

Wed
18
Mar
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Tackle COVID-19 Fake News

Leading tech companies have agreed a joint program to week out false information about the COVID-19 pandemic. It could have a knock-on effect on the rest of their services. The program is announced in a joint statement from Facebook, Google, ... LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube. It says they will take steps "to make sure everyone has access to accurate information, stop misinformation and harmful content, and support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities." (Source: fb.com ) It's part of a four part program of measures from Facebook. The ... (view more)

Wed
05
Feb
John Lister's picture

Facebook Messenger Kids Beefs Up Parental Controls

Facebook has given parents more ability to monitor their child's use of its messaging tool. The move follows criticism of Facebook producing such a tool in the first place. "Messenger Kids" launched back in 2017 for use by under 13s, who aren't ... allowed to use Facebook itself. The key selling point was that parents had to approve the contacts that the child could then exchange messages with. That hasn't always worked exactly as planned, as a glitch meant children could take part in group chats containing people who weren't approved or even that they'd blocked. Parents will now be ... (view more)

Tue
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Stops Using Phone Numbers for Advertisements

Facebook is to stop treating user's phone numbers as a way to target advertising and recommend friends. Critics said the practice undermined a key security measure. The company says it wasn't collecting the numbers directly from phones or the ... Facebook app. Instead, users provided the number when taking advantage of two factor authentication. With this set-up, it means that if a user tries to log in to Facebook on a new device or from a new location, Facebook sends a security code by text message to the number on file. The user then has to type the code in to Facebook before they can login ... (view more)

Tue
03
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook, Google Photos to Allow Data Sharing

Facebook is to let users automatically copy their uploaded photos and videos to Google's photo service. It's part of a "data portability" project between tech giants, but is also a demonstration of how slowly the project itself is moving. The tool ... will mean users can transfer files without needing to download them to their devices, then re-upload them to another service. In particular, Google's Photos service makes it easy to access photos on multiple devices. It also has automatic tagging so that users can quickly find all their photos of a particular location or activity, for example. It's ... (view more)

Thu
24
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook Faces $35B in Facial Recognition Lawsuit

Facebook is set to face a $35 billion class action lawsuit over claims it used facial recognition tools without permission. The case will proceed despite Facebook's protest that no one suffered direct financial losses. The case is taking place in ... Illinois, where three individual lawsuits from 2015 were combined into a single class action case. It's based on Facebook using automated recognition on uploaded photographs. The way it works is like this: let's say that Bob uploads a photograph to Facebook, which also includes his friend Alice. After the upload is complete, Facebook scans the ... (view more)

Thu
29
Aug
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Facebook Tightens Political Ad Rules, But is it Enough?

Facebook is taking new steps to prevent misleading political ads following the Cambridge Analytica scandal , which had millions of Facebook profiles harvested and used without consent for political advertising purposes. It says it's tightening the ... rules on buyers, which must now not only prove their identity, but also the organization they are associated with. Since 2018, anyone paying for an advertisement on Facebook relating to elections, politics or social issues has had to prove their identity to Facebook. They also have to include a disclaimer in the ad marked "Paid for by...", which is ... (view more)

Wed
21
Aug
John Lister's picture

Facebook To Reveal User Tracking Secrets

Facebook is to show users what data it collects about their activity on other sites. It won't stop tracking, but will make the data anonymous if users ask. The changes will come in a new settings option called "Off-Facebook Activity." This will list ... all websites and apps that share data about user activity with Facebook. This most commonly happens through two methods. One is that the user has opted to log in to the third-party site through Facebook. In other words, as long as they haven't logged out of their Facebook account, they don't need to create or input user names and passwords for the ... (view more)

Wed
07
Aug
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Could Face Massive Fines

A proposed law would dramatically increase maximum fines that can be imposed on companies that break monopoly rules. Tech firms would be among the most likely to be affected in the admittedly unlikely event the law was enacted. The proposed bill ... would be known as the Monopolization Deterrence Act of 2019. It's designed to change the current system by which the maximum penalty for violating the main US antitrust law, the Sherman Act, is $10 million. That applies regardless of the size of the company or companies involved. Critics say such penalties are little deterrent to major companies, ... (view more)

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