Connect with us

FACEBOOK

New York DFS Issues Report Detailing Findings From Its Investigation of Facebook Data Privacy …

Published

on

Blood pressure readings, menstrual cycles, and pregnancy status are among the types of sensitive personal data Facebook was caught collecting from third-party app developers without users’ knowledge or permission. After a 2019 Wall Street Journal article exposed the practice, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) to investigate the allegations, describing the practice as an outrageous abuse of privacy. DFS licenses a Facebook money transmitter subsidiary, Facebook Payments, Inc., but the investigation found it “had no involvement in the privacy issues examined.” Given that Facebook, the parent, agreed to cooperate “fully” with the DFS investigation, the parties avoided any issues as to jurisdiction.

On February 18, 2021, DFS released a report summarizing its investigation. The findings included the fact that Facebook regularly obtained sensitive personal data from app developers, stored the data on its servers, and analyzed it for use in generating targeted ads—all of which violated Facebook’s own policies.

Facebook’s ad revenues—which totaled nearly $87 billion in 2020—account for 98.5% of its global revenue. One of Facebook’s most powerful tools is a sophisticated data analytics system used to ensure advertising is targeted based on a user’s data. Facebook offers website owners and app developers free access to its online data analytics services whereby the developers program their software to collect certain data about users. That data is then sent to Facebook’s analytics service so it can be analyzed. Lastly, the Facebook analytics service provides the developer with an analysis of that usage data, which is often linked with other data that Facebook has on a user.

See also  Facebook users can now transfer data to Google Calendar and Photobucket

Facebook policies outline the types of information it collects from partners and places responsibility on these partners to ensure that they have the legal right to collect, use, and share user data before providing it to Facebook. It also prohibits app developers and third parties from sending Facebook sensitive data such as health and financial information. During the investigation, however, Facebook admitted that it uncovered many examples where developers violated the policies by regularly sending sensitive data to Facebook. Notably, Facebook maintains that it stored and analyzed the personal data unwittingly because its internal controls were not effective at enforcing the policy.

Facebook has since implemented remedial measures, including building a screening tool to reject sensitive health information and imposing enhanced app developer education. However, DFS noted that Facebook failed to “engage fully” with respect to other remediation proposals, and that Facebook’s effort to enforce its own policies against collection of sensitive data was “seriously lacking.” DFS further indicated it would like to see greater transparency in the form of detailed disclosures of the sensitive data that was collected and analyzed in the past—along with more strict enforcement of its data-sharing policies in the future—and called on federal regulators with nationwide jurisdiction to compel Facebook to provide full transparency.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Similar to DFS’s investigation and report on the Twitter hack—and Twitter’s lack of cybersecurity protections that allowed the accounts of cryptocurrency firms and well-known public figures to be hacked—DFS emphasized that this is another incident demonstrating the need for greater oversight of social media and technology companies. DFS concluded its investigative report with the following call to action: “Our regulatory institutions need to rapidly adapt to the challenges presented by social media giants, big tech, and the analytics industry, and it is imperative that we put in place a clear nationwide legal framework for accountability enforced by a robust federal regulator.”

See also  Russia rebukes Facebook for blocking some media posts

Read More

FACEBOOK

Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

Published

on

By

facebook-meta-earns-the-‘worst-company-of-2021’-title-in-this-survey-–-news18
Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

See also  GroupM pulls out of Facebook pitch

However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

Advertisement
free widgets for website
Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

Published

on

By

facebook-pays-1.7-cr-fine-to-russia-after-failing-to-delete-content-moscow-deems-illegal

In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

See also  Which Company Can Reach $1 Trillion After Facebook? Here's Our Guess.

Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

Continue Reading

FACEBOOK

Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Published

on

By

Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

See also  Whistleblower Connects Facebook Decision on Misinformation to Capitol Riot - New York Magazine

Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

Continue Reading

Trending