Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Facebook may face multi-billion dollar fine for Cambridge Analytica scandal

February 15th, 2019
A person's hand holding an iPhone X with a Facebook logo on the screen.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

Facebook may have to pay a multi-billion dollar fine for violating its users' privacy—or face a lawsuit from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC has been investigating Facebook and is negotiating with the company "over a multi-billion dollar fine that would settle the agency's investigation," The Washington Post reported yesterday, citing "people familiar with the probe." New York Times sources also confirmed that the current negotiations "could amount to a record, multibillion-dollar fine."

The investigation focuses on whether Facebook violated the terms of a 2011 settlement with the FTC. In the 2011 case, the FTC said that Facebook "deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public."

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Posted in Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, FTC, Policy | Comments (0)

How to Delete Accidentally Sent Messages, Photos on Facebook Messenger

February 6th, 2019
Ever sent a message on Facebook Messenger then immediately regretted it, or an embarrassing text to your boss in the heat of the moment at late night, or maybe accidentally sent messages or photos to a wrong group chat? Of course, you have. We have all been through drunk texts and embarrassing photos many times that we later regret sending but are forced to live with our mistakes. Good news,

Posted in Delete Sent Messages, Facebook, Facebook Messages, Facebook Messenger, Privacy, Unsend Messages | Comments (0)

Mark Zuckerberg still thinks Facebook has made the world better

February 5th, 2019
Mark Zuckerberg still thinks Facebook has made the world better

Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Getty)

Facebook turned 15 on Monday, and founder Mark Zuckerberg is feeling defensive about his creation's public image.

"As networks of people replace traditional hierarchies and reshape many institutions in our society," Zuck wrote in a Facebook post, "there is a tendency of some people to lament this change, to overly emphasize the negative, and in some cases to go so far as saying the shift to empowering people in the ways the Internet and these networks do is mostly harmful to society and democracy."

Zuckerberg employed one of his favorite rhetorical tricks for defending Facebook: conflating Facebook with the Internet as a whole. It's true, as Zuckerberg writes, that the Internet has made the world more connected and that this has had a lot of positive consequences (as well as some negative ones).

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Posted in Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Policy | Comments (0)

Apple restores Google’s own internal iPhone apps after privacy brouhaha

February 1st, 2019
Apple restores Google’s own internal iPhone apps after privacy brouhaha

Enlarge (credit: Chesnot/Getty Images)

On Thursday evening, Apple restored Google’s access to its own internal iOS apps, just hours after it made a similar move with Facebook’s private iPhone apps.

"We can confirm our internal corporate apps have been restored," Anaik von der Weid, a Google spokeswoman, emailed Ars just after 8pm Pacific Time.

For less than a day, Apple had briefly revoked Google’s iOS certificate that enabled those private apps to conduct various internal business such as company shuttles, food menus, as well as pre-release beta testing, and more.

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Posted in apple, Biz & IT, Facebook, google | Comments (0)

Apple, Facebook spat is over, for now—iOS certificate access restored

February 1st, 2019
Apple, Facebook spat is over, for now—iOS certificate access restored

Enlarge (credit: NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Days after Apple shut down Facebook's developer certificate, disabling the company's internal iOS apps, the two companies have now seemingly buried the hatchet.

"We have had our Enterprise Certification, which enables our internal employee applications, restored," Facebook said in a statement sent to Ars and other media outlets. "We are in the process of getting our internal apps up and running. To be clear, this didn't have an impact on our consumer-facing services."

As Ars reported earlier Thursday, the Developer Enterprise Program allows for iOS apps that remain off the App Store but are locally distributed only.

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Posted in apple, Facebook, Policy | Comments (0)

Facebook nukes hundreds of “inauthentic” accounts “tied to Iran”

January 31st, 2019
The Facebook logo is displayed at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair on June 12, 2018, in Hanover, Germany.

Enlarge / The Facebook logo is displayed at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair on June 12, 2018, in Hanover, Germany. (credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Facebook said Thursday that it had removed 783 pages, groups, and accounts for "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran."

According to the social media giant, some of the accounts date as far back as 2010.

"This activity was directed from Iran, in some cases repurposing Iranian state media content, and engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting people across the world, although more heavily in the Middle East and South Asia," Nathaniel Gleicher, the company's head of cybersecurity policy, wrote.

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Posted in Facebook, Iran, Policy | Comments (0)

Apple revokes Facebook’s developer certificate over data-snooping app—Google could be next

January 30th, 2019
Google and Facebook circumvented the App Store to distribute VPN apps that collected user data against Apple's policies.

Enlarge / Google and Facebook circumvented the App Store to distribute VPN apps that collected user data against Apple's policies. (credit: Aurich / Getty)

Both Facebook and Google have used Apple's Enterprise Developer Program—which is intended for exclusive use by companies to give system administrators the ability to distribute apps to employees' devices internally—to circumvent Apple's app store and distribute to users applications that closely monitor users' app, messaging, and network activity.

News of Facebook's application was published on TechCrunch yesterday, leading Apple to revoke Facebook's enterprise certificate. This same certificate had been used internally by Facebook for distributing beta builds of Facebook's apps and for other needs, so the revocation poses a serious challenge for the company.

News of Google's similar program also broke on TechCrunch, but that happened more recently, and Apple has not yet indicated whether it intends to take similar action with Google. We'll start by unpacking the Facebook side.

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Posted in apple, Enterprise Certificates, Enterprise Developer Program, Facebook, Facebook Research, google, onavo, Policy, Privacy, Tech, user data | Comments (0)

Facebook just hired a handful of its toughest privacy critics

January 30th, 2019
Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 9, 2016 in New York City.

Enlarge / Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 9, 2016 in New York City. (credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

At a time when Facebook has been under increased public scrutiny like never before, the company is now hiring at least one of its fiercest antagonists.

On Tuesday, Facebook acknowledged that it had hired three veteran privacy law activists, including Nate Cardozo, an attorney formerly of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who has been very publicly critical of the company in recent years.

In 2015, Cardozo once wrote in an op-ed that Facebook's "business model depends on our collective confusion and apathy about privacy."

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Posted in Facebook, Nate Cardozo, nathan white, Policy, robyn greene | Comments (0)

Senators ask Facebook why it tricked kids into spending parents’ money

January 29th, 2019
A boy looking at a smartphone.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Jasmin Merdan)

Two Democratic senators have asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to explain why the social network apparently "manipulated children into spending their parents' money without permission" while playing games on Facebook.

"A new report from the Center for Investigative Reporting shows that your company had a policy of willful blindness toward credit card charges by children—internally referred to as 'friendly fraud'—in order to boost revenue at the expense of parents," US Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter to Zuckerberg today. "Notably, Facebook appears to have rejected a plan that would have effectively mitigated this risk and instead doubled down on maximizing revenue."

Because parents didn't know that children would be able to make purchases without additional verification, "many young users incurred several thousands of dollars in charges while playing games like Angry Birds, Petville, Wild Ones, and Barn Buddy," the senators' letter said.

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Posted in blumenthal, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, markey, Policy | Comments (0)