Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

Facebook fights to “shield Zuckerberg” from punishment in US privacy probe

April 19th, 2019
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and being photographed by several photographers as he leaves a hotel.

Enlarge / Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaving the Merrion Hotel in Dublin after meeting with Irish politicians to discuss regulation of social media on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Federal Trade Commission officials are discussing whether to hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally accountable for Facebook's privacy failures, according to reports by The Washington Post and NBC News. Facebook has been trying to protect Zuckerberg from that possibility in negotiations with the FTC, the Post wrote.

Federal regulators investigating Facebook are "exploring his past statements on privacy and weighing whether to seek new, heightened oversight of his leadership," the Post reported, citing anonymous sources who are familiar with the FTC discussions.

"The discussions about how to hold Zuckerberg accountable for Facebook's data lapses have come in the context of wide-ranging talks between the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook that could settle the government's more than year-old probe," the Post wrote.

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

Facebook’s auto-captions for a recent launch video are hilariously bad

April 19th, 2019

An Antares rocket built by Northrop Grumman launched on Wednesday afternoon, boosting a Cygnus spacecraft with 3.4 tons of cargo toward the International Space Station. The launch from Wallops Island, Virginia, went flawlessly, and the spacecraft arrived at the station on Friday.

However, when NASA's International Space Station program posted the launch video to its Facebook page on Thursday, there was a problem. Apparently the agency's caption service hadn't gotten to this video clip yet, so viewers with captions enabled were treated not just to the glory of a rocket launch, but the glory of Facebook's automatically generated crazywords. As of Thursday morning, 86,995 people had watched the Facebook video.

Some of the captions are just hilariously bad. For example, when the announcer triumphantly declares, "And we have liftoff of the Antares NG-11 mission to the ISS," the automatically generated caption service helpfully says, "And we have liftoff of the guitarist G 11 mission to the ice sets."

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Posted in antares, Commercial space, Facebook, NASA, Northrop Grumman, science, video, Wallops | Comments (0)

In new gaffe, Facebook improperly collects email contacts for 1.5 million

April 18th, 2019
In new gaffe, Facebook improperly collects email contacts for 1.5 million

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Facebook's privacy gaffes keep coming. On Wednesday, the social media company said it collected the stored email address lists of as many as 1.5 million users without permission. On Thursday, the company said the number of Instagram users affected by a previously reported password storage error was in the "millions," not the "tens of thousands" as previously estimated.

Facebook said the email contact collection was the result of a highly flawed verification technique that instructed some users to supply the password for the email address associated with their account if they wanted to continue using Facebook. Security experts almost unanimously criticized the practice, and Facebook dropped it as soon as it was reported.

In a statement issued to reporters, Facebook wrote:

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Posted in Biz & IT, email, Facebook, passwords, Privacy | Comments (0)

Facebook is working on an AI voice assistant similar to Alexa, Google Assistant

April 18th, 2019
Facebook's Portal+ smart display.

Enlarge / Along with video chatting through Facebook Messenger, both Portal devices have built-in Amazon Alexa. (credit: Facebook)

Facebook is working on developing an AI voice assistant similar in functionality to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, according to a report from CNBC and a later statement from a Facebook representative.

The CNBC report, which cites "several people familiar with the matter," says the project has been ongoing since early 2018 in the company's offices in Redmond, Washington. The endeavor is led by Ira Snyder, whose listed title on LinkedIn is "Director, AR/VR and Facebook Assistant at Facebook." Facebook Assistant may be the name of the project. CNBC writes that Facebook has been reaching out to vendors in the smart-speaker supply chain, suggesting that Portal may only be the first of many smart devices the company makes.

When contacted for comment, Facebook sent a statement to Reuters, The Verge, and others, saying: "We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus, and future products."

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Posted in AI, alexa, Facebook, Facebook M, Facebook Portal, Google Assistant, Siri, Smart Speaker, Tech, voice assistant | Comments (0)

Facebook Collected Contacts from 1.5 Million Email Accounts Without Users’ Permission

April 18th, 2019
Not a week goes without a new Facebook blunder. Remember the most recent revelation of Facebook being caught asking users new to the social network platform for their email account passwords to verify their identity? At the time, it was suspected that Facebook might be using access to users' email accounts to unauthorizedly and secretly gather a copy of their saved contacts. Now it turns

Posted in cyber security, Database Security, email database, email hacking, email security, Facebook, Facebook Data Breach, facebook data scandal, hacking news | Comments (0)

Russia Fines Facebook $47 Over Citizens’ Data Privacy Dispute

April 12th, 2019
Yes, you read that right! Russia has fined Facebook with 3,000 rubles, roughly $47, for not complying with the country's controversial Data Localization law. It's bizarre and unbelievable, but true. <!-- adsense --> In December last year, Russian Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor sent notifications to Twitter and Facebook asking them to provide information about the location of servers that

Posted in cyber security, Data Localization Law, data privacy, data protection, Data Protection Law, data security, Facebook, Internet Privacy, russia | Comments (0)

Researchers unearth 74 Facebook cybercrime groups with 385,000 members

April 5th, 2019
A post from one cybercrime group deleted by Facebook.

Enlarge / A post from one cybercrime group deleted by Facebook. (credit: Cisco Talos)

Add spam, phishing, and payment-card fraud to the scourges Facebook helps foster. The company is already under the microscope for the role it plays in spreading disinformation promoting white nationalism, conspiracy theories, and opposition to life-saving vaccinations. Now, a report published Friday says Facebook also helps criminals peddle a variety of cybercrime services.

Over the past few months, researchers with Cisco’s Talos security group compiled a list of 74 Facebook groups whose members promised to carry out a variety of unethical, if not outright illegal, activities. Some groups acted as bazaars for the buying, selling, or trading of stolen payment-card data and hacked account credentials. Others served as forums for selling spamming and phishing tools. In all, about 385,000 users were members.

According to the Talos report:

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

Facebook asked some users for their email passwords, because why not

April 3rd, 2019
Sorry.

Enlarge / Sorry. (credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images)

As company executives try to rebrand Facebook as a privacy company, the company is still apparently struggling to instill a privacy culture internally and with third-party developers. As Kevin Poulson of the Daily Beast reported on April 2, some new Facebook users were being asked to provide both their email address and their email password in order to register accounts.

And in a blog post today, researchers from the cloud security firm UpGuard reported that they had discovered two publicly accessible caches of Facebook user data created by third-party applications that connected to the Facebook platform. Both caches were hosted by Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service (S3) in the AWS public cloud.

Password, please

The email password practice was first noticed by a software developer and information security expert who goes by the handle “e-sushi”:

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Posted in Biz & IT, Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, UpGuard, web mail, yandex | Comments (0)