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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter make it easier to download your info and upload to, er, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter etc...

Allowing developers to siphon millions of netizens' personal information didn't work out so well for Facebook, given the Cambridge Analytica affair. Nonetheless, the misinformation and ads platform has decided to build a data takeout service for account holders, allowing people to download their information in a standardized …
Thomas Claburn, 20 Jul 2018
Image by Mark Bennetts http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-2389319p1.html

What's in a name? For Cambridge Analytica, about a quid apparently

Administrators dealing with the group of firms affiliated with Cambridge Analytica were offered a pound for the now infamous brand – but didn't accept. Cambridge Analytica was one of five firms placed into administration amid the fallout from the Facebook data harvesting scandal. The firms – Cambridge Analytica, SCL Elections …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Jul 2018
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$100m sueball smacks Huawei over Facebook HQ infiltration claims

A whistleblowing employee of a Huawei subsidiary is suing the biz for $100m over claims the Chinese networking kit maker infiltrated meetings at Facebook HQ in the US – and stole rivals' trade secrets before sending them to China. Jesse Hong alleged, in court documents, that Huawei and subsidiary Futurewei Technologies ordered …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Jul 2018
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Brit privacy watchdog reports on political data harvests: We've read the lot so you don't have to

Analysis Cambridge Analytica had data ferreted away on disconnected servers, Twitter actually kicked the firm's ads off its platform, and Facebook still has a lot of questions to answer. Also, British political parties used software to guess voters' ethnicities. These were some of the findings of the UK's Information Commissioner's …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jul 2018

UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

Facebook faces a £500,000 ($665,000) fine from the UK’s data protection watchdog, the ICO, for failing to protect netizens' info nor tell them how their data would be harvested by apps. The looming penalty relates to the social media giant's role in the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal – in which the personal …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jul 2018
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US Declaration of Independence labeled hate speech by Facebook bots

UPDATE Facebook’s content-cleansing bots have flagged the United States Declaration of Independence as hate speech. The Liberty County Vindicator, a newspaper serving Liberty, Texas, posted “small bites” from the Declaration on its Facebook page in the leadup to the USA’s Fourth of July Independence Day, “to make it a little easier …
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Four US govt agencies poke probe in Facebook following more 'oops, we spilled your data' shocks

No less than four federal agencies in the US are now investigating Facebook following yet more revelations over how it gave vast quantities of personal data to developers. As well as the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FBI, and America's financial watchdog the Securities and Exchange Commission ( …
Example of tidy cabling

Vodafone drank Facebook's network Kool-Aid … and LIVED!

Vodafone has become the latest carrier to white-box its optical traffic. The trial, which Voda has declared a success, is a handy bit of validation for Facebook, whose Voyager packet-optical switches try and take on one of the toughest segments of networking. “The goal of the live trial was to showcase the future of applying …
Clint Eastwood bounty hunter

Facebook shells out $8k bug bounty after quiz web app used by 120m people spews profiles

Facebook has forked out an $8,000 reward after a security researcher flagged up a third-party web app that potentially exposed up to 120 million people's personal information from their Facebook profiles. This is quite possibly the first cash payment under the social network giant's new data abuse bug bounty program. The …
Rebecca Hill, 28 Jun 2018

Facebook quietly kills its Aquila autonomous internet drone program

Facebook has canned its plans to bring high-speed internet via a solar-powered drone beaming lasers to the ground, according to an announcement on Tuesday. The social media behemoth hellbent on ‘global connectivity’ wanted to launch a “high altitude platform station (HAPS) system," nicknamed Aquila, into the stratosphere. …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Jun 2018
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Why aren't startups working? They're not great at creating jobs... or disrupting big biz

If you think we're living in the Golden Age of the Entrepreneur, think again. In the US, startup rates are falling and employ fewer people than they used to. Businesses take longer to form. Meanwhile, subsidies to business have tripled since 1990, and big business is far better at playing the subsidy game. The taxpayer isn't …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jun 2018
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Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

Facebook has once again irked EU politicos by failing to send sufficiently senior staffers to face another grilling on the data-harvesting saga. Today, it was the turn of the EU Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) to issue a disappointed statement after it was denied access to the execs it had asked for. Since the …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
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Why the 'feudal' tech monopolies run rings around competition watchdogs

Interview Competition watchdogs need to move faster and consider the bigger picture to deal effectively with transnational tech behemoths like Google, says BT's former chief lawyer. For seven years, Tim Cowen was head of BT's competition and regulatory public policy group, dealing with government threats to the telco monopoly. He's now …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2018
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MOS-SAD: Israeli govt weighs in on Facebook privacy, promises action

Israel Cyber Week Facebook – already kicked around the block by politicians in the US and Europe over privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal – has come under fire from Israel. Both government ministers and visiting dignitaries waded into the fray at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv on Thursday. “We must ensure that global …
John Leyden, 21 Jun 2018
Usain Bolt

Facebook floats BOLT to jolt code out of bit bloat

Facebook has open sourced a binary optimization and layout tool, itself optimized into the acronym BOLT, in the hope it can make large applications faster. The compiled code for large applications – the sort Facebook runs – tend to be too big to cram into the instruction cache of a modern CPU, explains Maxim Panchenko, …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Jun 2018
Facebook "Leave Feedback"

Facebook tells users to report crappy customer service from advertisers

Facebook may be hiring thousands of people to police content, but it's asking users to volunteer to monitor advertisers. The social media giant wants citizens of Facebookistan to report their experiences purchasing items pitched through Facebook or Instagram ads, so that it can encourage merchants to do better and block the …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Jun 2018

EU-US Privacy Shield not up to snuff, data tap should be turned off – MEPs

The deal governing transatlantic data flows doesn't properly protect European Union citizens and should be suspended unless the United States complies with its terms, MEPs have said. The Privacy Shield agreement, which aims to protect personal data transferred from the EU to the US, was set up after a legal challenge by …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2018
Blackberry jam on toast. Photo by shutterstock

Facebook and Snap jam Blackberry patent suit

Facebook and Snap are pushing to have the patents behind Blackberry's massive infringement suit invalidated and thrown out. The two companies last week both filed (PDF) motions to dismiss their respective cases on the grounds the four patents cited by Blackberry in its complaints were invalid for use in court. Blackberry …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2018

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