Mozilla pulls ads off Facebook over data access concerns

Mozilla has announced it’s suspending its advertising on Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica privacy controversy — saying it has concerns the current default privacy settings remain risky, and having decided to take a fresh look at Facebook’s app permissions following the latest user data handling scandal. This week the New York Times and The Observer of London reported that a researcher’s app had pulled personal information on about 270,000 Facebook users and 50 million of their friends back in 2015, and then passed that data haul to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook’s policies. Facebook’s policies previously allowed developers to siphon off app users’ Facebook friends data — though Facebook tightened up these permissions in 2014 — “to dramatically reduce data access”, as founder Mark Zuckerberg has now claimed — though evidently not dramatically enough for Mozilla. Mozilla writes: “This news caused us to take a closer look at Facebook’s current default privacy settings given that we support the platform with our advertising dollars. While we believe there is still more to learn, we found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third party apps.” It is also running a petition calling for Facebook to lock down app permission settings to ensure users’ privacy is “protected by default”, saying the current default settings “leave a lot of questions and a lot of data flying around”. “Facebook’s current app permissions leave billions of its users vulnerable without knowing it,” it writes. “If you play games, read news or take quizzes on Facebook, chances are you are doing those activities through third-party apps and not through Facebook itself. The default permissions that Facebook gives to those third parties currently include data from your education and work, current city and posts on your timeline. “We’re asking Facebook to change its policies to ensure third parties can’t access the information of the friends of people who use an app.” Mozilla says it will “consider returning” to advertising on Facebook when — or presumably if — the company makes adequate changes to bolster default privacy settings. “We are encouraged that Mark Zuckerberg has promised to improve the privacy settings and make them more protective. When Facebook takes stronger action in how it shares customer data, specifically strengthening its default privacy settings for third party apps, we’ll consider returning,”…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Mozilla pulls ads off Facebook over data access concerns

How a Controversial New Sex-Trafficking Law Will Change the Web

A bill that would amend a bedrock internet law in the name of curbing online sex trafficking is headed to President Trump after Senate approval Wednesday.

Source: Wired Top Stories How a Controversial New Sex-Trafficking Law Will Change the Web

What Would Regulating Facebook Look Like?

In an interview with WIRED, Mark Zuckerberg seemed to accept the idea of some US regulation. Other countries could provide the blueprint.

Source: Wired Top Stories What Would Regulating Facebook Look Like?

Zuckerberg on #deletefacebook: ‘You know, it’s not good’

Following what felt like years of silence on a plethora of issues, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has gone on an interview rampage (but not us — was it my editorial?). Although he mainly plugs away at the points he made in today’s blog post, there are a few items worth noting. Regarding the company’s acceptance at face value that Cambridge Analytica had deleted the data they weren’t supposed to have (to Recode): At the time it didn’t seem like we needed to go further on that. Given what we know now we clearly should have followed up and we’re never going to make that mistake again. And what about the thousands of apps that may have performed similar data grabs during the many years it was possible? The data isn’t on our servers, so it would require us sending out forensic auditors to different apps. How many apps are we talking about here? (to the New York Times) It will be in the thousands. Will the 50 million estimated to be affected by the data collected by Aleksandr Kogan be notified to what extent their data was shared? Yes. We’re going to tell anyone whose data may have been shared. Presumably the same will be true for anyone found to be affected by other unsavory apps. What about the public response? What does he think about #deletefacebook? I don’t think we’ve seen a meaningful number of people act on that, but, you know, it’s not good. As for preventing future manipulation of the system during a major election year (not just here but around the world): In 2017 with the special election in Alabama, we deployed some new A.I. tools to identify fake accounts and false news, and we found a significant number of Macedonian accounts that were trying to spread false news, and were able to eliminate those. Hopefully they’ll prove as effective during our own campaign. Zuckerberg also goes off on some interesting tangents with Wired, for instance the efficacy of AI in certain situations and the status of the Cambridge Analytica audit in the UK. As for whether he’ll appear in front of Congress: If it is ever the case that I am the most informed person at Facebook in the best position to testify, I will happily do that. If I had to guess, I’d say that hour fast approaches.

Source: TechCrunch – Social Zuckerberg on #deletefacebook: ‘You know, it’s not good’

Mark Zuckerberg's Cambridge Analytica Interviews Ignore the Big Questions

Facebook’s CEO addresses the Cambridge Analytica mess, but avoids the bigger questions.

Source: Wired Top Stories Mark Zuckerberg's Cambridge Analytica Interviews Ignore the Big Questions

Mark Zuckerberg's 'half-measures' might not protect the data

Mark Zuckerberg promised to root out data delinquent developers, but not everyone is buying his newfound zeal for privacy. On Wednesday, Zuckerberg finally broke several long days of silence about Cambridge Analytica’s reported abuse of Facebook data on 50 million users. The CEO vowed to police the platform more vigorously, and audit any developer that may have gotten access to user data. In an interview on “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN, Zuckeberg said Facebook was preparing to review thousands of apps. “We know what the apps were that had access to data. We know how many people were using those services and we can look at the pattern of their data requests,” Zuckerberg said. “We’ll be able to do audits of anyone who was questionable.” Continue reading at

Source: AdAge Digital Mark Zuckerberg's 'half-measures' might not protect the data

Mark Zuckerberg Q&A: The Facebook CEO Talks Cambridge Analytica, the Company’s Problems, and Big Data

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks with WIRED Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Thompson about Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook data and the company’s response.

Source: Wired Top Stories Mark Zuckerberg Q&A: The Facebook CEO Talks Cambridge Analytica, the Company’s Problems, and Big Data

In San Francisco’s Big Oil lawsuit, Climate Science Gets a Day in Court

San Francisco and Oakland are suing oil companies for money to protect against sea level rise.

Source: Wired Top Stories In San Francisco’s Big Oil lawsuit, Climate Science Gets a Day in Court

Uber Video Show the Kind of Crash Self-Driving Cars Are Made to Avoid

And that the human safety driver was looking away from the road in the seconds leading up to the fatal impact.

Source: Wired Top Stories Uber Video Show the Kind of Crash Self-Driving Cars Are Made to Avoid

Now would be a good time for Mark Zuckerberg to resign

Facebook is at the center of a dozen controversies, and outrage is peaking. The social network has failed again and again at expanding beyond a handful of core features. Doubts of its usefulness, and assertions of its uselessness, are multiplying. A crisis of confidence at multiple levels threatens the company’s structure and mission. Now is the time for Mark Zuckerberg to spare himself the infamy and resign — for Facebook’s sake and his own. I’m not calling for his resignation, and I don’t say this out of any animus towards Zuckerberg; I personally believe him to be genuine and driven in his stated desire to connect the world — but likely increasingly frustrated by the unexpected consequences of this naive ambition and the haste with which he has pursued it. I just think that it has come to the point where the best way for him to advance that ambition is to leave. There are three major reasons why. Facebook has failed Of course, it’s also true that Facebook has succeeded beyond every expectation. But its success arrived early and remains essentially a simple thing: being a broadly accessible, functioning social network. A single network of friends, a basic news feed from them, and a few adjunct capabilities were industry defining ideas and to a certain point were executed quite well. Beyond that admittedly towering success Facebook has accomplished remarkably little. Attempts to make Facebook a ubiquitous social graph layer connecting all apps and services failed because consumers found it creepy, companies found it threatening to rely completely on the company for demographic data, and tech was moving too quickly for the data Facebook had to be universally applicable. (Except, of course, in advertising, where it is evergreen.) Attempts to make Facebook a gaming platform failed partly because the social aspect of gaming is radioactive, and partly because the attention economy produces really bad games. Repurposing an established community into a gaming one was a non-starter, and what’s left of the brief Facebook gaming flash in the pan is just an oily residue clinging to the side of the newsfeed. Attempts to make Facebook a VR/AR powerhouse are ongoing, but that entire segment of tech has proven incredibly disappointing and eye-wateringly expensive for everyone involved. So far they’re a market leader in a market that seems to only exist for the purpose of swindling money out of investors. It’s too…

Source: TechCrunch – Social Now would be a good time for Mark Zuckerberg to resign

Too little too late? Facebook to now audit developers for data abuse

Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday finally broke his silence about the abuse of data on the platform by Cambridge Analytica, promising to redouble efforts to safeguard user privacy after the exposure of the massive data breach. Since Friday, Facebook has been on the defensive over reports that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained data on 50 million users, information that it tried to use to influence the 2016 U.S. elections and Brexit referendum. “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said in a post on the social network he founded. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Continue reading at

Source: AdAge Digital Too little too late? Facebook to now audit developers for data abuse

7 much scarier questions for Zuckerberg

Could this be just the beginning of a much bigger Cambridge Analytica scandal for Facebook? The answer rides on how transparent Facebook is actually being right now. CEO Mark Zuckerberg just put forth a statement and plan to improve data privacy, but omitted some of the most greivous inquiries, and stopped short of apologizing. Exactly how Facebook handled the multi-year fiasco could be core to whether the public forgets and goes back to scrolling their News Feed, or whether users leave en masse while government regulators swoop in. With journalists around the world digging in and government officials calling for Zuckerberg to testify, the truth is likely to trickle out. Here’s what we want to know: To what exent did Facebook vigorously investigate whether Cambridge Analytica had actually deleted all its Facebook user data back in 2015 when it made it promise to do so, and why didn’t it inform the public of the situation? (When did Zuckerberg find out? Was Facebook concerned about appearing liberal and for investigating a conservative political organization?) How could Facebook not know Cambridge Analytica was using ill-gotten Facebook data when Facebook employees worked directly with the Donald Trump campaign? (Facebook employees worked side-by-side with Cambridge Analytica in Trump’s San Antonio campaign office, so did they look the other way about suspicious data?) Did Cambridge Analytica attain illicit Facebook data from any other sources besides Alexander Koger’s app, such as from other apps it operated, scraping Facebook group membership, or buying data from other developers? (Was the Trump campaign’s masterful use of Facebook and other social media powered by more than just this one data set, perhaps even from other social networks?) Is there any evidence that data from Russian hackers or the governemnt was used by Cambridge Analytica to inform Trump’s campaign marketing? (If so, could Facebook be the smoking gun of potential collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign?) Is Facebook retaining data, ads, or posts connected to Cambridge Analytica for further investigation? (If Cambridge Analytica did misuse data, what content was powered by that misuse, and who else pitched in?) Why did Facebook try to suppress the stories about Cambridge Analytica from news outlets like The Observer with legal threats if it’s so serious about atoning for the scandal? (Who authorized or conducted those threats, and what’s happened to them since?) How will Facebook ensure the security of user data attained by apps given that there…

Source: TechCrunch – Social 7 much scarier questions for Zuckerberg

Travis Kalanick's Return and the 'Bad Boys' Who Always Come Back

Uber founder Travis Kalanick is a CEO again, after investing $150 million in a real-estate company that owns parking lots.

Source: Wired Top Stories Travis Kalanick's Return and the 'Bad Boys' Who Always Come Back

Mark Zuckerberg's Silence on Cambridge Analytica Has Done Irreversible Damage

Facebook was forged in its founders image. So unlike traditional companies—say Google or Microsoft—Zuckerberg’s silence has already harmed his bottom line.

Source: Wired Top Stories Mark Zuckerberg's Silence on Cambridge Analytica Has Done Irreversible Damage

Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Out on Cambridge Analytica Scandal

After a series of revelations of data misuse ballooned into a company crisis, Facebook’s founder finally broke his silence.

Source: Wired Top Stories Mark Zuckerberg Speaks Out on Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Uber victim stepped suddenly in front of self-driving car

Police say a video from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed a woman on Sunday shows her moving in front of it suddenly, a factor that investigators are likely to focus on as they assess the performance of the technology in the first pedestrian fatality...

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Facebook has lost $60 billion in value

Facebook is having a bad day… for the second day in a row. Following the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Facebook shares (NASDAQ:FB) are currently trading at $164.07, down 4.9 percent compared to yesterday’s closing price of $172.56. More importantly, if you look at...

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Google details plan to fight fake news, from search to YouTube

Google says it is fighting fake news from its search results to YouTube with new programs that will focus on credible media sources and vetting breaking news. On Tuesday, the search giant announced initiatives including installing a "top news" section on YouTube for...

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Why You Should Be Wary of Financial Robo-Advisors

WIRED Columnist Felix Salmon on how companies like Wealthfront are drifting away from low-fee passive investing—and why customers should be skeptical. Source: Wired Top Stories Why You Should Be Wary of Financial...

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The Noisy Fallacies of Psychographic Targeting

WIRED columnist Antonio Garcia Martinez on why Cambridge Analytica’s targeting efforts probably didn’t even work—and why Facebook should be embarrassed anyway. Source: Wired Top Stories The Noisy Fallacies of Psychographic...

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