The Facebook Data Scandal Just Got Worse

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Facebook is far from being out of the spotlight. On Wednesday, media outlets reported a handful of developments related to the recent data scandal. The Scandal Gets Worse Up until today, Facebook maintained that in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the political analysis firm harvested data on about 50 million Facebook profiles. That number has […]
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Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook’s 2 billion users should assume their data has been compromised

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today revealed that all of its 2.2 billion users should assume their public data has been compromised by third-party scrapers. The source of this vulnerability is Facebook’s search function, which allows anyone to look up users via their email address or phone numbers. Users have to opt into it, via an option that lets their names come up in searches. The security settings have this option on by default. In a blog post from CTO Mike Schroepfer, Facebook hinted at the scope of the problem: However, malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public…

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Cambridge Analytica denies accessing data on 87M Facebook users…claims 30M

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Cambridge Analytica is refuting a report by Facebook today that said Cambridge Analytica improperly attained data on up to 87 million users. Instead, it claims it only “licensed data for no more than 30 million people” from Dr. Aleksandr Kogan’s research company Global Science Research. It also claims none of this data was used in work on the 2016 U.S. presidential election when it was hired by the Trump campaign, and that upon notice from Facebook immediately deleted all raw data and began removing derivative data.

The whole statement from Cambridge Analytica can be found below. We’ve requested a comment from Facebook about the incongruencies in the two companies’ positions and will update if we received a response.

The he-said-she-said of the scandal seems to be amplifying as Facebook continues to endure criticism about weak data privacy policies and enforcement that led to the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that’s seen Facebook’s market cap drop nearly $ 100 billion.

NEW DELHI, INDIA – OCTOBER 9: Co-founder and chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg gestures as he announces the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India on October 9, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Zuckerberg is on a two-day visit to India aimed at promoting the internet.org app, which allows people in underdeveloped areas to access basic online services. (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Today Facebook announced the 87 million figure as a maximum number of people potentially impacted and said it would notify those users with an alert atop the News Feed. It also rewrote its Terms of Service today to clarify how it collects and works with outside developers, and announced sweeping platform API restrictions that will break many apps built on Facebook but prevent privacy abuses. Zuckerberg then held a conference call with reporters to give insight on all the news.

Cambridge Analytica has repeatedly denied assertions about interactions with Facebook data, but Facebook hasn’t backed down. Instead, Facebook has used Cambridge Analytica as an example of abuse it’s trying to combat, and as a justification for cracking down on developers both malicious and benign around the world.

Cambridge Analytica responds to announcement that GSR dataset potentially contained 87 million records
Today Facebook reported that information for up to 87 million people may have been improperly obtained by research company GSR. Cambridge Analytica licensed data for  from GSR, as is clearly stated in our contract with the research company. We did not receive more data than this.

We did not use any GSR data in the work we did in the 2016 US presidential election.

Our contract with GSR stated that all data must be obtained legally, and this contract is now a matter of public record. We took legal action against GSR when we found out they had breached this contract.When Facebook contacted us to let us know the data had been improperly obtained, we immediately deleted the raw data from our file server, and began the process of searching for and removing any of its derivatives in our system.

When Facebook sought further assurances a year ago, we carried out an internal audit to make sure that all the data, all derivatives, and all backups had been deleted, and gave Facebook a certificate to this effect.

We are now undertaking an independent third-party audit to demonstrate that no GSR data remains in our systems.

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Google Voice recruiting testers for new Wi-Fi (or mobile data) calling feature

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For mobile users juggling a bunch of different devices, Google Voice can be something of a godsend. Not only does it let you share a single point of contact through which people can reach you no matter which phone or tablet you’re carrying at the moment, but it does so without requiring the party on the other end to install a specific app — everything travels over regular voice calls and text messages.

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Facebook says Cambridge Analytica may have collected data on up to 87M people

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Cambridge Analytica may have harvested the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users, Facebook’s CTO said on Wednesday, a number far higher than original media estimates.
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Facebook will stop sharing as much of your personal data with people outside of Facebook

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Facebook is making sweeping changes to many of its most important APIs.

Facebook is aggressively cutting down on the amount of personal data third-party developers can collect from users as part of its response to Cambridge Analytica, the third-party data firm that collected personal information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced sweeping changes to many of its APIs — software plugins that allow outside businesses and developers to collect data directly from Facebook.

The changes are broad, and you can read all of the specifics at Facebook’s blog, but the gist is that Facebook will limit the types of data available through each API so that outsiders can’t see as much about people on Facebook.

“We believe these changes will better protect people’s information while still enabling developers to create useful experiences,” Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post.

A few of the highlights:

  • Facebook will now need to approve every app that uses its login feature to collect information beyond basic profile data, like a user’s name and email. It will also stop apps from asking about ideological information, like a user’s religious or political views.
  • Facebook is expediting a plan to close its Instagram Platform API, which was originally planned to happen gradually over the next few years. Facebook says the “deprecation” of that API will take place “effective today.” Developers started noticing this earlier in the week, without a heads up from the company, but Facebook declined to comment on the changes until now.
  • You can’t search for people on Facebook using their email or phone number anymore. Facebook says “malicious actors” were abusing that feature, so it’s disabling it.
  • Facebook will start alerting users that their data may have been part of the Cambridge Analytica data set beginning Monday, April 9. The company will put a link at the top of every Facebook user’s News Feed to help them understand which third-party apps have their data. That alert will also include whether or not your data was part of the set obtained by Cambridge Analytica.

It will be interesting to see how these changes impact Facebook’s relationship with third-party developers just weeks before the company’s annual developer conference, F8. Many developers rely on Facebook APIs to sign up new users, or scale their own audience by asking people to share their Facebook friends list.

Almost all developers will find out about these changes today, and though the writing has been on the wall for weeks, it’s likely many will be caught off guard.

Wednesday’s update is just the latest in what has been an incredibly busy three-week stretch for Facebook. The company already rewrote its terms of service, is in the middle of a media blitz with CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer press questions and is cutting out data partners the company no longer wants to associate with.

Zuckerberg will also testify next week before a House Congressional committee to answer questions about the company’s data privacy practices.

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Facebook: Cambridge Analytica may have had up to 87 million users’ data

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Facebook is continuing to strengthen its data policies amid the Cambridge Analyica scandal, and today the company provided an update to its plans. In a blog post, CTO Mike Schroepfer revealed that Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mo…
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Google Play Games v5.6 may add ability to delete select game data from Play Games servers [APK Teardown]

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Personal privacy is and probably always will be a difficult topic now that a digital lifestyle has become indelibly linked to our culture. It’s not enough to stop using a service, we should be able to have data deleted from the servers just in case a hacker manages to gain access. Google Play Games has long offered the ability to erase entire profiles, which includes the Gamer ID, XP, scores, and any other data saved to its servers.

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Google Play Games v5.6 may add ability to delete select game data from Play Games servers [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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data Artisans Releases First Turnkey Real-Time Stream Processing Platform

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MMW has learned that data Artisans — founded by the original creators of Apache Flink — has rolled out the general availability of dA Platform – the industry’s first turnkey stream processing platform that “enables enterprises to get insights from data in milliseconds and power next-generation service-centric applications and business models.”

We’re told that the new release productionizes stream processing and enables companies to provide live data applications as a centralized enterprise service. dA Platform dramatically reduces the manpower, cost and effort required to deploy stream processing applications in production, and provides a reliable and high-impact stream processing platform across an organization.

Following an early access program in which the platform was extensively tested across large-scale environments, dA Platform is enterprise ready with a trial version available for download here.

Analysts predict the streaming analytics market will reach $ 15.9 billion USD by 20221, as companies across industries are transitioning from a product-centric business model to one based on relationships and a services-centric model. For example, auto manufacturers are introducing new car-sharing and ride-sharing services as car ownership shifts to a usage-based model; consumer banks are creating new messaging applications for communicating with customers in real time to provide more seamless management of their personal finances; and insurance companies are offering dynamically priced insurance products tailored for customers based on their usage data. Stateful stream processing has emerged as the technological standard to enable this transformation.

“A streaming data architecture is the signature DNA of companies that have disrupted industries ranging from financial services to telecom to high technology and more, and enterprises of all types are under pressure to be able to react to data in real time so they can compete today,” said Kostas Tzoumas, co-founder and CEO of data Artisans. “dA Platform makes it easier than ever for businesses to deploy and manage streaming applications, allowing them to focus on building strategic new real-time products and services for customers rather than the supporting infrastructure.”

The post data Artisans Releases First Turnkey Real-Time Stream Processing Platform appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Instagram is limiting how much data some developers can collect from its API — and cutting off others altogether

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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

Facebook’s response to Cambridge Analytica continues with Instagram.

Instagram is cutting off API access for some developers and limiting how often others can use its API to collect data on Instagram users. The move appears to be part of Facebook’s efforts to cull back data access in the wake of the company’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

On Friday, Instagram suddenly changed the rate limit for its Platform API — essentially decreasing the number of times a developer can use the API to ping Instagram for updated information, according to conversations with multiple developers.

The rate limit for Instagram’s Platform API was 5,000 calls per hour, but was suddenly reduced to 200 calls per hour on Friday, sources say.

In other cases, Instagram cut off access to the API for some developers entirely, sources say. None of the developers we spoke with were alerted to the changes before they happened.

What the rate limit update means, in plain English, is that developers can pull data from Instagram much less often than they were allowed to before. For some industries that rely on near-constant access to Instagram data — industries like customer service or brand marketing — these limits can make it difficult to keep up with customer complaints or posts, developers said.

It can also limit the total volume of information that outsiders have access to. If developers need to be pickier about what data calls they make, they might stop collecting data on topics or users they don’t necessarily need simply because they can, developers said.

We don’t know Instagram’s motives for certain, though. The company declined to comment, or to confirm that any changes were made.

But multiple developers pointed out the change on Twitter, and Recode was also directed to a conversation on Stack Overflow, a Q&A site for developers. TechCrunch first reported on the API changes.

While developers might not be happy with the unexpected change, it makes sense. Facebook — and apparently Instagram — is looking hard at all of the ways the two services share data with outsiders as part of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal that rocked the company last month.

Instagram has already said that it was planning to scale back its Platform API, just not this early. The company originally told developers it would start to sunset features of the API beginning this summer, and to move everyone over to a more limited API by “early 2020.”

It looks like the Cambridge Analytica situation, in which an outside data firm got hold of the personal Facebook data of some 50 million people without their consent, may be speeding up Instagram’s original plan.

Recode – All

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