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At Least 100 Developers May Have Accessed Users’ Data for Months, Reveals Facebook

According to Facebook's director of platform partnerships, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, the new framework under their agreement with the FTC means more accountability and transparency into how it builds and maintains products

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

In yet another data breach, Facebook on Wednesday revealed that at least 100 app developers may have accessed Facebook users’ data for months, confirming that at least 11 partners “accessed group members’ information in the last 60 days”.

The social networking giant found that the apps — primarily social media management and video streaming apps — retained access to group member information, like names and profile pictures in connection with group activity, from the Groups API (application programming interface).

“Although we’ve seen no evidence of abuse, we will ask them to delete any member data they may have retained and we will conduct audits to confirm that it has been deleted,” the company said in a statement.

“We’ve removed or restricted a number of our developer APIs, such as the Groups API, which provides an interface between Facebook and apps that can integrate with a group,” it added.

Facebook is facing scrutiny after personal data of 87 million users were harvested by UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has slapped Facebook with a $5 billion fine as a result of the breach.

According to the company, the apps designed to make it easier for group admins to manage their groups more effectively and help members share videos to their groups.

Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

“For example, if a business managed a large community consisting of many members across multiple groups, they could use a social media management app to provide customer service, including customized responses, at scale.”

“But while this access provided benefits to people and groups on Facebook, we made the decision to remove it and are following through on that approach,” said Facebook.

Also Read: Twitter India Finds Itself in the Midst of Another Caste Row

According to Facebook’s director of platform partnerships, Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, the new framework under their agreement with the FTC means more accountability and transparency into how it builds and maintains products.

“As we continue to work through this process we expect to find more examples of where we can improve, either through our products or changing how data is accessed. We are committed to this work and supporting the people on our platform,” said the company. (IANS)

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Facebook Removes 3.2 Billion Fake Accounts

Facebook removes 3.2 billion fake accounts and 11.4 million hate speech posts

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Facebook kills 3.2bn fake accounts and11.4 million hate speech posts. Pixabay

As the US Presidential election approaches, Facebook said that it has removed more than 3.2 billion fake accounts in the April-September period along with taking action on 11.4 million hate speech posts in the same period.

In total, Facebook removed 5.4 billion fake accounts and 15.5 million hate speech posts since January.

“Over the past two quarters, we have improved our ability to detect and block attempts to create fake, abusive accounts. We can estimate that every day, we prevent millions of attempts to create fake accounts using these detection systems,” the social networking giant said on Wednesday.

The majority of such accounts were caught within minutes of registration, before they became a part of Facebook monthly active user (MAU) population.

“Our proactive rate remained above 99 per cent for both quarters. Prevalence for fake accounts continues to be estimated at approximately 5 per cent of our worldwide monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook,” said the company.

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In total, Facebook removed 5.4 billion fake accounts since January. Pixabay

Earlier this year, Facebook began allowing its hate speech algorithms to begin automatically removing content that violates its policies.

“One result of that decision has been a sharp spike in the amount of hate speech taken off Facebook,” said the company.

Facebook said It is using machine learning-based detection technology that can find and flag hate speech using several different methods.

Also Read- ‘Project Nightingale’ of Google Confronts a Federal Inquiry in the US

“Starting in Q2 2019, our systems began removing posts automatically when they received very high scores or matched existing hate speech in our database. In all other cases when our systems detect potential hate speech, they send the post to our review team to determine if it should be removed,” explained the company. (IANS)