Monday March 25, 2019
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British Parliament Access Internal Facebook Data Scandal Papers: Report

The internal documents are "subject to an order of a Californian superior court, so cannot be shared or made public, at risk of being found in contempt of court"

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Fake News, Facebook, dating
Intel, Facebook working on cheaper AI chip. VOA

Days ahead of a seven-nation panel hearing on Facebook, the British Parliament has reportedly seized internal company documents that contain revelations on data and privacy controls that led to Cambridge Analytica scandal.

According to a report in The Guardian on Sunday, the internal documents “include confidential emails between senior executives, and correspondence with (Mark) Zuckerberg”.

“Damian Collins, the chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, invoked a rare parliamentary mechanism to compel the founder of a US software company, Six4Three, to hand over the documents during a business trip to London,” said the report.

“We are in uncharted territory. This is an unprecedented move but it’s an unprecedented situation.

“We’ve failed to get answers from Facebook and we believe the documents contain information of very high public interest,” Collins was quoted as saying.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg, digital
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook, however, defended itself, saying that Six4Three’s “claims have no merit, and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously”.

Facebook is set to face an international committee consisting 22 members from seven countries in London this week.

Richard Allan, Vice President of Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), will face in London elected members from the Parliaments of Britain, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore.

“An unprecedented international grand committee comprising 22 representatives from seven parliaments will meet in London next week to put questions to Facebook about the online fake news crisis and the social network’s own string of data misuse scandals,” TechCrunch reported on Friday.

According to The Guardian report, the struggle to hold Facebook to account has raised concerns about limits of British authority over international companies that now play a key role in the democratic process.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“We have very serious questions for Facebook,” Collins said.

The internal documents seized were obtained during a legal discovery process by Six4Three.

Also Read- Rahul Gandhi Accuses Modi Government of Ignoring Plight of Youth, Farmers

The internal documents are “subject to an order of a Californian superior court, so cannot be shared or made public, at risk of being found in contempt of court”.

The report comes at a time when Facebook investors have increased pressure on Zuckerberg — who faced intense scrutiny in US Congress earlier in 2018 — to step down as Chairman, which he had refused. (IANS)

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AI Couldn’t Catch NZ Attack Video Streaming: Facebook

Facebook said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video

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Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Facing flak for failure to block the live broadcast of the New Zealand terrorist attack last week, Facebook on Thursday said that its Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools were not “perfect” to detect the horrific video.

Vowing to improve its technology, the social networking giant, however, ruled out adding a time delay to Facebook Live, similar to the broadcast delay sometimes used by TV stations.

“There are millions of Live broadcasts daily, which means a delay would not help address the problem due to the sheer number of videos,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity, said in a statement.

“More importantly, given the importance of user reports, adding a delay would only further slow down videos getting reported, reviewed and first responders being alerted to provide help on the ground,” Rosen added.

Strapped with a GoPro camera to his head, the gunman broadcast graphic footage of the New Zealand shooting via Facebook Live for 17 minutes, which was later shared in millions on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

Fifty people were killed and dozens injured in the shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Avenue Masjid in Christchurch on March 15 after 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant opened indiscriminate firings.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The circulation of the video on social media platforms attracted widespread criticism from different quarters.

In a letter to CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson asked the technology companies to brief the US Congress on March 27 regarding their response to dissemination of the video on their platforms.

Thompson also warned the technology companies that unless they do better in removing violent content, the Congress could consider policies to bar such content on social media.

Also Read- Finland Probing Nokia Phones Sending Data to China

Facebook on Thursday said it was exploring how AI could help it react faster to this kind of content on a live streamed video.

“AI has made massive progress over the years and in many areas, which has enabled us to proactively detect the vast majority of the content we remove. But it’s not perfect.

“However, this particular video did not trigger our automatic detection systems,” Rosen said, referring to the New Zealand attack video. (IANS)