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We don’t save Android users’ data without permission: Facebook

On Facebook Lite, the options are to turn it on or ‘skip'. If you chose to turn this feature on, we will begin to continuously log this information

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself. Pixabay
  • Facebook says it doesn’t save data of Android users
  • In recent times, allegations have been put on Facebook
  • The allegations were about leaking data of its users

Facebook has said that it does not save call and text data of Android users without their permission, adding the practice is “widely used” with users having an option to opt-out from it.

Facebook was replying to several media reports which claimed that the social media giant was saving the call and text data of Android users for years. A report in technology website Ars Technica said that Android cellphone users have noticed that Facebook has saved a virtual trove of their personal call data.

facebook
Facebook denies saving data of its Android users. VOA

“This past week, a New Zealand man was looking through the data Facebook had collected from him in an archive he had pulled down from the social networking site,” the report said. “While scanning the information Facebook had stored about his contacts, Dylan McKay discovered that Facebook also had about two years’ worth of phone call metadata from his Android phone, including names, phone numbers, and the length of each call made or received,” the report added.

However, a Facebook spokesperson pointed out that the call log was “a widely used practice to begin by uploading your phone contacts”. The spokesperson added that users give their consent by uploading their contacts, a function that’s optional. People can also delete contact data from their profiles by using a tool available on Web browsers, Facebook stated.

Also Read: ‘Delete’ Facebook, says WhatsApp co-founder amid Cambridge Analytica scandal

Later, Facebook issued a statement saying, “You may have seen some recent reports that Facebook has been logging people’s call and SMS (text) history without their permission. This is not the case.” Facebook even explained how users could opt out from giving the social media giant permission to log the contacts.

Facebook invests big in Community Leaders Program. AFP
Facebook spokesperson clears the air about leaking allegations. AFP

“When you sign up for Messenger or Facebook Lite on Android, or log into Messenger on an Android device, you are given the option to continuously upload your contacts as well as your call and text history,” the company said.

“For Messenger, you can either turn it on, choose ‘learn more’ or ‘not now’. On Facebook Lite, the options are to turn it on or ‘skip’. If you chose to turn this feature on, we will begin to continuously log this information,” Facebook added. The tech giant also said that its users’ information is securely stored and is not sold to third parties. “You are always in control of the information you share with Facebook,” it said. IANS

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Google Maps Allows Android Users to Share Locations Using Plus Codes

The update aims at easy sharing of locations using Plus Codes

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Plus Codes
Android users can now share their location using Plus Codes in Google Maps. Pixabay

Google Maps app for Android has received a new update where users can share their locations using Plus Codes.

Google Maps has the option to show Plus Codes since August 2015. The new change, however, is aimed to expand Plus Codes usage by allowing users to easily share their locations.

A Plus Code is essentially a digital address and it’s derived from latitude and longitude coordinates. It can be generated for any location.

“The technology to generate Plus Codes is also open source, which means the technology is easy and free to use, so anyone can see how the technology works and develop their own applications for any use case,” David Martin, Director of Program Management, Google Maps, said in a statement on Friday.

Users will be able to tap on the blue dot representing their current location and get a Plus Code for it.

Plus Code
Users will be able to tap on the blue dot representing their current location and get a Plus Code for it. Wikimedia Commons

Alternatively, they can long tap on a spot to put a pin on it and get a code for that.

Also Read: Canada Faces Sharpest Downturn in GDP Since 2009

Alongside the Plus Code, the application will also show other options including options to see nearby places, share your location and save your parking.

Once the app shows the Plus Code on the screen, one will be able to copy it just by tapping on it. Now, one will be able to share it among contacts by pasting it on apps like WhatsApp, Messages and more. (IANS)

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Venue: Facebook Launches New App for Interactive Live Events

The app aims to make live events more social

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Facebook Venue
Facebook has launched a new app called 'Venue' to make live events more interactive. Pixabay

Facebook is rolling out a new app for iOS and Android called ‘Venue’ which aims to provide an interactive second-screen experience for live events.

The digital companion app has been developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team and it is the third app the team has launched this week. The last two were focused on collaborative music video creations and voice-only group calling.

Facebook will first test Venue with NASCAR’s Food City presenting the Supermarket Heroes 500 race on May 31.

Future NASCAR races will also be hosted in Venue, with commentators including nascarcasm, FOX Sports NASCAR reporter Alan Cavanna and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill.

Venue
Venue happens to be the third app Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team has launched this week. Pixabay

Also Read: US Lawmaker Proposes Bill in Congress to Recognise Tibet and Hong-Kong as Independent Nations

“As NASCAR makes its return to action over the coming weeks, Venue will provide users with a unique and exciting way to connect with fellow race fans from around the globe — all from the safety and comfort of their own homes,” Tim Clark, NASCAR SVP and chief digital officer, said in a statement.

The service has been widely compared to Twitter’s live event streaming capabilities, offering fans a place to interactively gather and respond to events in real time. (IANS)

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Facebook to Now Verify People Whose Posts Go Viral Rapidly

Facebook will provide ID verification to profiles with large audiences

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Facebook
Facebook will now verify user whose posts go viral rapidly. Pixabay

Facebook said on Thursday that it will now verify the identity of people who have a pattern of inauthentic behaviour on its platform and whose posts start to go viral rapidly.

In 2018, Facebook had first started to verify the identity of people managing Pages with large audiences.

“Now we’re extending ID verification to some profiles with large audiences in the US,” the social networking giant said in a statement.

If someone chooses not to verify their identity or the ID provided does not match the linked Facebook account, the distribution of their viral posts will remain reduced so that fewer people see them.

“In addition, if the person posting is a Page admin, they’ll need to complete Page Publishing Authorisation and will not be able to post from their Page until their account is verified through our existing Page Publisher Authorisation process,” said Facebook.

Facebook
The company said that IDs will be stored securely. Pixabay

Also Read: Google Brings YouTube Kids App on Apple TV

The company said that IDs will be stored securely and won’t be shared on the person’s profile.

“We want people to feel confident that they understand who’s behind the content they’re seeing on Facebook,” the company added. (IANS)