Wednesday September 19, 2018
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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
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  • 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.

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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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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Protect Elections Globally

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference

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Facebook expands security tools to protect elections globally. Pixabay

In order to further secure candidates and campaign staff vulnerable to hackers and nation-state actors during the elections, Facebook has introduced additional tools to protect political campaigns in the US and around the world.

The social media giant has launched a pilot programme to expand its existing protections for users associated with US political campaigns ahead of the 2018 mid-term elections.

“Candidates for federal or statewide office, as well as staff members and representatives from federal and state political party committees, can add additional security protections to their Pages and accounts,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We’ll help officials adopt our strongest account security protections, like two-factor authentication, and monitor for potential hacking threats,” Gleicher added.

Facebook
Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

Over the past year, the company has invested in new technology and more people to stay ahead of bad actors who are determined to use Facebook to disrupt elections.

“This pilot programme is an addition to our existing security tools and procedures, and we will apply what we learn to other elections in the US and around the world,” said Facebook.

“As we detect abuse, we will continue to share relevant information with law enforcement and other companies so we can maximise our effectiveness,” it added.

According to a report in Download, a working paper released last week revealed a significant drop-off in the engagements 570 fake news sites received on Facebook since the 2016 US presidential elections.

“At its peak, there were 200 million monthly engagements with the sites. As of July 2018, that’s dropped to 70 million,” the report added.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of the US Senate, saying they were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference.

“Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” he told the lawmakers.

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The Facebook CEO apologised for what happened and took responsibility for everything. He also said that there is an online propaganda “arms race” with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections, including in India.

“The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,” he testified before a 44-Senator panel. (IANS)