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Facebook Apps Encountering Glitch: Report

Also on Wednesday, Google and its services including Gmail, Maps and Drive went down globally

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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

Facebook ruled out a cyber attack speculation which started making the rounds when products of its family of apps — WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger — began encountering service outage for nearly eight hours in what appeared to be one of the longest downtimes.

On Wednesday, users across the globe experienced problems sending messages on Messenger and Whatsapp. The social networking giant’s photo-messaging app Instagram also suffered service disruptions.

After users reported about the inconvenience faced by them on the websites and mobile apps, Facebook took to Twitter to respond: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

The tech major confirmed that the problem was not related to a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attack.

“We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack,” Facebook informed the users, who believed the service disruption could be a “cyber attack”.

Although the users could open Facebook and Instagram mobile apps, they experienced troubles uploading posts, say reports.

Facebook
The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

“We’re aware of an issue impacting people’s access to Instagram right now. We know this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to resolve this ASAP,” Instagram tweeted.

Earlier in the day, WhatsApp appeared to be fine for many people, but users in India, Bangladesh, Argentina, and more noticed issues with sending messages as the afternoon went on. Users in Brazil were experiencing the most severe outages, The Verge reported.

Users also noted that attempting to use Facebook to sign into apps like Tinder or Spotify was not working either.

Also Read- Taming Fake News is Top Concern of WhatsApp India

Internet users made their way to Twitter to complain about the hours-long service disruption with hashtags such as “#FacebookDown”, “#InstagramDown” and “#Whatsapp”.

Also on Wednesday, Google and its services including Gmail, Maps and Drive went down globally. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Sharing Users’ Data with Telecom Firms, Phone Makers

The database contained 49 million records of several high-profile influencers, including prominent food bloggers, celebrities and other social media influencers

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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

A confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept has revealed that the social networking giant is offering private data of its users without their knowledge or consent to 100 different telecom companies and phone makers in 50 countries.

Confidential documents seen by the website showed late Monday that Facebook is helping operators and phone makers “create targeted advertising by supplying them with surveillance data slurped directly from users’ smartphones”.

Not only that, the social networking giant is also collecting data from its main iOS and Android apps, Messenger and Instagram apps — even snooping into the phones of children as young as 13.

Through a tool called “Actionable Insights”, Facebook is allegedly collecting data including technical details about smartphones, cellular and Wi-Fi networks used by Facebook users, locations visited social groups and interests.

Facebook reacted in a statement late Monday: “We do not, nor have we ever, rated people’s credit worthiness for Actionable Insights or across ads, and Facebook does not use people’s credit information in how we show ads”.

According to the report, “the data has been used by Facebook partners to assess their standing against competitors, including customers lost to and won from them, but also for more controversial uses like racially targeted ads”.

Facebook launched “Actionable Insights” tool last year “to address the issue of weak cellular data connections in various parts of the world.”

“The confidential Facebook document shows how the programme, ostensibly created to help improve underserved cellular customers, is pulling in far more data than how many bars you’re getting,” said the report.

Facebook
Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. VOA

“The Facebook mobile app harvests and packages eight different categories of information for use by over 100 different telecom companies in over 50 different countries around the world, including usage data from the phones of children as young as 13,” the report claimed.

These categories include use of video, demographics, location, use of Wi-Fi and cellular networks, personal interests, device information, and friend homophily, an academic term of art.

Also Read- China Excludes Taiwan from Participation in World Health Assembly

From these categories, a third party vendor could learn an extraordinary amount about patterns of users’ daily life.

The news came after Facebook’s photo-sharing service Instagram saw itself in trouble as personal data of millions of celebrities and influencers were allegedly exposed on its platform in a massive database that was traced to Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox.

The database contained 49 million records of several high-profile influencers, including prominent food bloggers, celebrities and other social media influencers, TechCrunch reported. (IANS)