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Facebook Buys Servicefriend To Boost Cryptocurrency Libra Experience

Aiming to make its cryptocurrency Libra customer friendly when it arrives next year, Facebook has acquired a startup called Servicefriend

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facebook, servicefriend, startup, cryptocurrency, libra
Bitcoin, which has risen in value for eight consecutive days, received a boost after Facebook has said it would offer its own cryptocurrency, the Libra coin by end of June 2020. Pixabay

Aiming to make its cryptocurrency Libra customer friendly when it arrives next year, Facebook has acquired a startup called Servicefriend that builds Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven bots for messaging apps.

The Israel-based startup is known for building “Hybrid Bot Architecture” – an approach that offers the enterprise the scalability of a bot with the intelligence, comprehension, and empathy of a human.

“We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“Facebook’s plan is to build a range of financial services for people to use Calibra to pay out and receive Libra as for example, to send money to contacts, pay bills, top up their phones, buy things and more,” said the report.

Servicefriend has been deployed by leading enterprises around the world.

By using a hybrid bot for Messenger from Servicefriend to provide meaningful and efficient customer service, the telecom company Globe Telecom successfully increased employee productivity by 3.5 times and reduced calls to its hotline by 50 per cent.

facebook, servicefriend, startup, cryptocurrency, libra
Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

With Servicefriend, the bot is always the front end, and every conversation receives the same branded, consistent and cohesive experience.

The new digital wallet for ‘Libra’ currency would be available in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and as a stand-alone app in 2020.

ALSO READ: Facebook Selects Six Projects from India for AI Ethics Research

Facebook has tied up with 27 organisations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association to create the new currency. (IANS)

Next Story

Social Networking Giant Facebook Blames Apple iOS for Bezos’ Phone Hacking

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages

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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

Facebook has blamed Apple’s operating system for the hacking of Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ phone, saying WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is unhackable.

Investigators believe that Bezos’s iPhone was compromised after he received a 4.4MB video file containing malware via WhatsApp – in the same way when phones of 1,400 select journalists and human rights activists were broken into by Pegasus software from Israel-based NSO Group last year.

In an interview to the BBC last week, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, said it wasn’t WhatsApp’s fault because end-to-end encryption is unhackable and blamed Apple’s operating system for Bezos’ episode.

“It sounds like something on the, you know, what they call the operate, operated on the phone itself. It can’t have been anything on the, when the message was sent, in transit, because that’s end-to-end encrypted on WhatsApp,” Clegg told the show host.

Clegg compared the hack to opening a malicious email, saying that “it only comes to life when you open it”.

According to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone, after that the video file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data, including his intimate messages with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez.

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and owner of Blue Origin. (Wikimedia commons)

According to Clegg, “something” must have affected the phone’s operating system.

“As sure as you can be that the technology of end-to-end encryption cannot, other than unless you have handset, or you have the message at either end, cannot be hacked into,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple was yet to comment on Facebook’s statement.

The NSO Group has denied it was part of Bezos’ hacking.

Also Read: Here Are Some Life Lessons That We Can Learn From Freedom Fighters this Republic Day

WhatsApp provides end-to-end encryption by default, which means only the sender and recipient can view the messages. But the piece of NSO Group software exploited WhatsApp’s video calling system by installing the spyware via missed calls to snoop on the selected users.

According to leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy, end-to-end encrypted apps (E2EE) do provide security, and messages or calls cannot be intercepted and decrypted en route without enormous computing resources.

“But once anyone can get to your handset, whether a human or a piece of software, the encryption doesn’t matter anymore. Because on your handset, it’s all decrypted,” Roy told IANS recently. (IANS)