Tuesday February 18, 2020
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Facebook May Face $1.63 bn in EU Fine Over Data Breach

Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have already faced hearings at US Congress over Cambridge Analytica data breach that affected 87 million users

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Facebook
Facebook faces $1.63 bn in EU fine over fresh data breach. VOA

Embroiled in another massive data breach, Facebook may face $1.63 billion in fine from the European Union (EU) privacy watchdog, the media reported.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission which is Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, has asked Facebook to submit more details in the incident where data of over 50 million users were hacked via “Access Tokens” or digital keys.

The “privacy watchdog could fine Facebook as much as $1.63 billion for the data breach”, the report added.

“We are concerned at the fact that this breach was discovered on Tuesday (last week) and affects many millions of user accounts but Facebook is unable to clarify the nature of the breach and the risk for users at this point,” the regulator was quoted as saying.

A Facebook spokeswoman said the social media giant will respond to questions from the EU watchdog.

Facebook
This Feb. 19, 2014, photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

In the biggest-ever security breach after Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook on Friday admitted hackers broke into nearly 50 million users’ accounts by stealing their “access tokens” or digital keys.

This allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens which they could then use to take over people’s accounts.

Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they do not need to re-enter their password every time they use the app.

Senator Mark R. Warner has also called for a full probe into the incident.

Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, Warner said it was high time the Congress stepped up and took action to protect privacy and security of social media users.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

Facebook also said it was taking precautionary step to reset access tokens for another 40 million accounts that have been subject to a “View As” look-up in the 2017.

As a result, around 90 million people will now have to log back into Facebook, or any of their apps that use Facebook login.

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Reacting to the new data breach, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: “While I’m glad we found this, fixed the vulnerability, and secured the accounts that may be at risk, the reality is we need to continue developing new tools to prevent this from happening in the first place.”

Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have already faced hearings at US Congress over Cambridge Analytica data breach that affected 87 million users. (IANS)

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Coronavirus Derails Significant Tech Summit in Silicon Valley

After Facebook, coronavirus derails Intel event in US

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Coronavirus Intel
Coronavirus has derailed another significant tech summit in the Silicon Valley, this time from global chip-maker Intel which on Monday decided to postpone its "Intel Labs Day' conference that was scheduled from March 12-13 here. Pixabay

After Facebook, Coronavirus has derailed another significant tech summit in the Silicon Valley, this time from global chip-maker Intel which on Monday decided to postpone its “Intel Labs Day’ conference that was scheduled from March 12-13 here.

The company said in a statement that the briefing sessions would not be organised as scheduled “due to the COVID-19 impact on the ecosystem”. “We are revisiting launch plans,” said the company.

Facebook last week cancelled ‘Global Marketing Summit’ in San Francisco that was scheduled from March 9-12. Over 5,000 participants were expected to attend the event.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we cancelled our Global Marketing Summit due to evolving public health risks related to coronavirus,” said a company spokesperson. IBM said it cancelled its participation in the RSA cybersecurity conference here from February 24-28 due to concerns over China virus outbreak.

Coronavirus Intel
The company said in a statement that the briefing sessions would not be organised as scheduled “due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 impact on the ecosystem”. Pixabay

“The health of IBMers is our primary concern as we continue to monitor upcoming events and travel relative to COVID-19”, the company tweeted.

San Francisco International Airport is among 11 locations through which all flights from China to the US are being funneled for coronavirus screening.

Last week, United Airlines Flight 901 from San Francisco was placed under lockdown after landing at London’s Heathrow Airport on Friday as the captain told passengers someone on board might have Novel Coronavirus. Other passengers were eventually allowed to disembark but the sick person was kept behind, reports The Daily Mail.

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China’s National Health Commission on Monday reported 70,548 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,770 deaths, with 10,844 people discharged from hospital. In the 24 hours until midnight on Sunday, 2,048 new cases and 105 new deaths had been recorded over the previous day. (IANS)