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Facebook Faces ‘Record-Setting’ Fine Over Privacy Violations: Report

Facebook also admitted a security breach in September last year that impacted nearly 50 million users

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook is facing a “record-setting” fine from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its handling of user data and privacy violations.

According to a report in The New York Times citing sources late Friday, the FTC “is in the advanced stages of its investigation into whether Facebook violated privacy rules and is expected to seek large fines from the company”.

The highest financial penalty ever imposed by FTC was $22.5 million on Google in 2012 for privacy violations, and the Facebook fine is “expected to be in the excess of that”, according to The Washington Post.

In April 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was called to testify before Congress after British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to data of nearly 87 million users without permission.

In December, Facebook refuted a New York Times report that claimed it allowed large technology companies and popular apps like Netflix or Spotify access to its users’ personal information.

Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook said it did not give large tech companies access to people’s data without their permission as its integration partners “had to get authorisation from people”.

Another New York Times report in late December claimed that thousands of Facebook content moderators rely on inaccurate and disorganised information to determine what content to allow or remove from its platform, accusing the platform of being “ad hoc”, “disorganized”, “secretive”, and doing things “on the cheap”.

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Facebook also admitted a security breach in September last year that impacted nearly 50 million users.

The FTC and Facebook are yet to comment on the report. (IANS)

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India: CSC Partners with Facebook to Provide Digital Skill Training to Women Village Level Entrepreneurs

India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years

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Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India. Pixabay

Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, on Tuesday announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook to provide digital skill training to women village level entrepreneurs.

In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India.

“India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years. We are excited to partner with CSC Academy to create a programme that will build on this success as well as the outstanding community networks that CSC has built over the years,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Facebook India, said while speaking at the CSC Diwas celebration here.

As part of the project CSC will identify and nominate 5,000 women village level entrepreneurs across 10 states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India. Pixabay

These women entrepreneurs will be given training sessions on leveraging various Facebook tools to not just build and grow their business but also on how to train people on the ground.

These entrepreneurs will further help build awareness to ensure that the community is able to learn from each other.

CSC along with Facebook will co-create a curriculum (online and offline) around digital marketing skills and online safety in over 14 regional languages.

“CSC has unleashed entrepreneurs across villages in India, many of them women. With the #DigitalBeti programme, our objective is to arm these village level entrepreneurs with similar digital tool kits that large corporations have access to, and unleash their full potential and their ability to create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities,” Mohan said.

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From just 13,000 women village level entrepreneurs in 2014, today more than 73,000 women entrepreneurs are working across 3.66 lakh CSC centres, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (IANS)