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Facebook to Hire Banking Expert to Run its Digital Coin Libra

Sensing a multi-billion dollar opportunity to improve the cross-border payments system

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Facebook, Banking, Libra
Facebook's vice president of messaging products and a key figure behind 'Libra' digital currency project. Pixabay

Facebook is looking to hire a seasoned executive to run its digital coin ‘Libra’ project who has the know-how of the complex government and central banking system.

According to David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products and a key figure behind ‘Libra’ digital currency project, someone with experience in government and central banking would be a great choice to oversee the currency.

“We need someone who knows how economies tend to work, who understands how to operate in a very complex, decentralized governance type of environment,” Marcus told The Information on Friday.

Sensing a multi-billion dollar opportunity to improve the cross-border payments system, Facebook has announced to launch its own digital coin called ‘Libra’ next year.\

Facebook, Banking, Libra
Facebook is looking to hire a seasoned executive to run its digital coin ‘Libra’ project. Pixabay

“We need someone who has the gravitas to be able to carry the message on behalf of all the members — the 100 members and more of the association when this thing goes live — rather than have each and every one of us have piecemeal conversations left and right with all of the different governments and regulators that this whole network will be subject to,” Marcus elaborated.

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

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

Marcus denied reports that banks have rejected Facebook’s invitation to join the Libra Association.

Also Read- Northern India Registers Critical Fall in Groundwater Levels

“We have had conversations with banks. We still have conversations with banks. And my expectation is that by the time this thing launches next year you will have banks that are going to be members of this,” Marcus was quoted as saying.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “In addition to our efforts, many other companies will build their own services using Libra — from payment companies like Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe and Visa, to popular services like Booking, eBay, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify and Ubera.

“A number of leading venture firms are also joining to help drive innovation on the Libra network. We’re hoping to have over 100 co-founding members of the Libra Association by the time the network launches next year,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook currently generates 99 per cent of its revenue from advertisements and digital currency would help it reach billions of users across products — aiming to create another stable revenue stream and make cryptocurrecny-based payments mainstream. (IANS)

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Google, Facebook Secretly Tracking Your Porn-viewing Habits

“While the findings of this study are far from encouraging, we do believe regulatory intervention may have positive outcomes,” said the researchers

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

If you think watching pornographic material in the “incognito” mode will not let anyone know, you are mistaken. Google, Facebook and even Oracle cloud are secretly tracking the porn you watch even when you switch on the “incognito” mode on your laptop or smartphone.

A new joint study from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pennsylvania that investigated 22,484 sex websites using a tool called “webXray” revealed that 93 per cent of pages track and leak users’ data to third-party organisations.

“Tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by a handful of major companies,” said the researchers who identified 230 different companies and services tracking users in their sample.

Of non-pornography-specific services, Google tracks 74 per cent of sites, Oracle 24 per cent and Facebook 10 per cent.

Porn-specific trackers in the top 10 are exoClick (40 per cent), JuicyAds (11 per cent), and EroAdvertising (9 per cent).

“The majority of non-pornography companies in the top 10 are based in the US, while the majority of pornography-specific companies are based in Europe,” said the study.

The researchers – Elena Maris, Microsoft Research; Timothy Libert, Carnegie Mellon University; and Jennifer Henrichsen, University of Pennsylvania – said they successfully extracted privacy policies for 3,856 sites, 17 per cent of the total.

“The policies were written such that one might need a two-year college education to understand them. The content analysis indicated 44.97 per cent of them expose or suggest a specific gender/sexual identity or interest likely to be linked to the user,” said the study to be published in the journal New Media & Society.

The team created a hypothetical profile named “Jack” who decides to view porn on his laptop.

Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE – In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook’s developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Jack enables “incognito” mode in his browser, assuming his actions are now private. He pulls up a site and scrolls past a small link to a privacy policy. Assuming a site with a privacy policy will protect his personal information, Jack clicks on a video.

“What Jack does not know is that incognito mode only ensures his browsing history is not stored on his computer. The sites he visits, as well as any third-party trackers, may observe and record his online actions,” the researchers noted.

These third-parties may even infer Jack’s sexual interests from the URLs of the sites he accesses. They might also use what they have decided about these interests for marketing or building a consumer profile. They may even sell the data.

Jack has no idea these third-party data transfers are occurring as he browses videos.

“His assumption that porn websites will protect his information, along with the reassurance of the ‘incognito’ mode icon on his screen, provide Jack a fundamentally misleading sense of privacy as he consumes porn online,” wrote the researchers.

The above hypothetical scenario occurs frequently in reality and is indicative of the widespread data leakage and tracking that can occur on porn sites, they added.

Also Read: Instagram to Now Alert Violators Before Deleting Accounts

In 2017, Pornhub, one of the largest porn websites, received 28.5 billion visits, with users performing 50,000 searches per second on the site.

Statistics vary as to the amount of overall porn activity on the internet, but a 2017 report indicated porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined, and that “30 per cent of all the data transferred across the Internet is porn”, with site YouPorn using six times more bandwidth than Hulu.

“While the findings of this study are far from encouraging, we do believe regulatory intervention may have positive outcomes,” said the researchers. (IANS)