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Facebook Kept Sharing Users’ Friend Data in Special Deals, Report Says

Facebook made special data-sharing deals with some firms: Report

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Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families
Facebook Helps Couple Raise $3.4mn For Reuniting Immigrant Families. Pixabay
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In yet another bad day for Facebook, a Wall Street Journal report has claimed that the social networking giant provided select companies “customised data-sharing deals” that let them gain “special access to user records”.

According to the report citing court documents and unnamed sources, Facebook gave data access to some companies while “others were cut off”.

“Facebook Inc. struck customized data-sharing deals that gave select companies special access to user records well after the point in 2015 that the social network has said it walled off that information,” the report said on Friday.

These arrangements were known as “whitelists”, and allowed “certain companies to access additional information about a user’s Facebook friends”.

Companies like the Royal Bank of Canada and Nissan Motor reportedly made such deals with Facebook.

According to Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Partnerships, the company allowed some firms to have “short-term extensions” to this user data.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“But other than that, things were shut down,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

In another privacy goof-up, Facebook on Thursday admitted that 14 million users were affected by a bug in May that automatically suggested posting publicly when the users were writing posts meant only for friends.

The bug made sure that the posts could be viewed by anyone, including people not logged on to Facebook. It was not yet known users in which country were affected the most.

The bug, according to Erin Egan, Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, occurred as the Facebook developers were building a new way to share featured items on users’ profile, like a photo.

“The problem has been fixed, and for anyone affected, we changed the audience back to what they had been using before,” Egan said in a blog post late Thursday.

Also Read: Facebook Admits “Bug” Exposed Private Posts Of 14 Million Users

The revelation came after a New York Times report exposed how the social network allowed about 60 device makers, including Chinese smartphone players, to access personal information of users and their friends.

Facebook admitted sharing users’ data with Chinese company Huawei — facing the heat in the US over data privacy concerns — along with three other China-based smartphone makers Lenovo, OPPO and TCL.

Facebook is facing intense scrutiny for misuse of millions of its users’ data after the British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal became public. (IANS)

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups
Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups. Pixabay

Facebook will soon let group administrators charge members for providing exclusive content on its platform.

Parenting, cooking and home cleaning private groups on the social networking platform will be the first ones to access the new feature as part of a pilot programme.

“We’re piloting subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities,” Alex Deve, Product Director, Groups at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Subscription groups align with the experience that Facebook made available to support video creators earlier in 2018.

Sarah Mueller started a group called “Declutter My Home” on Facebook as a way to inspire and motivate others to tidy up their apartment or house.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces.

“With her new subscription group, ‘Organise My Home’, members will be able to work together on bite-sized projects, and have access to easily actionable checklists, tutorials, live videos and more to help with home organisation,” Facebook said.

“With the new ‘Organize My Home’ subscription group, I will be able to provide this new community with more interactive ways to having an organised home like mini-projects, group challenges, training, and live Q&A,” Mueller noted.

Also Read: Facebook rolls Out Several Monetisation Products

According to a report in The Next Web, group administrators will be able to charge up to $29.99 (monthly) during the pilot.

“For now, Facebook won’t be collecting a cut of the subscription fees,” the report added.

For members, they are now able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android. (IANS)