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Facebook reunites mother and son after 15 years

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a scene straight from a Bollywood movie, a Facebook photo helped a Californian woman reunite with her son after 15 years.

Three-year-old Jonathan was allegedly kidnapped by his father and taken to Mexico 15 years back.

Last year, Jonathan, now 18, posted a childhood photo with his brother on Facebook, thinking that his mother Hope Holland or his grown-up brother may find him on the social networking site, Time reported.

Last week, the reunion finally happened and a teary Holland could not stop thanking Facebook for this miracle.

“I am happy. It has been a long journey here,” Holland, who had lost all hopes of seeing Jonathan again, was quoted as saying.

The miracle happened when Holland was signing up for a webinar on Facebook in January this year. There, she saw a picture of two little boys taking a bath together.

“At first, my body responded with panic and excitement. Heart palpitations and sweat…my breathing out of control,” she told ABC 10 television.

“I was the one who had taken the picture,” she said.

She visited Jonathan’s Facebook page and messaged someone who was scrolling through same photos she was looking at.

The person put her in touch with Jonathan. Three days later, they spoke on the phone for the first time and decided to meet, the Time report said.

Jonathan plans to return to California after completing high school.

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Irish Watchdog Opens Inquiry into Latest Privacy Breach of Facebook

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump's campaign

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Irish watchdog opens inquiry into latest Facebook privacy breach. Pixabay

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) has announced a fresh investigation into Facebook, a day after the social networking giant admitted another security breach where nearly 6.8 million users risked their private photos being exposed to third-party apps.

Facebook, which is already facing a probe from the Irish watchdog for a previous privacy leak in September that affected 50 million people, may end up with fine of 4 per cent of its annual turnover – the highest fine under the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), The Independent reported on Saturday.

In Facebook’s case, the fine could amount to nearly 1.5 billion euros.

“The Irish DPC has received a number of breach notifications from Facebook since the introduction of the GDPR on May 25, 2018,” a spokesperson for the watchdog was quoted as saying.

The fresh move came after Facebook on Friday said more than 1,500 apps built by 876 developers may have also been affected by the bug that exposed users’ unshared photos during a 12-day-period from September 13 to 25.

Facebook, in a statement, said it has fixed the breach and will roll out next week “tools for app developers that will allow them to determine which people using their app might be impacted by this bug”.

“Currently, we believe this may have affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers. The only apps affected by this bug were ones that Facebook approved to access the photos API and that individuals had authorised to access their photos.

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

“We’re sorry this happened,” said Facebook, adding that it will also notify the people potentially impacted by this bug via an alert.

The disclosure is another example of Facebook’s failure to properly protect users’ privacy that may drew more criticism of its privacy policy.

Earlier this month, Italian regulators fined Facebook 10 million euros for selling users’ data without informing them.

The competition watchdog handed Facebook two fines totalling 10 million euros, “also for discouraging users from trying to limit how the company shares their data”.

The Irish watchdog, which is Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe, in October opened a formal investigation into a data breach which affected 50 million users.

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“The investigation will examine Facebook’s compliance with its obligation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and safeguarding of the personal data it processes,” said the DPC.

The world’s largest social media network has been grilled over the past year for its mishandling of user data, including its involvement in a privacy scandal in March when Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy firm, was accused of illegally accessing the data of more than 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

The private information of Facebook users was alleged to be used to influence the US 2016 general elections in favour of President Donald Trump’s campaign. (IANS)