Thursday February 21, 2019
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Facebook Says It Can’t Protect Users Alone Day After Stock Collapses

Facing global backlash over data scandals, Facebook stock nosedived 20 per cent -- wiping over $120 billion off the company's market value in a single day

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Facebook plans sprawling office near Microsoft headquarters. IANS

Facing an intense public scrutiny over data leaks amid privacy concerns, Facebook has now called for the entire tech industry to come and protect people’s data.

According to David Baser, Director of Product Management at Facebook, nearly every day, news comes out from a different company about personal data that got into the wrong hands.

“Even if we’re all taking steps to shore up our privacy protections, we won’t find the answers in a silo. Companies are connected and our technology ecosystem can’t be reversed.

“So we need to work together on standards and best practices to make data portability a reality while also prioritizing people’s privacy and security,” Baser said in a blog post late on Thursday.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter last week announced that they will join the open source initiative called Data Transfer Project (DTP).

In the early stages at the moment, the Data Transfer Project will help users of one service to use their data to sign up for another service with encryption.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

According to Facebook, some of the world’s most popular apps have been built on its platform and the flow of information has the potential for abuse.

“Bad actors can gather information from people and use it in ways that they aren’t aware of and didn’t agree too, like selling personal data to marketers.

“Facebook has clear policies against this, but as we saw with the Cambridge Analytica situation, bad actors are more than willing to ignore these policies in pursuit of their own objectives,” Baser said.

Some argue that the best response to Cambridge Analytica would be to lock Facebook down completely so apps can’t get access to this kind of information but according to Facebook, limiting people’s ability to share information would erase the conveniences they enjoy.

Also Read: Facebook Rolls Out ‘Watch Party’ Communal Video Viewing Option to All Groups

“We need to find the right balance, giving people control over data sharing and preventing abuse without hampering people’s experiences or hindering innovation,” said Baser.

Facing global backlash over data scandals, Facebook stock nosedived 20 per cent — wiping over $120 billion off the company’s market value in a single day — after its revenue and user growth in the second quarter of 2018 fell short of investor expectations.

The social media giant reported 2.23 billion monthly active users — an increase of 11 per cent (year-over-year) which was its slowest growth in more than two years. (IANS)

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Social Networking Giant Facebook Interested in Blockchain-based Authentication, Says Mark Zuckerberg

According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change

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Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg. VOA

You may soon login to Facebook with Blockchain-based authentication, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain late on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

“I’m thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services,” Mark Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

According to him, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps.

Facebook last year promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its recently launched Blockchain division.

Earlier in May, Facebook set up a group within the company to explore Blockchain technology and its potential use for the platform, headed by Messenger chief David Marcus.

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Media reports also said Facebook was exploring to develop its own cryptocurrency.

Facebook has over 2.3 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin.

In a statement, Facebook said: “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology”.

Also Read- Whatsapp Security Bug Allows iPhone Users Bypass Security Controls

According to The Verge, the risk of further data-sharing scandals is one of the main reasons why Facebook is wary of implementing the change.

“You basically take your information, you store it on some decentralised system and you have the choice of whether to log in different places and you’re not going through an intermediary. There’s a lot of things that I think would be quite attractive about that,” said Mark Zuckerberg. (IANS)