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Facebook Set To Face An International Committee Over Data Scandals

Facebook investors have increased pressure on Zuckerberg -- who faced intense scrutiny in US Congress earlier this year -- to step down as Chairman, which he refused

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Facebook
Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

After attending grilling sessions this year with lawmakers over data breaches and failure to tackle political interference, Facebook is again set to face an international committee consisting 22 members from seven countries.

Richard Allan, Vice President of Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), will face in London elected members from the Parliaments of Britain, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Latvia and Singapore next week.

“An unprecedented international grand committee comprising 22 representatives from seven parliaments will meet in London next week to put questions to Facebook about the online fake news crisis and the social network’s own string of data misuse scandals,” TechCrunch reported on Friday.

“The Committee offered the opportunity for him (CEO Mark Zuckerberg) to give evidence over video link, which was refused.

“Facebook has offered Richard Allan, vice president of policy solutions, which the Committee has accepted,” a spokesperson from Britain’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) parliamentary committee was quoted as saying.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

The committee has been formed in the wake of recent New York Times investigation that suggested that the social network hired a Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm that “dug up dirt on its competitors” and “the senior leadership team became aware of the breaches and the spread of Russian disinformation”.

Facebook investors have increased pressure on Zuckerberg — who faced intense scrutiny in US Congress earlier this year — to step down as Chairman, which he refused.

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Facebook’s outgoing Head of Communications and Policy Elliot Schrage has taken full responsibility for hiring the Republican-owned political consulting and PR firm Definers Public Affairs.

Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have now asked Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and new Head of Global Policy and Communications, to review all the work with communications consultants. (IANS)

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Facebook Reveals Millions of Instagram Passwords Stored on Servers

Facebook had found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

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instagram
The company on Thursday revealed that millions of passwords belonging to the users of its photo-sharing service Instagram were also exposed. Pixabay

A day after admitting it “unintentionally” uploaded emails of nearly 1.5 million of new users, Facebook has now revealed that millions of Instagram passwords were stored on its servers in a readable format.

Last month, Facebook said that it fixed a security issue wherein millions of its users’ passwords were stored in plain text and “readable” format for years and were searchable by thousands of its employees.

The company on Thursday revealed that millions of passwords belonging to the users of its photo-sharing service Instagram were also exposed.

facebook
The revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”. VOA

“We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users,” said the social networking giant in an update.

“We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed.”

Facebook had found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems.

“This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution will be notifying everyone whose passwords we found stored this way,” wrote Pedro Canahuati, Vice President, Engineering, Security and Privacy at Facebook.

instagram
“We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users,” said the social networking giant in an update. Pixabay

A Facebook spokesperson admitted late Wednesday that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

The revelation came to light after a security researcher noticed that “Facebook was asking some users to enter their email passwords when they signed up for new accounts to verify their identities”.

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The social network said the contacts weren’t shared with anyone and were being deleted.

In March, a report by Krebs On Security claimed that around 200-600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by over 20,000 Facebook employees. (IANS)