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Facebook Brings AI-powered Video Chat Speakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to a hearing in US Congress in April to explain the firm's privacy policies

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay
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Social media giant Facebook has unveiled a pair of artificial intelligence-powered smart video chat devices, Portal and Portal +, which are designed to connect people and feel like being in the same room.

Facebook on Monday said the new video communication speakers with tablet-size screens for the home can dramatically change the way people keep in touch and their built-in AI technology makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, Xinhua reported.

 The debut of the Facebook-brand-bearing electronic gadgets represents the social network’s first bold entry into the fray in a competition of consumer hardware with other internet giants such as Amazon and Google, which launched their smart speakers years ago.

The Portal, which is equipped with a 10-inch 1280×800 display, can let users video chat with their families and friends over Facebook Messenger, while the Portal + has a 15-inch 1920×1080 pivoting display.

Facebook said the two speakers are powered by AI as well as smart camera and sound technology that let users have a better, more convenience and hands-free experience. The speaker’s Smart Camera can sense the movement and action, and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

While the two Facebook-branded hardware makes consumers’ home smarter and better connected with family members, there is growing concern about user privacy that could arise from internet-related technology, especially after Facebook has been questioned about its privacy policy since a data breach scandal earlier this year.

Facebook has been extensively challenged about its security measures in protecting users’ sensitive data since a British data mining firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of illegally accessing the data of 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Also Read- Microsoft Cannot Recover Files Deleted by Windows 10 Update

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to a hearing in US Congress in April to explain the firm’s privacy policies.

Last month, Facebook reported vulnerabilities in its account login mechanism that could affect more than 90 million users, who risked having their private information including names and passwords accessed by hackers. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)