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Microsoft faces flak over changes in service agreement

Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service

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Microsoft introduces its Surface Pro Indian markets. Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft CEO makes major changes in his team. Wikimedia Commons
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Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service through which the company has the right to review user’s content without their consent. The new rules prohibit users from using Microsoft’s services to “publicly display or share inappropriate content or material” including “offensive language” and nudity, Fortune reported.

According to civil rights activist Jonathan Corbett, the term “offensive language” is ambiguous as its definition varies from person to person.

Microsoft’s new privacy policy allows it to see users’ content without their permission.

Trash-talking is a regular occurrence among Xbox Live players. “If I call someone a mean name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but also confiscate any funds I’ve deposited in my account?” he asked.

The activist noted that couples who engage in sexy video chats when they’re separated could not only be banned but also monitored. “In 2018, when anyone can be offended by anything, these terms allow Microsoft staff to play unrestrained censor if and when they choose,” Corbett was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Three users sue Facebook over call, text data scraping

“What’s also clear is that they reserve the right to go through your private data and these terms seem to pretty clearly allow them to watch and listen to your Skype calls, so long as they are ‘investigating’ something. The terms don’t appear to require any complaint to be filed against you-just that an employee deciding that they want to investigate,” he added.

The criticism comes at a time when several tech giants, especially Facebook, are facing the heat over users’ privacy and data sharing. On Tuesday, the US Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it was investigating Facebook after the leak of personal and other data on some 50 million users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

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Users’ data is in great risk with this step. Wikimedia Commons

The German government on Monday said the social media giant would get stricter regulations in the country. Meanwhile, Apple chief Tim Cook and IBM chair Ginni Rometty have also called for more measures to ensure user data protection. IANS

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Facebook Takes Action on The Terror-Related Content

Facebook took action on 1.9mn terror-related content

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Facebook page.
Facebook. Pixabay

Facebook took action on 1.9 million pieces of content related to the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda in the first quarter of 2018, twice as much as the last quarter of 2017.

The key part is that Facebook found the vast majority of this content on its own.

“In Q1 2018, 99 per cent of the IS and Al Qaeda content we took action on was not user reported,” Monika Bickert, Vice President of Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a blog post late on Monday.

“Taking action” means that Facebook removed the vast majority of this content and added a warning to a small portion that was shared for informational or counter speech purposes.

The Facebook's image.
Facebook. Pixabay

“This number likely understates the total volume, because when we remove a profile, Page or Group for violating our policies, all of the corresponding content becomes inaccessible.

But we don’t go back through to classify and label every individual piece of content that supported terrorism,” explained Brian Fishman, Global Head of Counterterrorism Policy at Facebook.

Facebook now has a counter-terrorism team of 200 people, up from 150 in June 2017.

Also Read: British Campaigner Sues Facebook Over Fake Ads

“We have built specialised techniques to surface and remove older content. Of the terrorism-related content we removed in Q1 2018, more than 600,000 pieces were identified through these mechanisms,” the blog post said.

“We’re under no illusion that the job is done or that the progress we have made is enough,” said Facebook.

“Terrorist groups are always trying to circumvent our systems, so we must constantly improve,” the company added.  IANS

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