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As the debate rages over new WhatsApp data sharing policy, another Facebook family product called Messenger does not offer any end-to-end protection and is more prone to data breach, a security expert has claimed, adding that Messenger users should opt for safer apps first.
According to cybersecurity specialist Zak Doffman, we should stop using Facebook Messenger as there is no proper protection of our messages, reports Forbes.
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WhatsApp emphasises that it cannot see your private messages, nor listen to your calls, and neither can Facebook.
However, according to Doffman, if you are a Messenger user, you do not have the same data encryption. “In reality, the WhatsApp debacle has distracted attention away from just how bad Messenger’s invasion of your privacy is. There is no justification for it,” he wrote in the article.
The end-to-end encryption that protects WhatsApp messages does not apply to Facebook Messenger, unless you are using a “secret conversation” on the platform.
This option only supports messages between two people, not within groups, and must be activated manually. “When it is selected, it stops Facebook snooping on your messages and downloading your links and attachments”, he noted.
According to the security expert, if you are on Facebook Messenger, you need to quickly move to safer chat platforms than you are on WhatsApp that still offers end-to-end encryption. There are over 1.3 billion Messenger users globally and Facebook Messenger is expected to grow to 2.4 billion users by 2021.
More than 20 billion messages are exchanged between business and users monthly on Facebook Messenger.
“The advice now is simple. If you’re still on Messenger or if you’re using Instagram DMs for anything other than engaging with companies you’re buying from or casual contacts, then it’s time to switch,” Doffman said. (IANS)
In a fresh bid to allow cross-messaging among its family of apps, Facebook has reportedly started merging Instagram and Messenger chats.
First spotted by The Verge, the update is for both iOS and Android devices.
The update comes with the message: “There’s a New Way to Message on Instagram”.
“Once you hit the update, the regular DM icon in the top right of Instagram is replaced by the Facebook Messenger logo,” the report mentioned.
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Currently, the functionality to message Facebook users from Instagram is not possible. Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. In another step to integrate its family of apps that are being used by 3.14 billion users globally, Facebook has also integrated Messenger rooms with WhatsApp on the Web.
People can now access Messenger Rooms which allow group video calls of up to 50 people with no time limit via WhatsApp on the desktop.
The Messenger Rooms integration is yet to arrive on WhatsApp on mobile. The world of social media is soon going to change as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg inches closer to fulfill its dream of integrating all his services into one cross-platform movement of personal data among Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Zuckerberg has revealed his plans to integrate its chat services to let billions of users message one another across platforms. Calling it a long-term project, Zuckerberg had said the cross-app functionality will happen in 2020 or beyond.
More than the commercial benefits of the chat integration between the apps, he said he was concerned about data encryption. (IANS)
Facebook has rolled out a new ‘Care’ reaction on Facebook desktop and app to help people share their support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The social media giant is gradually rolling out the care emoji to users. A number of people have already received the new emojis, however, for the majority of users, they will start appearing over the next few days.
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The new reactions joins the classic thumbs up, heart, laugher, shock, sadness and anger options that have been available since reactions launched in 2015.
Fidji Simo, the head of the Facebook app, recently told USA TODAY the new reaction option is meant as a sign of caring and solidarity when commenting on a status, comment, photo or video.
“This idea of a hug reaction came back consistently as one of the emotions and feelings that were missing from reactions. So that’s something that was always on our minds,” the report quoted Simo as saying.
Meanwhile, on Messenger users will get a new pulsating heart reaction.
The company earlier stated that the new set of reactions have been designed to give users additional ways to display their support to those affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. (IANS)
Facebook is not doing enough to safeguard children on its Messenger Kids app and their privacy is at risk, US Democratic Senators have stressed.
Responding to Facebook’s reply to their earlier letter, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said that Facebook has to do a lot better to protect kids on its Messenger Kids platform, The Verge reported on Wednesday.
“Facebook’s response gives little reassurance to parents that Messenger Kids is a safe place for children today,” the Senators said.
“We are particularly disappointed that Facebook did not commit to undertaking a comprehensive review of Messenger Kids to identify additional bugs or privacy issues,” they added.
Facebook in July admitted a design flaw in its Messenger Kids Service that exposed thousands of children on group chats with unauthorised users.
The concerned Senators shot a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on August 6, asking him to explain what exactly is happening.
“Children’s privacy and safety online should be Messenger Kids’ top priority. Your company has a responsibility to meet its promise to parents that children are not exposed to unapproved contacts, a promise that it appears that Facebook has not fulfilled,” they wrote.
In a reply on Wednesday, Facebook Public Policy Vice President Kevin Martin said: “We believe… that Messenger Kids complies with COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) and we are committed to continually improving it to ensure that we not only comply with COPPA but also meet and exceed the high standards of parents and families.”
However, the Facebook reply failed to satisfy the Senators.
“If Facebook wants children and parents’ trust, it has to do a lot better than this. That means dropping Facebook’s current whack-a-mole method and taking a proactive approach that makes privacy and security the platform’s number one priority –particularly for kids,” the Senators noted.
The social networking platform introduced Messenger Kids in 2017 and is aimed at kids under 13 years of age.
Messenger Kids is a video chat and messaging app designed for kids to communicate with family and close friends that parents or caregivers approve.
Parents set up and manage their child’s Messenger Kids account through their own Facebook account.
Facing the flak from lawmakers and experts, Facebook in February this year decided not to build a new app called “LOL” to let children share and post humorous meme content.
Instead, the social media giant said it would focus more on its Messenger Kids service. (IANS)