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Tracking non-users; What is Facebook up to?

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The most popular social networking site, Facebook, admitted that it tracked users not active on FB.

However it claimed that the report commissioned by the Belgian data protection authority ‘gets it wrong multiple times’ on what exactly FaceBook does with the user data. According to the social media giant, tracking happened because of a bug that is now being fixed.

Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of policy for Europe wrote, “The researchers did find a bug that may have sent cookies to some people when they weren’t on Facebook. This was not our intention; a fix for this is already under way.”

Allan responded to a few claims of the report which were presented by researchers at the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT (ICRI) and the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography department (Cosic) at the University of Leuven, and the media, information and telecommunication department (Smit) at Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

What is interesting is that Facebook claimed in a press release that “there’s no way to opt out of social ads” while the report states that “users can opt-out from so-called Social Ads”.

“Facebook does receive standard ‘web impressions’, or website visit information, when people visit sites with our plug-ins or other integrations. The authors misleadingly call this ‘tracking’,” “Unlike many companies, we explain how we will use this information and the controls we honor and offer,” said Allan.

Allan also wrote that Facebook is very much open about use of cookies for security, personalization and ads.

The Belgian Privacy Commission will be giving its verdict on the report on 29 April.

Meanwhile, things are getting hot for FaceBook. A team of data regulators from Belgium, France, Spain and Italy has been set up to look into Facebook’s privacy practices. Flemish, Dutch and European parliaments have also called for closer inspection of the company.

Next Story

Facebook, T-Hub Pick 10 Indian Start-ups for Support Programme

The other start-ups that were shortlisted include Greenturn Idea Factory, Sensegrass, Marut Drones, Shortlist Professionals and Innerhouse

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Social media giant Facebook and T-Hub, a Hyderabad-based global start-up catalyst, on Wednesday announced the 10 start-ups they have selected for the second edition of their “India Innovation Accelerator” programme.

Announced in May, the programme will support the growth of start-ups focused on finding solutions for social challenges using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas of good health and wellbeing, agriculture, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic opportunities, industry, innovation & infrastructure, climate change and peace and justice and strong institutions.

“At Facebook, we believe Artificial Intelligence will be key to finding disruptive solutions to address societal challenges like access, affordability, and skill shortage. We are excited to champion next generation of tech start-ups applying AI for social good and accelerate their development by giving them access to expertise,” Manish Chopra, Head and Director of Partnerships, Facebook India, said in a statement.

The 10 cohort start-ups include Mumbai-based ftcash which aims to empower micro-merchants and small businesses with the power of credit using digital payments.

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FILE – Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc’s F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, United States. VOA

While another start-up, StaTwig, is building Blockchain based solutions to ensure that every child is vaccinated with high quality vaccines, Signzy has built a digital trust infrastructure which enables completely secure digital on-boarding using the AI assisted on-boarding (RealKYC), Algorithmic Risk Intelligence (ARI), and Blockchain technology to store and verify consumer information.

Blue Sky Analytics, a geospatial data intelligence start-up, and Pensieve that aims to democratise legal data and make it accessible to the common man were also selected.

Also Read: Google Closes its Controversial Chinese Search Engine Project

The other start-ups that were shortlisted include Greenturn Idea Factory, Sensegrass, Marut Drones, Shortlist Professionals and Innerhour.

The India Innovation Accelerator will support the growth of these start-ups in many ways. A panel of mentors, industry experts, investors, will provide hands on operational support and mentoring with specialised training on product development, marketing, partnerships, management. (IANS)