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Twitter Gets Investigated By Ireland Over Data Collection

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages

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This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. According to a study released Jan. 24, 2019, a tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more. VOA

 Twitter is reportedly facing an investigation by privacy regulators in Ireland over data collection in its link-shortening system, the media reported.

Privacy regulators in Ireland have launched an investigation into exactly how much data Twitter collects from t.co, its URL-shortening system, The Verge reported late on Saturday.

The investigation stems from a request made by UK professor Michael Veale under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a comprehensive European privacy law under which EU citizens have a right to request any data collected on them from a given company.

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Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, left, accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey are sworn in before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But when Veale made that request to Twitter, the company claimed it had no data from its link-shortening service. The professor was sceptical, and wrote to the relevant privacy regulator to see if Twitter was holding back some of his data.

Now, that investigation seems to be underway. The investigation, first reported by Fortune, is confirmed in a letter obtained by The Verge, sent to Veale by the office of the Irish Data Privacy Commissioner, the report said.

Initially designed as a way to save characters in the limited space of a tweet, link-shortening has also proved to be an effective tool at fighting malware and gathering rudimentary analytics.

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Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign influence operations and their use of social media on Capitol Hill. VOA

Those analytics services can also present a significant privacy risk when used in private messages.

Also Read: Facebook Tackles Fake News, Deletes Almost 800 Accounts

Both Facebook and Twitter have faced lawsuits for collecting data on links shared in private messages, although no wrong-doing was conclusively established in either case. (IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Announces First Browser API for Google Chrome

"We hope to continue driving new APIs and to ramp up our contributions to open source web browsers,”

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FILE - An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

Social networking giant Facebook has announced its first major API contribution to Googles Chrome browser that is focused on making user experience smoother and faster shortening the time between a click or keystroke and the browser reacting to that.

In computer programming, API is a set of functions and procedures that supports the creation of applications which later access features or data that is part of an operating system (OS), application or other service.

“We are excited to share that the ‘Chrome 74’ release will include the origin trial for our ‘isInputPending’ API. We hope to take developer feedback from this trial and use it to make the case for fully shipping the API,” Nate Schloss and Andrew Comminos, software engineers at Facebook wrote in a blog-post on Monday.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

This process of bringing its own API to the Chrome browser marks the new method of developing web standards at the company.

According to the post, Facebook’s “isInputPending” API is now part of a larger effort to build scheduling primitives into the web.

Also Read- Self-driving Tesla Robotaxi Coming in 2020, Claims Elon Musk

The social networking giant would make trial of its new API on Chrome available for developers who “are looking to get rid of queuing delays and improve interaction and loading performance”.

“We hope to continue driving new APIs and to ramp up our contributions to open source web browsers,” Schloss and Comminos said. (IANS)