Tuesday October 15, 2019
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Users’ Data Privacy hits Facebook Research on Fake News

Facebook was fined $201,865 dollars for the breach and nearly $79,000 for failing to provide notice of the breach

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Social Media, Facebook, Authenticity, Posts
The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple's App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

A research initiative launched in cooperation with Facebook in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit a roadblock as the social media platform is not keen to provide more sensitive and detailed data without compromising user privacy.

According to a Nature report on Thursday, the US-based research initiative funded 12 projects that were designed to investigate topics such as the spread of fake news and how social media was used in recent elections globally.

“Last month, the 8 charitable funders – which so far have provided a total of up to $600,000 for the scheme called the Social Media and Democracy Research Grants programme – gave Facebook time until 30 September to provide the full data set or said they would begin winding up the programme,” the report elaborated.

Following this, Facebook released a further data set, but not the full range originally promised.

“Other partners that are involved in the project say they are continuing their efforts to build a computing infrastructure that allows the company to share its data with researchers, irrespective of the funders’ decisions,” the Nature report further said.

“This is one of the largest sets of links ever to be created for academic research on this topic. We are working hard to deliver on additional demographic fields while safeguarding individual people’s privacy,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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

There are multiple calls to break up Facebook in the wake of several data breaches and spread of misinformation on the platform used by billions of users.

Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, recently said that he firmly believes that simply breaking them up will not make the problems go away.

“The real solutions will only come through new, smart regulation instead,” he added.

Turkey on Thursday fined social media giant Facebook for over $281,000 for a data breach that exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of users in the country.

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Facebook exposed the name, gender, birthday, relationship status, educational background, religion, hometown, personal data and location information of 280,959 users, said the Personal Data Protection Authority — Turkey’s watchdog agency for data privacy.

Facebook was fined $201,865 dollars for the breach and nearly $79,000 for failing to provide notice of the breach. (IANS)

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Facebook Raises Questions Over EU Ruling on Removing Content

In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a "very troubling precedent"

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Facebook has raised objections over the European Union (EU) ruling that the bloc’s member countries can not only order the removal of content in their own jurisdiction, but all over the world.

According to the social networking giant, the ruling opens the door for courts to order the removal of content that is similar to the illegal speech, “meaning that something you posted might be removed even if you knew nothing about the earlier post that a European country had deemed illegal”.

“Imagine something you wrote and shared on Facebook was taken down, not because it violated our rules, and not because it broke the law in your country, but because someone was able to use different laws in another country to have it removed,” Monika Bickert, VP, Global Policy Management at Facebook, said in a statement on Monday.

“Imagine as well that your speech was deemed illegal not by a judge who carefully weighed the facts, but by automated tools and technology,” she added.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Facebook can be forced to remove content internationally.

The ruling arose from a personal defamation case brought by an Austrian politician.

The post in question shared a news article in which the Austrian politician had outlined her and her party’s views on immigration, together with a comment from a Facebook user strongly critiquing the Austrian politician.

facebook, WhatsApp, stories, feature
An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

The court’s ruling raises critical questions for freedom of expression, in two key respects, said Bickert.

First, it undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on another country.

“This is especially important with laws governing speech, because what is legally acceptable varies considerably in different parts of the world and even within the EU. The ruling also opens the door for other countries around the world, including non-democratic countries who severely limit speech, to demand the same power,” said Facebook.

Second, the ruling might lead to a situation in which private internet companies could be forced to rely on automated technologies to police and remove “equivalent” illegal speech.

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In a public Q&A, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said that the ruling sets a “very troubling precedent”.

“We have had precedents but we have successfully fought them. This is one where a lot of the details of exactly how this gets implemented are going to depend on national courts across Europe, and what they define as the same content versus roughly equivalent content.

“This is something we and other services will be litigating and getting clarity on what this means. I know we talk about free expression as a value and I thought this was a fairly troubling development,” Zuckerberg added. (IANS)