Wednesday January 16, 2019
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WhatsApp asked not to share data with Facebook

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Whatsapp and Telegram
A WhatsApp logo is seen behind a smartphone, Feb. 20, 2014. Authorities in Afghanistan are temporarily blocking WhatsApp and Telegram social media services in the country. VOA

France’s privacy watchdog has issued a formal notice to WhatsApp, asking the popular mobile messaging app to stop sharing user data with the parent company Facebook within a month. The Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) had asked WhatsApp to provide a sample of the French users’ data transferred to Facebook.

“The company explained that it could not supply the sample requested by the CNIL since it is located in the US, it considers that it is only subject to the legislation of this (US) country,” CNIL posted on its website late on Monday. “As a result, the Chair of the CNIL decided to issue a formal notice to the company WhatsApp to comply with the Data Protection Act within one month,” it added.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014. On August 25, 2016, WhatsApp released a new version of its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy where it explained that “from now on, its users’ data are transferred to Facebook for three purposes: targeted advertising, security and evaluation and improvement of services (business intelligence)”.

“While the security purpose seems to be essential to the efficient functioning of the application, it is not the case for the ‘business intelligence’ purpose which aims at improving performances and optimising the use of the application through the analysis of its users’ behaviour,” noted Chair of the CNIL.

Facebook data
The new guidelines may violate the security concerns of some nations

The watchdog considered that the data transfer for “business intelligence” purpose is not based on the legal basis required by the Data Protection Act for any processing. It then decided to send a formal public notice in order to ensure the highest level of transparency on the massive data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook Inc. and, thus, to alert to the need for individuals concerned to keep their data under control.

This is not the first incident where WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing has been condemned. Germany has also ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp users. After repeated criticism, Facebook also agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in the UK. IANS

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Facebook To Invest Over $300 mn to Support Local News

"This year, we'll commit over $20 million to continue our local 'Accelerator' programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe," said Brown

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Facebook
Facebook commits $300 mn to support local news. Pixabay

Facebook has announced to invest over $300 million over the next three years to support local news organisations.

In a blog post, Campbell Brown, Vice President, Global News Partnerships, said that Facebook wants to support local journalists and newsrooms with their news gathering needs in the immediate future and help these organisations build sustainable business models, through both its product and partnership work.

“We heard one consistent answer: people want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support. That’s why today we’re announcing an expanded effort around local news in the years ahead,” Brown said late on Tuesday.

In 2018, Google also committed $300 million for over three years to strengthen quality journalism, support sustainable business models and empower newsrooms through technological innovation.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

It was also committing to spend $300 million over the next three years on its various journalism-related projects.

According to Facebook, it would invest $300 million in news programmes, partnerships and content.

Among the components is a Pulitzer Centre — a $5 million endowment gift to launch “Bringing Stories Home”, a gift that will provide local newsrooms across the US with reporting grants to foster coverage on topics that affect local communities.

Also Read- Microsoft to End All Support For ‘Windows 7’ in 2020

“Report for America” is a $2 million investment in the initiative to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms across America over the next five years.

“This year, we’ll commit over $20 million to continue our local ‘Accelerator’ programme in the US and to expand the model globally, including in Europe,” said Brown. (IANS)