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  1. Three big questions about Facebook’s new VR ads Lots of people saw this coming, but what will it look like? Yesterday, Facebook took a leap many people have been predicting for years: it started putting ads inside virtual reality. The company launched a limited test of advertisements inside three Oculus Quest apps, saying it would expand the system based on user feedback. The move is a turning point for Oculus, bringing one of Facebook’s most controversial features into a medium that inspires both idealism and alarm. And it raises three big q
  2. Facebook begins tying social media use to ads served inside its VR ecosystem Announcement doubles down on Facebook account requirement for Oculus hardware. Everything we've feared about the Facebookening of Oculus and its virtual reality ecosystem is starting to come true. A Wednesday blog post has confirmed that Oculus, the VR-specific arm of Facebook, is now displaying advertisements in select VR games and apps to their players. As Facebook has since emphasized in emails sent directly to the press, these ads will leverage "first-party
  3. Facebook’s Head of Oculus and VR Is Leaving the Company Facebook Hugo Barra, who has served as VP of Facebook Reality Labs for the past four years — overseeing the social giant’s Oculus team and its VR and augmented reality development projects — is exiting his post. Barra announced his departure in a Facebook post Monday, saying May 17 is his last day at the company. He said he plans to “explore the healthcare technology space” in his next venture: “I hope to be able to apply what I’ve learned from working in the consumer tech industry to help solve meaningful
  4. GDPR regulators are urged to enforce an Europe-wide ban Germany has banned Facebook to collect data on WhatsApp users within the country's borders. According to the Hamburg Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commission (HmbBfDI), the app's new data collection policies, as well as Facebook's aggressive efforts to persuade users to accept, tamper with the GDPR regulations. In a press release, HmbBfDI commissioner Johannes Caspar stated that Facebook has a history of user-privacy abuse, citing the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the recent lea
  5. Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's VR future: New sensors on Quest Pro, fitness and a metaverse for work Exclusive: Facebook's CEO talks about what the next headset could bring, how fitness plays into the picture, and whether there will be kid accounts for VR anytime soon. Brett Pearce/CNET Five years after Facebook released its very first PC VR headset, and over a year into the pandemic, VR has been getting a closer look in a world where remote work has become standard and virtual life has become normal even without headsets. I met with Mark Zuckerberg in pe
  6. Facebook Acquires ‘Onward’ Developer Downpour Interactive in Fourth VR Studio Acquisition Facebook today announced its fourth VR studio acquisition. This time it’s Downpour Interactive, the studio behind the popular VR shooter Onward which has been continuously developed since its Early Access launch on PC back in 2016. More recently the game launched on Oculus Quest where it has become one of the headset’s most popular titles. Facebook announced the acquisition today on the Oculus blog, saying that it is “eager to support Dante [CEO] and Downpour Interacti
  7. A New Facebook Bug Exposes Millions of Email Addresses A recently discovered vulnerability discloses user email addresses even when they’re set to private. PHOTOGRAPH: MIRAGEC/GETTY IMAGES STILL SMARTING FROM last month's dump of phone numbers belonging to 500 million Facebook users, the social media giant has a new privacy crisis to contend with: a tool that, on a massive scale, links Facebook accounts with their associated email addresses, even when users choose settings to keep them from being public. A video circulating
  8. A Tale of 3 Data 'Leaks': Clubhouse, LinkedIn, Facebook Confusion Over Hacking, Scraping and Amassing Highlights Data Lockdown Imperative Post to cybercrime forum describes Clubhouse user data being offered for sale Criminals love to amass and sell vast quantities of user data, but not all data leaks necessarily pose a risk to users. Even so, the ease with which would-be attackers can amass user data is a reminder to organizations to lock down inappropriate access as much as possible. That's a takeaway experts offer after large tranches of data
  9. Personal data for 533 million Facebook users leaks on the web It had been circulating privately since January. Tim Bennett on Unsplash Hackers were reportedly sharing a massive amount of personal Facebook data in January, and now that data appears to have escaped into the wild. According to Business Insider, security researcher Alon Gal has discovered that a user on a hacking forum has made the entire dataset public, exposing details for about 533 million Facebook members. The data includes phone numbers, birth dates, email addresses and locations, amon
  10. The UK Is Trying to Stop Facebook's End-to-End Encryption The government's latest attack is aimed at discouraging the company from following through with its planned rollout across platforms. Photograph: Dan Kenyon/Getty Images The UK is planning a new attack on end-to-end encryption, with the Home Office set to spearhead efforts designed to discourage Facebook from further rolling out the technology to its messaging apps.
  11. Supreme Court rules Facebook text alerts not akin to robocalls © Getty Images The Supreme Court on Thursday sided unanimously with Facebook, ruling that a notification system the social media giant employs to alert users to suspicious logins does not run afoul of a federal law aimed at curbing robocalls and automated text messages. The decision derailed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to hold Facebook liable under a 1991 law that imposed a general ban on automated calls. The justices found that Facebook’s opt-in security notific
  12. Facebook disables cyber espionage operation from Chinese group against Uyghur activists Facebook regularly discloses methodologies that it is utilizing to secure its platform from cyberattacks and other malicious activities. Now, the company has announced that its security teams have disabled operations against Uyghur activists. These were being carried out by a group in China known as "Evil Eye" or "Earth Empusa". According to Facebook, these attacks were being predominantly carried out against journalists and activists from the Uyghurs of Xinjiang in Chin
  13. Facebook finally explains its mysterious new wrist wearable Will we be able to trust it with a new form of personal data? (Probably not.) Enlarge / Facebook is developing a wrist-worn wearable that senses nerve activity that controls your hands and fingers. The design could enable new types of human-computer interactions. Facebook It first appeared on March 9 as a tweet on Andrew Bosworth’s timeline, the tiny corner of the Internet that offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a Facebook executive these days. Bos
  14. Facebook Paid Out $50K for Vulnerabilities Allowing Access to Internal Systems A researcher says he has earned more than $50,000 from Facebook after discovering vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to gain access to some of the social media giant’s internal systems. Cybersecurity engineer and bug bounty hunter Alaa Abdulridha revealed in December 2020 that he had earned $7,500 from Facebook for discovering a vulnerability in a service apparently used by the company’s legal department. The researcher said the security hole could have been exploited to reset the
  15. Facebook enables the use of hardware security keys on mobile devices Facebook is expanding support for physical security keys to mobile devices in order to help users secure their accounts. The site already offers multi-factor authentication via SMS or authenticator apps, but adding support for hardware keys offers users another means of supplementing their passwords and keeping their accounts more secure. Security keys are the strongest authentication method available. Even if someone does get hold of a Facebook password, they won't be able to p
  16. A federal judge on Friday approved a $650 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users. U.S. District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class-action lawsuit that was filed in Illinois in 2015. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois who submitted claims will be affected. Donato called it one of the largest settlements ever for a privacy violation. “It will put at least $345 into the hands of every class member interested in being comp
  17. Facebook to reverse Australia news ban after lawmakers alter bill Australian Facebook users' News Feeds can once again have actual news in them. Enlarge / Facebook's Menlo Park, California, headquarters as seen in 2017. Jason Doiy | Getty Images Facebook has apparently emerged victorious from its standoff with the entire nation of Australia, as lawmakers in that country have agreed to amend a proposed law that would have required Facebook to pay publishers for news content linked on its platform. The
  18. Facebook news ban is “arrogant,” Australia will not be “intimidated,” PM says Deploying a blunt instrument on a whole nation is going just as well as you'd guess. Enlarge / News is still very much happening both around the world and in Australia... but you wouldn't know it if you're one of the tens of millions of Australian Facebook users. Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images A long-simmering battle between tech firms and the government of Australia became explosive yesterday when Facebook announced that it would block al
  19. Facebook will block Australian users and publishers from sharing news links in response to new bill Facebook decided against cutting deals with media partners Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Facebook has decided to block both Australian users and media companies from sharing links to news articles and related content on its main social network, following the country’s proposed landmark regulatory measure that would force tech giants to pay Australian news organizations for using t
  20. Big Tech opens wallet for publishers as Australian news code looms Google and Facebook strike deals in effort to stymie rules on paying for content. Enlarge / Close-up photography John Lamb | Getty Images Google and Facebook are rushing to agree to deals with Australian publishers, offering them the most generous licensing terms in the world in an attempt to persuade Canberra not to apply rules forcing tech groups to pay for news. MPs began debating legislation on Wednesday to enact the news media ba
  21. Facebook's next attempt at hardware may be a smartwatch A report suggests Facebook's first watch could go on sale next year. Pheelings Media via Getty Images Facebook's past forays into hardware have had mixed results, ranging from well-regarded Oculus VR headsets to an ill-fated phone tie-up with HTC. Now The Information cites anonymous sources saying the company will try again with a smartwatch that includes a built-in cellular connection. The report claims an initial version could arrive next year powered by an open-source version of Android, with a fol
  22. We uncovered a Facebook phishing campaign that tricked nearly 500,000 users in two weeks Our investigation into a malicious Facebook Messenger message uncovered a large-scale phishing operation on Facebook. We also potentially identified the threat actor behind the phishing campaign and his intentions. “Is that you” is a phishing scam circulating on Facebook in various forms since at least 2017. It begins with a Facebook message sent by one of your friends. The “friend” claims to have found a video or image with you featured in it. The message
  23. Covid-19 Vaccine Scams Spread Under Facebook and Telegram's Watch Don’t use an iTunes gift card to purchase doses of the vaccine online. A health worker prepares a Covid-19 vaccine injection.Photograph: ALAIN JOCARD/Getty Images Scammers have flooded Facebook and other social media platforms with Covid-19 scams for almost as long as the disease has had a name. Now, as desperation builds for access to a limited vaccine supply, internet charlatans have escala
  24. In its first rulings, Facebook’s Oversight Board overturns four of five cases Facebook Inc.’s Oversight Board has ruled that four of five cases where Facebook had taken down content should be reversed. Almost a year ago to the day, Facebook announced that it would soon start implementing a third-party review board to oversee its decisions regarding what it removes from the platform, although it wasn’t until December that the first cases were chosen. Facebook said then that the group of academics, media specialists and human rights advocates, wou
  25. Facebook Ad Services Let Anyone Target US Military Personnel Researchers warn that an advertising platform with categories like “Army” and “United States Air Force Security Forces” could be abused. The stakes are much higher should active duty members of the US military face misinformation online that could impact their understanding of world events or expose them to scams.Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images The spread of misinformation on social media plat
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