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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. UK’s competition watchdog still eyeing Facebook’s Giphy buy The UK’s competition regulator will make a decision on whether or not Facebook’s purchase of Giphy has a ‘realistic prospect’ of substantially lessening competition by March 25, it said today, as it continues to scrutinize the acquisition. “The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) hereby gives notice pursuant to paragraph (b) of the definition of ‘initial period’ in section 34ZA(3) of the [Enterprise] Act that it has sufficient information in relation to the completed acquisition by Facebook, Inc of Gi
  12. Facebook inexplicably logs out iPhone users It's not just you -- Facebook seemingly logged out everyone's iPhone on Friday night. NurPhoto via Getty Images Facebook isn’t down, but it did start an odd trending topic on Twitter Friday night as confused iPhone owners tried to figure out why the social network logged them out. I haven’t found an explanation for why this happened, but it appears that everyone accessing the app via an iOS app has to log back in, and many people who use SMS two-factor authentication were initially having trouble reconnecting.
  13. Facebook claims it's AI can help predict the need for better Covid-19 care A part of enhancing its own relevance? (Image credit: Shutterstock) When it comes to timing its announcements, Facebook can teach a lesson or two to its competitors. Precisely when the social media giant was in the eye of a storm over Whatsapp's new privacy guidelines, the company has come out with a prescription for the healthcare industry working overtime in Covid-19 cure. In an elaborate blog post, Facebook says that it cou
  14. WhatsApp to delay new privacy policy amid mass confusion about Facebook data sharing The new update will now go out on May 15th Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge WhatsApp on Friday announced a three-month delay of a new privacy policy originally slated to go into effect on February 8th following widespread confusion over whether the new policy would mandate data sharing with Facebook. The update does not in fact affect data sharing with Facebook with regard
  15. Facebook on Desktop redirecting to Messenger I'm using Facebook for work predominantly, e.g. to post new article links on the site to the users who follow Ghacks on Facebook. Today, I noticed that I could not access the messages anymore that other users were sending me on Facebook. A click on the messages icon on Facebook redirected automatically to the Messenger.com website. It is quite inconvenient to use that site on the desktop next to Facebook, just for reading and replying to messages. I got a sign-in prompt, but I did not really want to sign-in to the site. I closed the tab and t
  16. Facebook suspends ads for weapon accessories until at least January 22nd The company added the temporary ban to its Inauguration Day preparations Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Facebook has updated its Inauguration Day preparations to include a temporary ban on ads that promote weapon accessories and protective equipment at least through January 22nd “out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a new blog post Saturday. “We already prohibit ads for weapons, ammunition and weapon enhancements like silencers. But we will now also prohibit ads
  17. How to delete your Facebook account It may be time to leave the world’s biggest social network llustration by Alex Castro / The Verge \\If you’ve finally given up on the world’s most popular social media network, it’s not too complicated to remove yourself from the service. But before you delete all of those pictures, posts, and likes, you should download your personal information from Facebook. Your Facebook archives contain just about all of the pertinent information related to your account, including your photos, active sessions, chat history, IP
  18. Facebook sues two Chrome extension devs for scraping user data Facebook filed a lawsuit today in Portugal against browser extension maker Oink and Stuff. Image: Kon Karampelas Facebook filed a lawsuit today in Portugal against two Portuguese nationals for developing browser extensions that scraped user data from Facebook sites. "When people installed these extensions on their browsers, they were installing concealed code designed to scrape their information from the Facebook website, but also information from the users' browsers unrelated to Facebook — a
  19. Turkey starts antitrust investigation into WhatsApp, Facebook Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns. Turkey has a history of acting against social-media platforms in ways that activists say is meant to stifle dissent(image source: Bloomberg) Turkey’s antitrust board launched an investigation into Facebook Inc and its messaging service WhatsApp Inc over new usage terms that have sparked privacy concerns. Changes to WhatsApp’
  20. WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook for Years, Actually A pop-up notification has alerted the messaging app's users to a practice that's been in place since 2016. Your encrypted messages are still safe, but it's a rude awakening for many WhatsApp users.Photograph: Noam Galai/Getty Images Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, users have wondered and worried about how much data would flow between the two platforms. Many of them expe
  21. Comedian "Ozzy Man Reviews" kicked off the new year with an entertaining video compilation of relaxing animals. However, because he included an unlicenced 20-second clip of a chilling chinchilla, things spiraled out of control. A rightsholder of the clip asked Facebook to remove the video, demanding $10,000 from the comedian to restore it. Over the years we have reported on numerous ‘speculative invoicing’ schemes where copyright holders demand money from alleged copyright infringers. This includes hundreds of thousands of sett
  22. Facebook bug exposed identity of page admin using group doc feature The bug was reported to Facebook under its bug bounty program after which the researcher was awarded $5,000. Sometimes the greatest of threats lie in the simplest of vulnerabilities. Such is the case of a research report by researcher Shubham Bhamare which talks about a bug the author discovered on Facebook that allowed the identity of page admins to be exposed without their permission. Delving into the details, how the flaw works is that suppose someone runs a group associated with a Facebook page
  23. Nice Try, Facebook. iOS Changes Aren’t Bad for Small Businesses The social media giant would have you believe that Apple’s privacy update will hurt the little guys. But Facebook’s motives aren’t so altruistic. Photograph: Getty Images Late last week, Facebook bought full-page ads in the leading national dailies contending that Apple’s new policy, which will require apps running on iOS to allow users to opt out of tracking beginning early next
  24. Facebook and YouTube detailed their anti-piracy measures during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing yesterday. To the frustration of lawmakers, Twitter was noticeably absent. The RIAA had little positive to say about the social media platform either, accusing it of doing nothing to stop "industrial-scale" piracy on its network. At the same time, domain registrars were accused of protecting pirates. The US Senate’s Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property is looking for better ways to tackle the ever-present threat of online
  25. LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra has been rebranded “Diem” in a renewed effort to gain regulatory approval by stressing the project’s independence. Plans for Libra, first floated by Facebook last year, were slimmed-down in April after regulators and central banks raised concerns it could upend financial stability, erode control over monetary policy and threaten privacy. Tuesday’s name switch is part of a move to emphasise a simpler, revamped structure, Stuart Levey, CEO of the Geneva-based Diem Association behind the planned digital c
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