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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Facebook privacy

How to Clear Data Facebook Collects About You from Other Sites and Apps

How to Clear Data Facebook Collects About You from Other Sites and Apps
January 29, 2020Mohit Kumar
Facebook is one of the world's biggest advertising platforms, and that's because it knows a lot about you, me, and everyone. Facebook uses many tools to track people across the Internet, whether they have an account with the social networking site or not, and most of them rely on the online activity data other apps and websites share with Facebook. Everything we do online generates an extensive amount of behavioral data, from buying clothes to looking for hotels, which apps and websites often share with advertising companies, allowing them to build more accurate profiles of your interests and needs. However, after facing worldwide criticism over privacy and data breach controversies, Facebook last summer announced a privacy tool, called Off-Facebook Activity , which gives users more control of their data collected by Facebook. Starting today on Data Privacy Day 2020 , the Off-Facebook Activity feature is now available to every user around the world, which was initiall

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your iPhone's Camera? Some Users Claimed

Is Facebook Secretly Accessing Your iPhone's Camera? Some Users Claimed
November 12, 2019Wang Wei
It appears that Facebook at the center of yet another issue involving privacy. Reportedly, multiple iPhone users have come forward on social media complaining that the Facebook app secretly activates their smartphone's camera in the background while they scroll through their Facebook feeds or looking at the photos on the social network. As shown in the Twitter videos below, when users click on an image or video on the social media to full screen and then return it back to normal, an issue with the Facebook app for iOS slightly shifts the app to the right. It opens a space on the left from where users can see the iPhone's camera activated in the background. However, at this moment, it's not clear if it's just an UI bug where Facebook app incorrectly but only accesses the camera interface, or if it also records or uploads something, which, if proven right, would be the most disastrous moment in Facebook's history. Found a @facebook #security & #pri

Use This Privacy Tool to View and Clear Your 'Off-Facebook Activity' Data

Use This Privacy Tool to View and Clear Your 'Off-Facebook Activity' Data
August 20, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Well, here we have great news for Facebook users, which is otherwise terrible for marketers and publishers whose businesses rely on Facebook advertisement for re-targeted conversations. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal , Facebook has taken several privacy measures in the past one year with an aim to give its users more control over their data and transparency about how the social media giant and other apps on its platform use that data. Now in its new effort, Facebook has launched a new privacy feature that allows its users to control data that the social media platform receives from other apps and websites about their online activity. Dubbed " Off-Facebook Activity ," the feature was initially announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last year as "Clear History," allowing users to clear the data that third-party websites and apps share with Facebook. "Off-Facebook Activity lets you see a summary of the apps and websites that send us infor

Viral FaceApp Unnecessarily Requests Access to Users' Facebook Friends List

Viral FaceApp Unnecessarily Requests Access to Users' Facebook Friends List
July 29, 2019Mohit Kumar
FaceApp—the AI-powered photo-morphing app that recently gone viral for its age filter but hit the headlines for its controversial privacy policy—has been found collecting the list of your Facebook friends for no reason. The Russian-made FaceApp has been around since the spring of 2017 but taken social media by storm over the course of the past few weeks as millions of people downloaded the app to see how they would look when they are older or younger, or swap genders. The app also contains a feature that allows users to download and edit photos from their Facebook accounts, which only works when a user enables FaceApp to access the social media account via the 'Login with Facebook' option. As you can see in the screenshot above, besides requesting for access to your basic profile information and photos, FaceApp also fetches the list of your Facebook friends "who also use and have shared their friends' lists with FaceApp." Have you yet asked yourself why

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years
July 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today officially confirmed that Facebook has agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine over privacy violations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal . Besides the multibillion-dollar penalty, the company has also accepted a 20-year-long agreement that enforces it to implement a new organizational framework designed to strengthen its data privacy practices and policies. The agreement requires Facebook to make some major structural changes, as explained below, that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users' privacy and information it collects on them. "The order requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy from the corporate board-level down, and establishes strong new mechanisms to ensure that Facebook executives are accountable for the decisions they make about privacy and that those decisions are subject to meaningful oversight," the FTC said in a press release . Ac

Facebook Could Be Fined Up To $5 Billion Over Privacy Violations

Facebook Could Be Fined Up To $5 Billion Over Privacy Violations
April 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
Facebook expects to face a massive fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the result of an investigation into its privacy policies—that's about one month's revenue for the social media giant. To be clear the amount of fine is not what the FTC has announced or hinted yet; instead, it's an estimated due that Facebook disclosed on Wednesday in its first quarter 2019 financial earnings report. In its earnings report, Facebook said the company had set $3 billion aside in anticipation of the settlement with the FTC, who launched a probe into Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal . The probe centers around the violation of a 2011 agreement Facebook made with the FTC that required the social media to gain explicit consent from users to share their data. The FTC launched an investigation into Facebook last year after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around 50 million Face

Facebook Faces £500,000 Fine in U.K. Over Cambridge Analytica Leak

Facebook Faces £500,000 Fine in U.K. Over Cambridge Analytica Leak
July 11, 2018Mohit Kumar
Facebook has been fined £500,000 ($664,000) in the U.K. after the country's data protection watchdog concluded that its data-sharing scandal broke the law, making it as the social network's first fine over the Cambridge Analytica scandal . Yes, £500,000—that's the maximum fine allowed by the UK's Data Protection Act 1998, and equals to what Facebook earns every 8 minutes. Facebook has been under scrutiny since earlier this year when it was revealed that personal data of 87 million users was improperly gathered and misused by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, who reportedly helped Donald Trump win the US presidency in 2016. According to the social media giant, a Cambridge University lecturer named Aleksandr Kogan collected the users' data legitimately through a quiz app but then violated its terms by sharing the data with Cambridge Analytica, which was then hired by the Trump presidential campaign. The UK's Information Commissioner's

Facebook Admits Sharing Users' Data With 61 Tech Companies

Facebook Admits Sharing Users' Data With 61 Tech Companies
July 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook has admitted that the company gave dozens of tech companies and app developers special access to its users' data after publicly saying it had restricted outside companies to access such data back in 2015. It's an unusual clear view of how the largest social networking site manages your personal information. During the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed March this year, Facebook stated that it already cut off third-party access to its users' data and their friends in May 2015 only. However, in a 747-page long document [ PDF ] delivered to Congress late Friday, the social networking giant admitted that it continued sharing data with 61 hardware and software makers , as well as app developers after 2015 as well. The disclosure comes in response to hundreds of questions posed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by members of Congress in April about its company's practices with data of its billions of users. The Washington Post reported that the company

Facebook bug changed 14 million users' default privacy settings to public

Facebook bug changed 14 million users’ default privacy settings to public
June 08, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook admits as many as 14 millions of its users who thought they're sharing content privately with only friends may have inadvertently shared their posts with everyone because of a software bug. Facebook said in front of Congress in March over the Cambridge Analytica scandal that "every piece of content that you share on Facebook you own, you have complete control over who sees it and how you share it," but the news came out to be another failure of the company to keep the information of millions of users private. Facebook typically allows users to select the audiences who can see their posts, and that privacy setting remains the default until the user itself manually updates it. However, the social media giant revealed Thursday that it recently found a bug that automatically updated the default audience setting for 14 million users' Facebook posts to "Public," even if they had intended to share them just with their friends, or a smaller group

Facebook Accused of Giving Over 60 Device-Makers Deep Access to User Data

Facebook Accused of Giving Over 60 Device-Makers Deep Access to User Data
June 04, 2018Swati Khandelwal
After being embroiled into controversies over its data sharing practices , it turns out that Facebook had granted inappropriate access to its users' data to more than 60 device makers, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, and Samsung. According to a lengthy report published by The New York Times, the social network giant struck data-sharing partnerships with at least 60 device manufacture companies so that they could offer Facebook messaging functions, "Like" buttons, address books, and other features without requiring their users to install a separate app. The agreements were reportedly made over the last 10 years, starting before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones. Most notably, the publication suggests that the partnerships could be in breach of a 2011 consent decree by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which barred Facebook from granting other companies access to data of users' Facebook friends without their explicit consent

Along with Dating, Here's a List of New Features Coming to Facebook

Along with Dating, Here’s a List of New Features Coming to Facebook
May 02, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook announced a whole lot of new features at its 2018 Facebook F8 developers conference, along with the keynote by its CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressing concerns from app developers after Facebook paused 3rd-party app review in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Here are some big takeaways from Zuckerberg's keynote on Day 1 of Facebook F8, held for two days, May 1 and 2, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California: FaceDate—Facebook's New Tinder-Like 'Dating' Feature Still Single? Don't worry because Facebook doesn't want you to remain single for long. The social network giant is introducing a new dating feature that will allow you to build your profile that will only be visible to other Facebook users (non-friends) who have also opted into looking for love. Dubbed FaceDate, the new feature will match your profile based on all its data with others to find potential suitors and messaging will happen in a dedicated inbox rat

Facebook Offering $40,000 Bounty If You Find Evidence Of Data Leaks

Facebook Offering $40,000 Bounty If You Find Evidence Of Data Leaks
April 10, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook pays millions of dollars every year to researchers and bug hunters to stamp out security holes in its products and infrastructure, but following Cambridge Analytica scandal , the company today launched a bounty program to reward users for reporting "data abuse" on its platform. The move comes as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepares to testify before Congress this week amid scrutiny over the data sharing controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy firm that obtained and misused data on potentially 87 million of its users . Through its new " Data Abuse Bounty " program, Facebook would ask users to help the social media giant find app developers misusing data, Facebook announced Tuesday. Similar to its existing bug bounty program, the Data Abuse Bounty program will reward a sum of money to anyone who reports valid events of data collection that violate Facebook's revamped data policies . "This program is complemen

How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You

How to Find Out Everything Facebook Knows About You
April 10, 2018Unknown
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress this week to explain how his company collects and handles users' personal information. The past few weeks have been difficult for Facebook over concerns that the data of millions of users has been breached. Facebook stores details of almost every action you have taken and interaction you have engaged in on its platform. What many Facebook users are unaware of, though, is that you can easily download and see all the information Facebook has collected from you in just a few minutes. Here's how to find out what data Facebook has collected over time, including all your past posts, messages, photos, videos and more. Here's how to Download Your Facebook Data: First, sign into Facebook (on a desktop browser, not your mobile). Then, click the drop-down arrow on the top right, and click on "Settings." This will take you to facebook.com/settings, where you will find your "General Account Set

Facebook admits public data of its 2.2 billion users has been compromised

Facebook admits public data of its 2.2 billion users has been compromised
April 05, 2018Mohit Kumar
Facebook dropped another bombshell on its users by admitting that all of its 2.2 billion users should assume malicious third-party scrapers have compromised their public profile information. On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that "malicious actors" took advantage of "Search" tools on its platform to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide. The revelation once again underlines the failure of the social-media giant to protect users' privacy while generating billions of dollars in revenue from the same information. The revelation came weeks after the disclosure of the Cambridge Analytica scandal , wherein personal data of 77 million users was improperly gathered and misused by the political consultancy firm, who reportedly also helped Donald Trump win the US presidency in 2016. However, the latest scam revealed by the social media giant about the abuse of Facebook's search tools over the

Facebook Collected Your Android Call History and SMS Data For Years

Facebook Collected Your Android Call History and SMS Data For Years
March 25, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Facebook knows a lot about you, your likes and dislikes—it's no surprise. But do you know, if you have installed Facebook Messenger app on your Android device, there are chances that the company had been collecting your contacts, SMS, and call history data at least until late last year. A tweet from Dylan McKay, a New Zealand-based programmer, which received more than 38,000 retweets (at the time of writing), showed how he found his year-old data—including complete logs of incoming and outgoing calls and SMS messages—in an archive he downloaded (as a ZIP file) from Facebook. Facebook was collecting this data on its users from last few years, which was even reported earlier in media, but the story did not get much attention at that time. Since Facebook had been embroiled into controversies over its data sharing practices after the Cambridge Analytica scandal last week, tweets from McKay went viral and has now fueled the never-ending privacy debate. A Facebook spokespe

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – What's Happened So Far

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – What's Happened So Far
March 23, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Top Story— Facebook has just lost over $60 billion in market value over the past two days—that's more than Tesla's entire market capitalisation and almost three times that of Snapchat. Facebook shares plunge over revelations that personal data of 50 million users was obtained and misused by British data analytics firm ' Cambridge Analytica ,' who reportedly helped Donald Trump win the US presidency in 2016. The privacy scandal that rocked the social media giant was revealed earlier this week when Chris Wylie , the 28-year-old data scientist who worked with a Cambridge University academic, turned into a whistleblower and leaked to the newspapers how poorly Facebook handles people's private information. Wylie claims Cambridge Analytica created " Steve Bannon's psychological warfare mindf**k tool " that profiles citizens to predict their voting patterns based on the personal information gathered from a variety of sources and then helps political
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