Facebook's Digital Currency, Libra, in Trouble

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Facebook in a big pile of money

The pushback against Libra is increasing. BBC News writes:

Financial bigwigs are upset because Facebook, a corporation, appears to want to take on a government-like role, creating a currency and perhaps even setting monetary policy.

Big Money is power. Facebook is trying to seize power at a governmental level. Sparks are gonna fly.

Facebook Plans Don't Include End-to-End Encryption

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Unsurprisingly, Facebook’s messaging apps won’t have true end-to-end encryption, with messages scanned before being encrypted.

In Facebook’s vision, the actual end-to-end encryption client itself such as WhatsApp will include embedded content moderation and blacklist filtering algorithms. These algorithms will be continually updated from a central cloud service, but will run locally on the user’s device, scanning each cleartext message before it is sent and each encrypted message after it is decrypted.

The company even noted that when it detects violations it will need to quietly stream a copy of the formerly encrypted content back to its central servers to analyze further, even if the user objects, acting as true wiretapping service.

Unlike Forbes‘ clickbait headline, the “encryption debate” certainly isn’t over or dead. Now it’s about trying to convince the government that encryption backdoors don’t work. There are also plenty of Facebook alternatives.

Now That it Fined Facebook, FTC Sues Cambridge Analytica

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing now-bankrupt Cambridge Analytica for its role in collecting user data for voter targeting.

The torrent of privacy settlements, data scandals, and regulatory concerns over its handling of user information, however, has done nothing to hurt its financial prospects, at least yet. It’s business as usual for Facebook…But regulatory troubles are far from over for Facebook, what with the tech giant coming under fresh scrutiny from the FTC for possible violation of US antitrust law.

Federal Reserve Chairman Says Facebook Libra "Cannot go Forward"

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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that Facebook Libra “cannot go forward” until serious concerns are addressed.

“Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability,” Powell said during his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

“I don’t think the project can go forward” without addressing those concerns, he added later.

Being pessimistic, I wonder if they are genuinely concerned about things like privacy, or just don’t want the competition.

Facebook VP Nick Clegg Makes a Compelling Pro-Apple Argument

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Facebook VP Nick Clegg makes the same argument as Sundar Pichai when it comes to Apple. Although he thinks he’s making an argument against Apple, he’s really arguing for Apple.

Facebook is free — it’s for everyone. Some other big tech companies make their money by selling expensive hardware or subscription services, or in some cases both, to consumers in developed, wealthier economies. They are an exclusive club, available only to aspirant consumers with the means to buy high-value hardware and services.

Facebook is free only because they sell advertising using customer data. Apple makes money from hardware and subscriptions. It’s precisely because of companies like Facebook and Google that privacy is seen as a luxury.

Facebook Marketing Agency xSocialMedia Leaks Medical Data

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Data Leak

xSocialMedia, a marketing agency on Facebook that runs campaigns for medical malpractice lawsuits, has leaked medical and other data for about 150,000 people.

vpnMentor notes that xSocialMedia might not be subject to HIPAA compliance because patients are free to disclose their health information to the parties of their choice – in this case, by inputting it into a form on one of the advertising firm’s sites.

vpnMentor says it discovered the leak on 2 June. xSocialMedia responded on 11 June and closed the database up on the same day.

What a nice bit of information to wake up to.

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Has Big Backers

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Facebook is preparing to launch a new cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal found that the project has backing from some of the biggest names in finance and e-commerce.

Facebook Inc. has signed up more than a dozen companies including Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., MA +0.20% PayPal Holdings Inc., and Uber Technologies Inc. to back a new cryptocurrency it plans to unveil next week and launch next year. The financial and e-commerce companies, venture capitalists and telecommunications firms will invest around $10 million each in a consortium that will govern the digital coin, called Libra, according to people familiar with the matter. The money would be used to fund the creation of the coin, which will be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies to avoid the wild swings that have dogged other cryptocurrencies, they said.