Facebook Abuses Collected in Snap's 'Project Voldemort'

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Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, reportedly has a dossier of anticompetitive behavior Facebook carried out over the years, dubbed Project Voldemort.

According to the WSJ, Snap’s legal team recorded instances where Facebook discouraged prominent social media influencers with a presence on multiple platforms from mentioning Snap on their Instagram accounts. Snap executives also suspected Facebook was suppressing content that originated on Snap from trending on Instagram, when such content was shared there.

Facebook Launches New Surveillance Devices For Your Home

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Today Facebook launched Portal video chatting devices that definitely won’t be used to spy on you and your loved ones. They will let Facebook users watch television together over a video call. Andrew Bosworth, VP of AR/VR at Facebook, said:

I think that in a couple years’ time, if you have a smart streaming device that doesn’t have a camera allowing you to video call people, you’re not going to have a competitive product. I think this is the killer feature for a device like this.

Bosworth also touted privacy protections like local processing of smart features on the devices, which means most user data will not be sent back to Facebook servers.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

iOS 13 Forced Facebook to Admit it Collects Your Location Data

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Yes, I know how shocked you are folks. As it turns out, Facebook lied about yet another thing: It totally collects your location data, and admitted that fact itself in a blog post.

For years the antisocial media giant has claimed it doesn’t track your location, insisting to suspicious reporters and privacy advocates that its addicts “have full control over their data,” and that it does not gather or sell that data unless those users agree to it.

Then, late on Monday, Facebook emitted a blog post in which it kindly offered to help users “understand updates” to their “device’s location settings.”

You may have missed the critical part amid the glowing testimony so we’ll repeat it: “… use precise location even when you’re not using the app…”

Quote from a TMO reader: “Hoping that FB will somehow become secure is as much magical thinking as expecting a wild pig to perform the role Juliet for Bolshoi.”

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.