Technology

Facebook needs independent ethical oversight: UK lawmakers

LONDON: Facebook and other big tech companies should be subject to a compulsory code of ethics to tackle the spread of fake news, the abuse of users’ data and the bullying of smaller firms, British lawmakers said on Monday. In a damning report that singled out Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg for what it said was a failure of leadership...

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Facebook shuts down 583 million fake accounts

Facebook axed 583 million fake accounts in the first three months of 2018, the social media giant said Tuesday, detailing how it enforces "community standards" against sexual or violent images, terrorist propaganda or hate speech. Responding to calls for transparency after the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, Facebook said those closures came on top of blocking millions of attempts to...

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Cambridge Analytica ‘under probe by US Justice Department, FBI

WASHINGTON:  The US Justice Department and the FBI are investigating Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct political data firm embroiled in a scandal over its handling of Facebook user information, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. Prosecutors have sought to question former Cambridge Analytica employees and banks that handled its business, the newspaper said, citing an American official and others familiar...

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WhatsApp introduces new group chat features

Web Desk: Messaging App service WhatsApp rolled out new group-chat features on Tuesday, including more controls for administrators as well as regular group members. Users can now leave a group permanently to avoid being repeatedly added back after they have left, Facebook Inc-owned WhatsApp said in a blog post. Groups on WhatsApp have taken a central role in the messaging...

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From Yahoo to Uber, major hacks of data

PARIS: The European Union's new data protection rules, which take effect on May 25, will give people more control over the way their personal information is used online. They follow scandals involving lax personal data protection procedures such as at Facebook where US-British political research firm Cambridge Analytica was able to harvest the data of 87 million users. Here are...

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NASA aims to send mini-helicopter to Mars

The US space agency said Friday it plans to launch the first-ever helicopter to Mars in 2020, a miniature, unmanned drone-like chopper that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet. Known simply as "The Mars Helicopter," the device weighs less than four pounds (1.8 kilograms), and its main body section, or fuselage, is about the size of a softball....

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US ‘net neutrality’ rules will expire on June 11: FCC

WASHINGTON: Landmark US “net neutrality” rules will expire on June 11, and new regulations handing providers broad new power over how consumers can access the internet will take effect, the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday in setting the date. The FCC in December repealed the Obama-era open-internet rules set in 2015, which bars providers from blocking or slowing down...

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New system to block stolen, smuggled phones launched by PTA

Web Desk: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has launched Mobile Devices Identification, Registration and Blocking Regulation System (DIRBS) system to block the stolen and smuggled phones in country. According to details, the new system uses the distinct IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of each device, along with other parameters, to help in identifying, monitoring and regulating such devices. The announcement...

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China’s ZTE says US sanctions have crippled operations

Chinese telecom giant ZTE said its major operations had "ceased" following last month's US ban on American sales of critical technology to the company, raising the possibility of its collapse. The firm's products depended on American chips and other components and is unable to continue operating without key supplies. "Major operating activities of the company have ceased" as a result...

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Apple to remove apps that share your location data with third parties

Web Desk: Apple has started removing apps from the App Store that violate the company’s policies by sharing location data with third parties without explicit consent, reports 9to5Mac. The breaches are related to sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the company’s App Store Guidelines, which say that apps must not transmit “user location data to third parties without explicit consent from...

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Facebook makes major management revamp

Facebook on Tuesday confirmed an unprecedented management team shakeup in the aftermath of a major data privacy scandal that has rocked the social network. Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg remained chief of Facebook, with chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg his second-in-command. Chris Cox, a longtime member of Zuckerberg's inner circle, was put in charge of Facebook's core application as well as smartphone...

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Twitter urges all users to change passwords after glitch

Twitter Inc urged its more than 330 million users to change their passwords after a glitch caused some to be stored in readable text on its internal computer system rather than disguised by a process known as “hashing”. The social network disclosed the issue in a blog post and series of Tweets on Thursday afternoon, saying it had resolved the...

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Snapchat joins hands with EU to fight hate speech

BRUSSELS: Snapchat has agreed to join an EU-sponsored group of US internet giants to combat hate speech and online extremism, EU officials said on Monday. Snapchat, a multi-media messaging app, joins Instagram and the Google+ social network as well as founding participants YouTube, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook in a "code of conduct" to look at suspicious content within 24 hours...

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NASA blasts off Mars-bound spaceship, InSight, to study quakes

NASA launched its latest Mars lander, called InSight, designed to perch on the surface and listen for "Marsquakes" ahead of eventual human missions to explore the Red Planet. "Three, two, one, liftoff!" said a NASA commentator as the unmanned spacecraft blasted off on a dark, foggy morning atop an Atlas V rocket at 4:05 am Pacific time (1105 GMT) from...

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Iran president criticizes blocking of Telegram messaging app

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is criticizing the blocking of the popular Telegram messaging app in the Islamic Republic, suggesting those “at the highest level” in the country shut off access. Rouhani, a relatively moderate cleric within Iran’s Shiite theocracy, did not elaborate in his online comments late Friday but they seem aimed at redirecting domestic anger...

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Spy agency NSA collects triple of US phone records: report

WASHINGTON: The US National Security Agency (NSA) collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a US intelligence agency report released on Friday said. The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after US...

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Twitter requests users to change ´unmasked´ passwords

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter on Thursday urged its more than 300 million users to change their passwords, saying they had been unintentionally "unmasked" inside the company by a software bug. The social media site said it found no sign that hackers accessed the exposed data, but advised users to change their passwords to be safe. Twitter practice is to store passwords...

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