QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.” ~ Ray Kurzweil
FACEBOOK GETTS STRICTER AND BLOCKS MILLIONS OF FAKE ACCOUNTS
Facebook is now reviewing every account and eliminating the fake ones.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK’S MOVE?app
Once bitten, twice shy! Now Facebook’s partners are proactively checking photos, videos and much more to make sure there is nothing obscene. Moreover, Facebook has blocked millions of fake accounts as a preventive measure. The company shared the efforts and steps to make up for the tarnished image.
Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos delineated about how Facebook is working to combat serious issues like fake audiences, identities, content, and information and obscene content, which seem to be intentionally misleading, and could affect people’s views. Stamos also said, “We’re trying to develop a systematic and comprehensive approach to tackle these challenges, and then to map that approach to the needs of each country or election.”
Samidh Chakrabarti, Facebook’s product manager for civic engagement, also added that all the inauthentic civic-related content creating foreign-based Pages are under scrutiny. If any of them are found to be violating the services, they will be removed from the platform.
Chakrabarti also added, “This proactive approach has allowed us to move more quickly and has become a really important way for us to prevent divisive or misleading memes from going viral.”
WHEN DID IT FIRST IMPLEMENT THE TOOL?
Facebook first used the tool when a special election in Alabama took place. This proactive system inspected and shut down the Macedonian spammers which were intruding the elections to get monetary benefits. The tool has been used to secure Italian elections and is planning to deploy the same in US midterm elections.
Chakrabarti adds, “Machine learning has enabled Facebook to find more suspicious behaviors without assessing the content itself” to block millions of fake account creations per day “before they can do any harm.”
Facebook will disclose about all the tools in “Fighting Abuse @Scale” conference in San Francisco which is going to be held on 25th April.
WHEN DID IT ALL START?
All these operations started in December 2016. Facebook executed it for election protections, which also included third-party fact checkers keeping an eye and flagging false content. Since yesterday, the fact-checking partners of Facebook have started to inspect and look out for suspicious photos and videos which could tend to spread false information. This move if seriously carried out, could decrease the escalation of false news, image memes that are posted on Facebook and viewed directly.
Usually, Facebook sends fact checkers the stories which are flagged by users or have gone viral. Although, as Italy and Mexico are expected to have elections, Facebook has activated the fact checkers to aggressively scrutinize and flag things as they can recognize false stories, even before the Facebook system catches them.
Facebook’s News Feed product manager Tessa Lyons. Says, “To reduce latency in advance of elections, we wanted to ensure we gave fact checkers that ability.”
In the event of scandals and 2016 election debacle, Facebook wants to secure its system and convince users that now the platform is really secure and takes care of privacy. This is the right time to do it with midterms knocking the door. If not done, Facebook will face another scandal and it might not able to survive the blow this time.
APPLE MAKES CHANGES IN PRIVACY CONTROLS TO COMPLY WITH EUROPE’S NEW LAW
Apple working on changing privacy controls for its devices and cloud services following the new laws in Europe.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES?
Apple is working on making changes in privacy controls for its devices and cloud services to meet new and strict European rules after Facebook’s privacy scandal. The company will be more transparent and will update the webpage for managing Apple IDs in forthcoming months.
It will now allow users to download a copy of all their data stored with the company. The company website will let you edit your personal information, deactivate account on a temporary basis, or delete it entirely. The new rules and controls are followed by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into effect on May 25.
APPLE GETS AN UPDATE?
Apple has also released an update for iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Macs on Thursday. With the update, you get a splash screen detailing privacy stance of Apple and also tells how individual applications use your data.
iOS 11.3 also consists of a toggle button with which you can disable a controversial feature which slows down iPhones with older batteries to prevent accidental shutdowns. You can view health records. iPhone X users get new animated emojis.
The software changes that Apple made has been in the pipeline since January. However, the privacy control changes came when Facebook faced opprobrium on using customer data unauthorizedly. As Apple always preaches and promotes privacy of its devices, this seems to be preemptive move.
WHAT APPLE HAS TO SAY?
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook was called for user privacy regulation at a recent summit in China. He said, “This certain situation is so dire and has become so large that probably some well-crafted regulation is necessary. The ability of anyone to know what you’ve been browsing about for years, who your contacts are, who their contacts are, things you like and dislike and every intimate detail of your life — from my own point of view it shouldn’t exist.”
The new web-based privacy controls will be out in early May in Europe and later to another part of the world. Earlier, if users had to get the data which Apple stores, or edit the information, they had to contact Apple directly. Now when the web page update kicks in, a user can download all the information stored in Apple’s Contacts, Calendar and Contacts apps and media like photos.