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Brian Acton, one of the co-founders of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $1.6 billion in 2014, has urged people delete their accounts from the social network.

“It’s time”, Acton wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, which included the hashtag #DeleteFacebook.

Acton’s remark comes in the wake of increasing public outrage from users around the world over the misuse of private data of as many as 50 million Facebook users by British firm Cambridge Analytica.

The news which broke over the weekend has now grown into a full blown crisis with lawmakers in the US, UK and Europe demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On Tuesday, the BBC reported that Zuckerberg, who at the time of writing was yet to officially comment on the scandal, has not even addressed Facebook staff since the news broke, with employees at its headquarters in California being spoken to by one of the company’s senior lawyers on Monday.

Investigations in the UK and US are now underway into Cambridge Analytica, which has claimed it helped Donald Trump win the White House. Cambridge Analytica accessed the private data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

They did this by creating a quiz that was taken by 270,000 Facebook users. The people who created the quiz passed the data to Cambridge Analytica, which is in breach of Facebook’s policy.

Facebook said it knew about the leak since 2015, but the incident only became public last weekend after reports by the New York Times and Guardian. Meanwhile, in the wake of the scandal, Cambridge Analytica confirmed it has suspend its CEO, Alexander Nix.

 

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg vowed Wednesday to “step up” to fix problems at the social media giant, as it fights a snowballing scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of its users.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said, in his first public comments on the harvesting of Facebook user data by a British firm linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Writing on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg announced new steps to rein in the leakage of data to outside developers and third-party apps, while giving users more control over their information through a special toolbar.

Zuckerberg said measures had been in place since 2014 to prevent precisely the sort of abuse revealed at the weekend.

“But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he said.

The scandal erupted when a whistleblower revealed that British data consultant Cambridge Analytica (CA) had created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.

The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends’ data without consent — as was possible under Facebook’s rules at the time.

Facebook says it discovered last week that CA may not have deleted the data as it certified.

“This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it.”

“We need to fix that.”

– Probe by special counsel? –

Zuckerberg’s admission follows another day of damaging accusations against the world’s biggest social network as calls mounted for investigations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Max Schrems, a Vienna-Based activist who has brought online data protection cases before European courts, told AFP he complained to the Irish Data Protection Authority in 2011 about the controversial data harvesting methods.

Schrems also recounted a seven-hour meeting with Facebook representatives the following year to discuss concerns around apps operating in this fashion, but said they said they saw no problems with their policies.

“They explicitly said that in their view, by using the platform you consent to a situation where other people can install an app and gather your data,” Schrems said.

ABC News reported meanwhile special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, was looking at Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump effort.

Citing anonymous sources, ABC said several digital experts who worked on Trump’s campaign have held closed-door interviews with Mueller’s team.

The British firm has maintained it did not use Facebook data in the Trump campaign, but its now-suspended CEO boasted in secret recordings that his company was deeply involved in the race.

– #DeleteFacebook –

The data scandal has ratcheted up the pressure on Facebook — already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the US presidential election.

A movement to quit the social network gathered momentum, while a handful of lawsuits emerged which could turn into class actions — in a costly distraction for the company.

One of those calling it quits was a high-profile co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service acquired by Facebook in 2014.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton said in a tweet protesting the social media giant’s handling of the crisis.

Both Facebook and CA have denied wrongdoing, as attention focused increasingly on Kogan, the inventor of the controversial app — personality survey dubbed This Is Your Digital Life.

But Kogan said in an interview he was “stunned” by the allegations against him, claiming CA had assured him his activities were above board.

“I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” he told the BBC. “We thought we were acting perfectly appropriately. ”

The University of Cambridge psychologist said CA had approached him to do the work, and that he did not know how the firm would use the data collected with his app.

European Union officials have called for an urgent investigation while British, US and EU lawmakers have asked Zuckerberg to give evidence.

Responding to Zuckerberg’s comments Wednesday, US Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was the latest lawmaker to call on Zuckerberg to appear.

“You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath,” Markey tweeted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Facebook and CA to cooperate with the national information commissioner’s probe.

“The allegations are clearly very concerning,” she told MPs.

“People need to have confidence in how their personal data is being used.”

Facebook shares steadied Wednesday, gaining 0.74 percent after steep declines this week that wiped out some $50 billion in market value.

But questions abounded on the future of Facebook, which has grown from a startup in a Harvard dorm room to become one of the world’s most powerful companies.

Analyst Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research said Facebook “is exhibiting signs of systemic mismanagement,” possibly from growing too fast.

“Investors now have to consider whether or not the company will conclude that it has grown in a manner that has proven to be untenable,” Wieser said in a research note.

 

Facebook stumbles for second time in a week

Posted by pakin On September - 29 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook on Monday stumbled for the second time in a week, going out of service for slightly less than an hour.

The leading social network was down for 42 minutes about mid-day in California, after being out of service for 12 minutes four days earlier, according to website performance tracker currentlydown.com.

“We’re currently restoring Facebook services that people had trouble accessing earlier today due to a configuration issue,” Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

“We’re working to bring things back to normal for everyone. We apologize to those who have been inconvenienced.”

Facebook did not disclose how many of the social network’s more than one billion users were effected by the outage.

People took to Twitter during the outage, with #facebookdown jumping into a spot among the top trending hashtags at the one-to-many messaging service.

“People will have to ring their friends from restaurants to describe their starter; it’s inhuman,” said a quip from Twitter account @WillLeahy.

Another joking tweet predicted a baby boom, since spouses would have to resort to speaking to one another.

Facebook, DTAC join on rural mobiles

Posted by pakin On October - 22 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Partnership aims to drive digital economy

Facebook is partnering with Thailand’s No.2 mobile operator Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC) to bring affordable mobile internet to the country, particularly rural areas.

The move is part of its global plan to lure 4 billion unconnected people to connect via Facebook.

The partnership will also help DTAC generate more mobile data revenue from lower-income consumers as middle- and high-income groups already use mobile internet and frequently connect via Facebook.

Facebook expects 85-90% of the world’s population to access mobile networks in the next two years, said Markku Makelainen, director for global operator partnerships.

Globally, Facebook has 1.3 billion active users a month, of which 1 billion access the social media site via mobile devices.

Thailand has 26 million active Facebook users a month. Some 16 million Facebook users in Thailand access the network through mobile devices, 8 million of them using the DTAC network.

More than 90% of Thai internet users connect to Facebook. Thais spend an average 2.5 hours per day on Facebook, longer than the amount of time they spend watching TV.

The International Telecommunication Union forecasts 3 billion people will be online by year-end. However, 4 billion are still offline. Facebook will spend billions of dollars to bring affordable internet to rural areas in order to build universal access to the internet.

According to a study by global consulting firm Deloitte, providing online access to people in developing countries will create 140 million jobs and this will eventually help 160 million people stay out of poverty.

Facebook is one of the co-founders of internet.org, an initiative to make the web more affordable and accessible for people in developing nations. It is also working with many mobile and IT operators to give people the technologies and tools they need to share and connect.

“DTAC is the sixth mobile operator in the world to bring more affordable internet to users,” said Sigvart Voss Eriksen, chief marketing executive of DTAC.

Mr Eriksen said under the collaboration with Facebook, every new prepaid customer using its Happy brand can access Facebook for free for three months and users who top up 60 baht or add on the package will get free Facebook access for three months.

An internal survey by DTAC found 60% of Thais are still not online. The majority (53%) said they were unconnected because content did not seem relevant, 20% cited expensive devices and 10% said mobile data tariffs remained too expensive.

“Bringing attractive content and more affordable internet access to people will help Thailand move toward a digital economy,” said Mr Eriksen.

By next month, DTAC expects to have the ability to offer mobile data packages that will suit new customer behaviour by using analyses from Facebook.

Senior vice-president Pakorn Pannachet said DTAC will spend 100 million baht on the joint Happy Connections marketing campaign with Facebook over the next six months.

DTAC shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 101 baht, down 50 satang, in trade worth 67.3 million baht.

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