Facebook Expands Its Takedown Powers Over Fake Content

Facebook has changed its policy to make it much easier to take down fraudulent pages and groups, in its efforts to suppress fake news and propaganda. Up until now, a troll has been able to create multiple fake pages and Facebook has had to close each page or group individually. Facebook stated, it “may now also remove other Pages and Groups with similar names that are maintained by the same person, even if that specific Page or Group has not met the threshold to be unpublished on its own.” Continue reading Facebook Expands Its Takedown Powers Over Fake Content

Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Members of anonymous online messaging forum 4chan claim to have access to as many as 200,000 Snapchat photos through a third-party app called Snapsaved. The smartphone tool allows creators to store photos from their Snapchat accounts. Anonymous members have said that a link will be posted, allowing users to download the photos. It is not clear who created Snapsaved, and the app’s site is no longer working. Meanwhile, Snapchat claims that its servers have not been compromised.

Continue reading Third Party Site May Have Stored 200,000 Snapchat Images

Apple is Taking Steps to Protect iCloud Users from Hackers

Apple introduced security measures in the wake of high-profile celebrity images being hacked from personal iCloud accounts. Apple now alerts users when their iCloud data is downloaded to a new device, and the company has added a two-factor authentication option. Users of anonymous image board Anon-IB, one of the forums hackers used for stealing and sharing photos, are reportedly angry. They are complaining that the leaked celebrity images have exposed their secret hacking techniques. Continue reading Apple is Taking Steps to Protect iCloud Users from Hackers

Facebook Changes Default Settings, Pushes Privacy Checkups

Under pressure that its users may start sharing less, or make a move to more anonymous services, Facebook announced yesterday that it would provide a privacy checkup to every one of its global users. In an effort to help its 1.28 billion users better manage “private” information, the company is also recommending a privacy checkup be conducted on a regular basis, perhaps annually like a physical exam. And for new users, Facebook is initially setting content to be seen only by friends. Continue reading Facebook Changes Default Settings, Pushes Privacy Checkups

Users Lose Interest in Facebook and Google Login Services

Facebook and Google have benefited from the social login button, which allows consumers to log in to other websites and apps using their social media accounts. While app makers have found the tactic useful as users are spared the hassle of signing up, Facebook and Google+ use the information to track what their users do on the Internet. In reaction to users’ decreasing interest in social logins, both companies are shifting tactics to allow for more anonymity.  Continue reading Users Lose Interest in Facebook and Google Login Services

SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the crowd at SXSW in Austin, Texas yesterday via videoconference from Moscow. Speaking on NSA leaks and data security, Snowden urged tech firms to adopt better encryption methods to help protect users from government surveillance. He also shared privacy tips for citizens, such as encrypting your hard drive, implementing browser plug-ins that prevent online tracking, and using online network Tor, that promises anonymity. Continue reading SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Info Sharing: Companies on the Verge of Becoming More Open?

Lee Lanselle of Entertainment Development Group and AsiaParks Partners Limited forwarded us a write-up from The New York Times regarding how the information-sharing habits of open source software may soon become a standard in other parts of business. Many companies are discovering the benefits of exposing things once kept secret to a larger population. The pursuit of efficiency, speed and positive change may soon even lead to companies sharing information among competitors. Continue reading Info Sharing: Companies on the Verge of Becoming More Open?

Whisper and Secret: New Messaging Apps Offer Users Anonymity

A new trend in social apps has arrived, allowing users to post anonymously, giving them a feeling of freedom without consequences for their actions on the Web. New messaging apps Whisper and Secret, for example, offer a way to share anonymous posts about anything. Popular apps such as Snapchat, Telegram and Frankly revolve around messages that self-destruct after they are read. These anonymous approaches may pose a significant threat to other social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading Whisper and Secret: New Messaging Apps Offer Users Anonymity

Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google and co-creator of the Internet’s key networking technology, delivered the keynote address at the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet of Things workshop this week in Washington, DC. Cerf suggested that privacy is a relatively new development that may not be sustainable. “Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” he said while taking questions, noting that privacy was not even guaranteed just a few decades ago. Continue reading Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Facebook Under Fire for Decision to Make Teens’ Posts Public

Facebook announced this week that it would allow teenage users between 13 and 17 to make their posts public so that they can be seen by anyone on the social network, underscoring the competition between today’s social platforms to reach the teen audience and attract advertisers. Previously, the posts of teenage users could only be viewed by friends and friends of friends. While drawing criticism from privacy advocate groups, the move will enable Facebook to operate more like its rival Twitter. Continue reading Facebook Under Fire for Decision to Make Teens’ Posts Public

Startups Create Advanced Tracking of Users Across Devices

Smartphones can collect massive amounts of personal information, such as where users go, what they buy, and when they go to sleep. But current Web browser tracking software has become less effective for ads and cannot follow users across their devices. Based on the shift toward mobile, tech and advertising companies are looking into new ways to track consumers on their tablets and phones, while targeting them with specialized ads across all devices. Continue reading Startups Create Advanced Tracking of Users Across Devices

Blippex Hopes to Challenge Google with New Search Approach

Blippex is a newcomer search engine that is essentially built by its users. The site takes users’ submissions in order to provide the data for search results. Its results are different from other popular search engines as it is anonymous and does not identify users. In contrast, Google’s search is not anonymous as its business is based on advertising, with much of it personal and targeted to the user. Blippex will have to prove it can rival the competition. Continue reading Blippex Hopes to Challenge Google with New Search Approach

Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

A significant threat to the video game industry is harassment targeting game developers from gamers. Video game fan obsession has led to death threats among game developers, forcing them to leave their positions or the industry as a whole. Many fault the anonymous nature of the Internet, and others see the immediate availability to voice one’s complaints or gain notoriety. Groups look to support developers as threats become more commonplace. Continue reading Game Developers: Harassment Alarms Industry, Fuels Exodus

MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, the founders of YouTube, have released a new video creation and sharing app called MixBit. It is similar to other video apps such as Twitter’s Vine and Facebook’s Instagram. The app will allow users to capture 16 seconds of video, while Vine’s maximum is six seconds and Instagram’s limit is 15 seconds. MixBit is different from its competitors in that it allows video editing, but others may soon introduce this feature as well. Continue reading MixBit Takes On Vine and Instagram with Video Sharing App

Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets

Twitter promotes itself as a protector of over 200 million people who publicly share their lives online. But increasingly, carefree tweets are conflicting with differing global laws and standards in new markets for the microblogger. The company’s hands-off approach is being tested as it enters markets in France, Germany, China and Brazil. As it is increasingly subject to local laws, Twitter is facing challenges regarding free speech and censorship. Continue reading Twitter Facing Free Speech Challenges in Global Markets