Facebook Faces Another Privacy Issue Due to Software Bug

Facebook revealed that a software bug was live for 10 days during May and, as a result, may have affected up to 14 million users. The company explained that millions of users who believed they were sharing privately with their friends or small groups may have actually shared their information publicly; the bug apparently updated the audience selector to “public” without notifying users. Facebook announced it plans to contact the individuals that may have been impacted. “We’d like to apologize for this mistake,” said Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan in a statement yesterday. Continue reading Facebook Faces Another Privacy Issue Due to Software Bug

Netflix Survey Shows Erosion Between Private, Public Viewing

After studying when, where and how people consume its content, Netflix found in its most recent data that 67 percent of U.S. users are now watching content not in their living room, but out in the world. The practice has been dubbed “Netflixing in Public.” In a sense, this isn’t new. In 2015, the Pew Research Center found that 77 percent of Americans thought it was fine for people to use their cellphones while walking down the street and 75 percent also approved of using them on public transportation. Continue reading Netflix Survey Shows Erosion Between Private, Public Viewing

OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

As the Internet of Things grows, the creators of OpenSensors.io believe that the public could benefit from sharing data from the many sensors that collect information around the world. OpenSensors is like a social network, where people can publish their data and subscribe to other people’s data. The software brings all of the info together, making it easier to route it to the appropriate locations. The open source nature of the data means anyone could use it for their own research or app. Continue reading OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

The Federal Trade Commission released a report urging Congress to require data brokers to be more transparent. Data brokers collect information on nearly all U.S consumers, typically without their knowledge, and create profiles based on online purchases, public records, and online tracking cookies. The FTC recommends creating one Internet site where each company explains their purpose and method of data collection and gives consumers a chance to opt out. Continue reading FTC Report Exposes Depth of Data Broker Info on Consumers

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

Government Considers Limits on Customer Data Collection

As the next step in the ongoing privacy debate sparked by the actions of Edward Snowden, the White House has released a report that recommends the government create limits on how companies make use of the information they gather online from customers. The report’s chief author is John Podesta, a senior White House adviser. Private companies fear a government initiative that could regulate how they profit from data gathered through mobile communication and Internet surfing habits. Continue reading Government Considers Limits on Customer Data Collection

Cox Announces Plans to Increase Broadband Service Speeds

As online entertainment grows in popularity, leading to demand for faster access, Cox Communications is planning to make its broadband service for residential customers much faster this year. Cox is planning on offering Internet speeds of 1 gigabit-per-second, which is 100 times faster than the average Web access. This service will closely compete with AT&T and Google who are also trying to introduce fiber-optic broadband services, and offer customers 1 gigabit-per-second speeds. Continue reading Cox Announces Plans to Increase Broadband Service Speeds

Beta: MoPub Integration is Twitter’s Next Step with Mobile Ads

Twitter announced yesterday that running marketing campaigns on both Twitter and MoPub will be made easier. MoPub, the mobile ad exchange service that Twitter acquired last October, matches advertisers to ad space across mobile apps, handling more than 130 billion ad requests per month. The new interface, available to select advertisers in private beta, is designed to eliminate the need to set up through separate portals. It allows advertisers to be present on both platforms with greater ease and effectiveness. Continue reading Beta: MoPub Integration is Twitter’s Next Step with Mobile Ads

SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: Distributive Creativity in the Cloud

“Computers are like a bicycle for our minds,” Steve Jobs once said. “If that’s the case, then the cloud is a jetliner,” said Josh Rizzo, VP technology for Hula Post Production and moderator of SMPTE’s “Distributive Creativity” panel at NAB on the use of the cloud by the entertainment industry. Rizzo started off by making two overarching points: First, the entertainment industry is moving from expression to experience. Second, anything that can be built can be hacked, but the cloud is more secure than many options. Continue reading SMPTE Tech Summit at NAB: Distributive Creativity in the Cloud

Dropbox Clarifies Policies After Users Complain via Twitter

Although users of Dropbox and other cloud-based file storage and sharing systems have become accustomed to treating their files on these services as private, this is not actually the case. Darrell Whitelaw recently tried to share copyrighted material via Dropbox, and received a message that he could not share the content due to DMCA regulations. He tweeted his frustration, which received almost 4,000 retweets, and caused outrage throughout the Twittersphere. Continue reading Dropbox Clarifies Policies After Users Complain via Twitter

Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

Facebook has agreed to purchase mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion, in what marks the largest-ever acquisition of a company backed by venture capital. The deal, which comes in the wake of Facebook’s failed attempt to acquire messaging service Snapchat, includes $3 billion in restricted stock, $4 billion in cash, and $12 billion in Facebook shares. The deal easily outranks other notable startup acquisitions, including Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, and Microsoft’s $8.5 billion Skype deal. Continue reading Facebook to Acquire Mobile Messaging Service for $19 Billion

NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

In a mission to make government agencies more understandable to children, and the general public, the National Security Agency has created a website filled with interactive games, cartoon characters and puzzles. The goal is to educate children about spying, and spark an early interest in related career paths. The CryptoKids website for “future codemakers and codebreakers” is aimed to make these occupations seem cool, and even has a section entitled “How Can I Work for NSA?” Continue reading NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

Jeff Bezos Reveals Amazon’s Plans for Drone Delivery Service

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed some significant plans for the company on “60 Minutes” this week. In the not-too-distant future, Amazon plans to offer drone delivery service for its smaller packages headed for customers close to its distribution centers. Bezos expects packages weighing less than five pounds to be deliverable to addresses within a 10-mile radius by small helicopter-like devices. Amazon is calling the service “Prime Air.” Continue reading Jeff Bezos Reveals Amazon’s Plans for Drone Delivery Service

Bravo Uses New Facebook API to Enhance User Engagement

Bravo is one of the first networks to make use of Facebook’s new Keyword Insights API. Scanning private posts of the social networking site’s 100 million-plus users, Bravo is taking advantage of the feature — introduced in September — by running keyword searches during new episodes of the “Real Housewives” TV shows and using the data for social engagement during reruns. The reruns are referred to as the “social edition” versions, which include tweets and comments from the stars. Continue reading Bravo Uses New Facebook API to Enhance User Engagement

Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

According to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman and former CEO of Google, we may be close to a new “network age” in which Internet traffic will be protected with code, allowing users to communicate and organize socially without the fear of government censorship. Schmidt believes that Internet users will communicate via private channels that are shielded by encryption, scrambling data that can be decoded with a special digital key. Continue reading Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

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