Category Archives: Facebook P.O.

+++ P.O./ V.I. (BBG)Facebook Says Data on Most of Its 2 Billion Users Is Vulnerable

…As per my several Personal Opinions on this issue…

FCMP

(BBGFacebook Inc. said data on most of its 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly, giving fresh evidence of the ways the social-media giant failed to protect people’s privacy while generating billions of dollars in revenue from the information.

The company said it removed a feature that let users enter phone numbers or email addresses into Facebook’s search tool to find other people. That was being used by malicious actors to scrape public profile information, it said.

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way,” the company said. “So we have now disabled this feature.”

Facebook also said data on as many as 87 million people, most of them in the U.S., may have been improperly shared with research firm Cambridge Analytica. This is Facebook’s first official confirmation of the possible scope of the data leak, which was previously estimated at roughly 50 million. It has resulted in calls from legislators and policy makers for greater regulation of social media, helping to shave billion of dollars from the company’s market value.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of what our responsibility was and that was a huge mistake. It was my mistake,” Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call with reporters. “We’re broadening our view of our responsibility.”

Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee on April 10 to discuss Facebook’s role in society and users’ privacy. Australia’s government said it has started a formal investigation into whether Facebook breached the country’s privacy laws.

He defended the company’s advertising business model, confirmed he wants to stay in charge and disclosed no “meaningful impact” from an online campaign by some users to delete their Facebook accounts. Facebook stock rose almost 3 percent in extended trading, after closing at $155.10 in New York.

About 270,000 people downloaded a personality quiz app and shared information about themselves and their friends with a researcher, who then passed along the information to Cambridge Analytica, in a move that Facebook says was against its rules. Facebook reached the 87 million figure by adding up all the unique people that those 270,000 users were friends with at the time they gave the app permission. Facebook made the new disclosure in an online posting Wednesday.

Cambridge Analytica, which worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said it licensed data on 30 million people, countering Facebook’s 87 million estimate. Cambridge Analytica said in a tweet that it “immediately deleted the raw data from our file server, and began the process of searching for and removing any of its derivatives in our system” after Facebook contacted them to let them know data had been improperly obtained.

Facebook says it will tell people, in a notice at the top of their news feeds starting April 9, if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica. But it still hasn’t independently confirmed if the firm currently has the data. The revelation, and the subsequent media questions, hint at the grilling Zuckerberg will likely face when he testifies on the matter before Congress next week: How many other Cambridge Analytica-scale leaks of data are out there?

Zuckerberg, in Wednesday’s call, said he couldn’t be sure. “We’re not going to be able to go out and find every single bad use of data, but what we can do is make it a lot harder for folks to do that going forward,” he said. “I think we will be able to uncover a large amount of bad activity that exists.”

The company has been embroiled in controversy for weeks over the revelation that data was shared and then not deleted. It raised questions over the information Facebook compiles on users, makes available to third parties, and what happens to it afterward. Facebook made the announcement along with an update on its plans to restrict data access through its platform.

Zuckerberg defended gathering user data for a business model that lets advertisers use Facebook’s information and targeting tools to reach specific audiences.

“People tell us that if they’re going to see ads they want the ads to be good,” he said, noting that requires keeping track of what people are interested in.

Either way, he thinks he should remain at the helm of Facebook. “I think life is about learning from mistakes and figuring out what you need to do to move forward,” he said.

+++ P.O (Fox) Business:Zuckerberg will not answer UK lawmaker’s questions over data scandal

P.O.

…No wonder…

…They would grill him…

…And he would probably testify against himself…

…He would probably give evidence that would further complicate Facebook’s
   case…

…And eventually turn it into a crime…

…Or several crimes…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Fox) Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg will not answer questions from British lawmakers over how millions of users’ data got into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, according to a letter sent by the social network seen by Reuters.

Zuckerberg will instead send his Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox to appear before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.

The committee, which had asked for Zuckerberg or someone senior from Facebook to appear, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Zuckerberg apologized last week for the mistakes Facebook had made and promised tougher steps to restrict developers’ access to such information in a scandal which has rocked the social media giant on both sides of the Atlantic.

The firm’s Head of UK Public Policy told lawmakers that Schroepfer or Cox were better placed to answer questions.

“Facebook fully recognizes the level of public and Parliamentary interest in these issues and support your belief that these issues must be addressed at the most senior levels of the company by those in an authoritative position,” wrote Rebecca Stimson.

“As such Mr Zuckerberg has personally asked one of his deputies to make themselves available to give evidence in person to the Committee.”

P.O. (BBG) Israel to Investigate Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica Leak

P.O.
…Big trouble coming…
Israel is not exactly known for allowing breaches in privacy and security…
Any action taken by Israel against Facebook will have an imediate impact with the American Jewish Citizens.
The worst scenario would be a recomendation to ban Facebook.
And it’s not to be ruled out…
Big trouble ahead.

Francisco (Abouaf)de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Bloomberg) — Israeli Privacy Protection Authority
notified Facebook that it has opened investigation over
potential infringements of privacy law in wake of reports about
data transfers to Cambridge Analytica, according to press
release sent from Justice Ministry.
* Israeli law allows use of data only for stated purpose, with
individual’s consent
* Facebook spokesman in Israel did not immediately reply to
request for comment
* NOTE: Facebook Sued Over Data Disclosure to Cambridge
Analytica (1)
* NOTE: Israel Warns Twitter of Legal Steps Over Terrorism;
Shares Fall

+++ P.O. (BBG) Facebook Besieged by Wall Street, Washington and Europ

P.O.

To start with the concept of Facebook is an absurd…

To spy on everyone to promote whatever product or cause…

Give me a break…

It’s worse than Orwell’s darkest dreams.

It is a contradiction to any concept of a private life.

And of course now to have released sensitive and personal data of 50 million users to be exploited by Cambridge Analytica will have severe consequences.

My personal opinion is that they should be as severe as they could possibly get…

Just look at this statement, quoted in the Financial Times, by the now “suspended” CEO of Cambridge Analytica, Mr Alexander James Ashburner Nix, that used the data from Facebook:

Quote from the Financial Times

Yet when asked for more details about his personal life, he bristled. “I don’t think it’s necessarily in my best interests to share my life with other people . . . I’m just feeling uncomfortable about this. I don’t think that I want to be the story,” he said.

End of quote

So Mr Nix thinks it is not in his best interests to share his life with other people…

But that is precisely the concept of Facebook!

For the record i was never a user of Facebook.

I rest my case.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc.’s grim week is getting
grimmer.
The company on Tuesday was beset on two continents by
governments suddenly focused on data security and investors
unliked its stock to the point that it lost $60 billion in
value.
The Menlo Park, California, company, whose social network
is a ubiquitous venue for social and political life, is drawing
the unaccustomed unwelcome attention after the disclosure that
it released the personal data of 50 million users to an
analytics firm that helped elect President Donald Trump. The
company, Cambridge Analytica, has been implicated in dirty
tricks in elections around the globe.
Facebook has struggled to respond to the fast-moving
imbroglio, and even Facebook workers have been in the dark. The
company held a staff meeting today to answer their questions and
address staff questions about what Facebook knew and when. Chief
Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to address employees on
Friday at a previously scheduled all-hands meeting. For those
not privy to the internal meetings, here are the latest
developments:

Parliaments Request Mr. Zuckerberg’s Presence

CEO Zuckerberg may have to do a tour of European
parliaments to appease lawmakers. Damian Collins, head of a U.K.
parliament committee investigating the impact of social media on
recent elections, invited Zuckerberg to answer for a
“catastrophic failure of process.” Shortly thereafter an
invitation followed from European Parliament President Antonio
Tajani.
Separately, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said she
also plans to discuss the matter with Facebook during a visit in
the U.S. this week while Italian telecommunications regulator
AGCOM requested Facebook to provide information on data use.
Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg
haven’t yet spoken publicly about the data leak, despite the
global firestorm. When Zuckerberg addresses staff on Friday,
he’s certain to face questions about the controversy.

U.S. Regulators Would Like a Word

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether
Facebook broke the terms of a 2011 consent decree. The FTC is
the lead agency for enforcing companies’ adherence to their own
privacy policies and could fine the company if it finds Facebook
violated the agreement.
Facebook said it would conduct staff-level briefings of six
congressional committees Tuesday and Wednesday. That includes
House and Senate judiciary committees, as well as the commerce
and intelligence panels of both chambers.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate
Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that that it would “be
helpful for Facebook to testify about how the company protects
user privacy and what steps it’s taking to combat bad actors.”
The attorney generals of New York and Massachusetts sent
demand letters to the company, the first step in a joint
investigation.

A loss as big as a car (company)

Facebook’s stock price fell as much as 6.2 percent in New
York and the stock was down over 11 percent since Friday’s
close, giving up $60 billion in market capitalization. That’s
more than the total value of Tesla Inc.
The world’s largest social media network was sued in San
Francisco federal court Tuesday by shareholders in a class
action who said they suffered losses after the disclosure that
Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained profile information on
50 million users.
Free fall aside, Wall Street analysts remain upbeat. Buy
recommendations continue to roll in and price targets reflect a
potential return of 35 percent.
Out of the 43 analysts who recommend buying Facebook
shares, not one has downgraded the stock over the crisis.
However, many acknowledge that bad publicity could keep the
stock under pressure.

Cambridge Analytica

The political consulting company whose own troubles
engendered Facebook’s was also rocked Tuesday.
* Cambridge Analytica’s board suspended CEO Alexander Nix after
he was shown on video discussing entrapping politicians with
bribes and prostitutes and spreading disinformation.
* Britain’s Channel 4 News aired the third part of an undercover
investigation that showed Nix bragging of running research, data
and targeting for the Trump campaign and deriding U.S.
lawmakers. He also said the company used an email server to
communicate with clients and eliminate evidence of contact.
* Kenya’s opposition party demanded a probe after Channel 4’s
disclosure that Cambridge Analytica spread propaganda amid
election-related violence that left 92 people dead.

Signing Out

Facebook users don’t have to look far for instructions on
how to extricate themselves or their data: Across the
Twitterverse and blogospheres, outraged users have said they’re
deleting their accounts and how-to instructions are making the
rounds. Tech sites have published guides on how to deactivate or
control carefully curated social media accounts.
The brushfire comes at an inauspicious moment. Daily active
user growth in the U.S. and Canada declined from 185 million in
the third quarter to 184 million in the period, the company
reported last quarter. That signals the first loss on a quarter-
over-quarter basis in the company’s history.

+++ P.O. (BBG) FTC Is Said to Be Probing Facebook for Use of Personal Data

P.O.

…Huge trouble ahead for Facebook, in my opinion…

…By the way…

…I never had Facebook…

…Never ever…

…I always thought it was the end of personal life…

…I know it’s a phenomenal success…

…But not for me thank you.

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. is under investigation by a
U.S. privacy watchdog over the use of personal data of 50
million users by a data analytics firm to help elect President
Donald Trump.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is probing whether
Facebook violated terms of a 2011 consent decree over its
handing of user data that was transferred to Cambridge Analytica
without their knowledge, according to a person familiar with the
matter.
Under the 2011 settlement, Facebook agreed to get user
consent for certain changes to privacy settings as part of a
settlement of federal charges that it deceived consumers and
forced them to share more personal information than they
intended. That complaint arose after the company changed some
user settings without notifying its customers, according to an
FTC statement at the time.
An FTC spokeswoman said in emailed statement that the
agency is aware of the issues that have been raised, but can’t
comment on whether it is investigating. The agency takes any
allegations of violations of consent decrees seriously, the
statement said.
If the FTC finds Facebook violated terms of the consent
decree, it has the power to fine the company more than $40,000 a
day per violation.
Facebook said in a statement it rejected “any suggestion of
violation of the consent decree.”
“We respected the privacy settings that people had in
place,” the statement said. “Privacy and data protections are
fundamental to every decision we make.”
Facebook declined in New York trading, falling 3.2 percent
to $167 as of 10:57 a.m. in New York. That follows a drop of 6.8
percent Monday that was the company’s largest since March 2014.
Despite concern about Cambridge Analytica’s use of the data
expressed by several Democrats and Republicans, GOP-controlled
congressional committees haven’t demanded hearings with Facebook
executives. The Senate Commerce Committee did announce Monday
evening it would like a briefing from the company on “the use
and sharing of individual Facebook user data.”
Chuck Grassley, who serves as chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, also said he was considering a hearing with
the CEOs of Facebook, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Twitter Inc.
The Facebook revelations have also prompted transatlantic
reaction. The chairman of a UK parliamentary committee announced
Tuesday he was requesting that Facebook Chief Executive Officer
Mark Zuckerberg, who has remained silent for days, appear before
the panel to supplement prior testimony by the company’s
executives.
White House spokesman Raj Shah said Tuesday that Trump
“believes that Americans’ privacy should be protected” and
supports federal investigations into the incident. “If Congress
wants to look into the matter or other agencies want to look
into the matter, we welcome that,” Shah said on Fox News.
Asked if Zuckerberg should testify, Shah demurred. “Without
knowing the specifics, it’s difficult to talk about whether an
individual should testify,” he said.
A Facebook spokesman confirmed that the company would be
holding a townhall Tuesday, where a deputy general counsel would
answer questions.

P.O. (MW) Facebook sheds nearly $40 billion of market cap as investors flee stock

Only 40 billion wiped out of Facebook’s value…?
Seems small to me considering the revelations about Facebook’s real business…
Spying on everyone…

(MWMonday’s rout has wiped away almost $40 billion in market value from Friday’s close of $537.67 billion. The stock closed right at its 200-day moving average, a closely watched trend tracker that currently extends to $172.54, according to FactSet.

Many analysts acknowledged that the latest episode represents a public relations and regulatory risk to Facebook, though they were divided on the company’s ability to weather such challenges.

“It appears that data access by the original app developer was properly permissioned (i.e., this was not a ‘breach’ per se) and we note that Facebook has since upgraded its user privacy functionality and app review process to prevent similar abuse,” wrote Wells Fargo analysts led by Peter Stabler. “Nonetheless, this episode appears likely to create another and potentially more serious public relations ‘black eye’ for the company and could lead to additional regulatory scrutiny.”

Wells Fargo has a buy rating on the stock and a $230 price target.

GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives commented that this new wave of scrutiny could prompt Facebook to make additional tweaks to its news feed and broader platform. “It’s clear with more ‘heat in the kitchen from the Beltway’ that further modest changes to their business model around advertising and news feeds/content could be in store over the next 12 to 18 months,” he wrote.

Facebook announced at the start of the year that it would begin to prioritize content from friends and family members over content from publishers, and the company said on its latest earnings call that changes intended to de-emphasize viral videos had resulted in users spending 50 million fewer hours per day on the platform. Facebook has been able to overcome such issues so far, posting strong growth despite significant increases in ad prices.

Ives believes that Facebook “can keep regulators at bay” through investments in security, screening, and artificial intelligence but thinks that the next few weeks will require Facebook to “hand hold and assure its users and regulators around tighter content standards and platform security.” Ives rates Facebook stock “highly attractive” and has a $225 price target.

Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser, one of just two analysts with a sell rating on the stock, said he does not expect the latest revelations to pose a near-term risk for Facebook.

“This episode is another indication of systemic problems at Facebook, although the company’s business won’t likely be meaningfully impacted for now because we don’t think advertisers will suddenly change the trajectory of their spending growth on the platform,” Wieser wrote. The company may face “enhanced” risk now, from a regulatory perspective and in terms of what it allows third-parties to measure, according to Wieser. He thinks advertisers may grow frustrated if Facebook begins restricting various types of measurements.

Stifel analyst Scott Devitt said Facebook hasn’t moved swiftly enough to address security concerns about its platform and that the company has been too quick to brush off concerns from critics. He believes the changes Facebook needs to make to restore user trust and tackle these security issues could “ultimately lead to lower engagement and negative monetization implications.” Devitt rates the stock at hold with a $195 target.

Facebook’s debacle helped push the broader tech sector XLK, -0.04%  lower. Shares of Twitter Inc. TWTR, +2.81%  were down 1.7%, while shares of Snap Inc. have lost 3.4% SNAP, +0.88%  and shares of Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, +0.02%  were off 3%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.27%  fell 1.8%, posting steeper losses than the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.47%  and S&P 500 SPX, +0.15%each off 1.4%.