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Many Americans Left Facebook After Personal Data Scandal |The Republican News

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A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook in the wake of recent scandals over the social network’s handling of private user data, a study showed Wednesday.The Pew Research Center report found 42 percent of US Facebook users said they had “taken a break” from the platform in the past 12 months, and 26 percent said they had deleted the Facebook app from their phone.

Among those in the 18-29 age group, the break with Facebook appeared more pronounced, with 44 percent claiming to have deleted the Facebook mobile app.

Although the survey did not indicate how many users were quitting Facebook entirely, the findings suggest a clouded outlook for the company which has been roiled by news of the hijacking of private data by political firm Cambridge Analytica and concerns of foreign influence campaigns on the platform.

“Significant shares of Facebook users have taken steps in the past year to reframe their relationship with the social media platform,” researcher Andrew Perrin said in a blog post.

According to Pew’s survey, three-fourths of US Facebook users have taken some steps to change how they interact with Facebook, including more than half who have changed their privacy settings.

Perrin said the concerns about Facebook appeared to transcend political affiliation.

“The poll found that nearly identical shares of Democrats and Republicans (including political independents who lean toward either party) use Facebook,” he said.

“Republicans are no more likely than Democrats to have taken a break from Facebook or deleted the app from their phone in the past year.”

The report was based on a survey between May 29 and June 11 including 3,413 Facebook users aged 18 and older, with an estimated margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

The survey comes ahead of a congressional hearing on foreign influence campaigns on social media, at which Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg was to testify.

And it comes with President Donald Trump stepping up his attacks on internet platforms with his unverified contention that they are suppressing conservatives and Republicans.

Facebook has already lost ground in the United States among teens and young adult users, losing ground notably to Snapchat, but with some switching to Facebook-owned Instagram.

But Facebook remains the world’s largest social network with well over two billion users worldwide.
(AFP)

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Facebook, Google, Twitter Have To Be Careful, Trump Warns |RN

President Donald Trump stepped up his criticism of internet firms Tuesday, hours after attacking Google over what he called “bias” against him and his supporters.

“Google and Twitter and Facebook — they are really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

The comments come after the president last week slammed social media firms for what he claimed was suppression of conservative voices, and Tuesday’s tirade against Google that claimed news search results were “rigged” to favour “left-wing media.”

(AFP)

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Cambridge Analytica Closing Down Following Facebook Data Misuse Scandal

Abrar Al-Heeti
Cambridge Analytica is shutting down effective Wendesday. © Provided by CNET Cambridge Analytica is shutting down effective Wednesday.

 

Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, is shutting down following alleged misuse of Facebook data.

In a statement, the company said its UK and US arms would enter into insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. The shutdown, effective Wednesday, was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a scandal that’s stirred up two national governments and Facebook, the world’s largest social network. Facebook banned the consultancy last month, saying it had improperly received data from as many as 87 million user profiles. The controversy prompted Congress to summon Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Washington for testimony last month, an appearance that made headlines around the world.

Cambridge Analytica has denied wrongdoing but said the controversy weighed on its business and forced it to close its doors.

“The siege of media coverage has driven away virtually all of the company’s customers and suppliers,” the company said in its statement. “As a result, it has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business, which left Cambridge Analytica with no realistic alternative to placing the company into administration.”

In the wake of the data-mining scandal, Zuckerberg faced more than 10 hours of hearings with three committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The hearings stretched over two days, during which he was grilled on everything from data privacy concerns, censorship and even how the Russian government manipulated Facebook to spread propaganda during the 2016 election.

In a statement, Facebook said it’s continuing its investigation with “relevant authorities.”

“This doesn’t change our commitment and determination to understand exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” a company representative said. Last week, Facebook reported a nearly 50 percent jump in sales, suggesting the biggest crisis in the company’s 14-year history has yet to take a toll.

The sudden decision to close shop marks a departure from Cambridge Analytica’s strong defence of itself. Just Monday, the company tweeted that followers should “Get the Facts Behind the Facebook Story,” adding a link to cambridgefacts.com. That site attempts to refute much of the coverage the firm has received in light of the scandal.

In March, Cambridge Analytica suspended Chief Executive Alexander Nix after he and other senior executives at the firm were caught on video saying they’d go beyond using data to hurt a client’s rival political candidate. Those tactics, Nix said in a report broadcast by the UK’s Channel 4, included entrapping politicians to influence an election’s outcome. Cambridge Analytica has ties to the Donald Trump campaign.

Neither Cambridge Analytica nor parent SCL Group immediately responded to a request for comment.

Last month, The New York Times reported that Emerdata, a new UK firm, had been created to house Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group. That, however, might not be enough to keep public scrutiny at bay, says Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies.

“If the principals who made these bad decisions at Cambridge Analytica just donned a new hat, I’m not sure they’ll be successful,” he said. “The fact that they made bad mistakes while they were at Cambridge Analytica — what’s going to keep them from doing that now under a new moniker?”

Also on Tuesday, Cambridge Analytica released the results of an independent investigation commissioned into whether it was involved in any wrongdoing. The investigation concluded that the allegations against Cambridge Analytica weren’t “borne out by the facts.”   (CNET)

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Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg’s Compensation Jumps To $8.9m As Security Costs Soar

By Munsif Vengattil and David Ingram
Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg testifies before House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington© REUTERS/Leah Millis Facebook CEO Zuckerberg testifies before House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

 

Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s compensation rose 53.5 percent to $8.9 million in 2017, a regulatory filing showed on Friday, largely due to higher costs related to the 33-year old billionaire’s personal security.

About 83 percent of the compensation represented security-related expenses, while most of the rest were tied to Zuckerberg’s personal use of private aircraft.

Zuckerberg spent much of last year travelling after he pledged to visit all the U.S. states that he had not previously been to.

His security expenses climbed to $7.3 million in 2017 from $4.9 million a year earlier.

Menlo Park, California-based Facebook paid to buy, install and maintain security measures for Zuckerberg’s personal residences, which include properties in San Francisco and Palo Alto, the filing showed.

The Facebook board’s compensation committee authorised Zuckerberg’s security programme, the filing said, “to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, Chairman, and CEO.”

Zuckerberg’s base salary was unchanged at $1, while his total voting power at Facebook rose marginally to 59.9 percent.

Facebook, which has consistently reported stronger-than-expected earnings over the past two years, has faced public outcry over its role in Russia’s alleged influence over the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg emerged largely unscathed after facing hours of questioning from U.S. lawmakers on how the personal information of several million Facebook users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.   (Reuters)

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Facebook: I’m Sorry For Data Misuse, Zuckerberg Tells US Lawmakers |RN

Facebook Privacy Scandal Congress, Washington, USA - 10 Apr 2018
Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Photo: AFP

Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg offered apologies to US lawmakers Tuesday as he made a long-awaited appearance in a congressional hearing on the hijacking of personal data on millions of users.

Reading from his written testimony, Zuckerberg repeated a statement he had previously made, saying the misuse of data “was my mistake, and I’m sorry.”

“It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right,” Zuckerberg told a Senate hearing.

Zuckerberg was making his first formal appearance at a Congressional hearing, seeking to allay widespread fears ignited by the leaking of private data on tens of millions of users to a British firm working on Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The scandal has sparked fresh calls for regulation of social media platforms, and Facebook in the past week has sought to stem criticism by endorsing at least one legislative proposal, which would require better labelling and disclosure on political advertising.

Senator Charles Grassley, chair of one of the committees holding the hearing, said the scandal involving the British firm Cambridge Analytica “was clearly a breach of consumer trust and a likely improper transfer of data.”

The revelation on data mishandling “has exposed that consumers may not fully understand or appreciate the extent to which their data is collected, protected, transferred, used and misused,” Grassley said.

He added that the Judiciary Committee “will hold a separate hearing exploring Cambridge and other data privacy issues.”

AFP

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Facebook Confirms 1.1m Britons Affected By Cambridge Analytica Data Misuse |RN

By James Titcomb and Harriet Alexander

Video provided by Bloomberg 

More than a million British Facebook users could have had their personal data accessed by Cambridge Analytica, the company revealed on Wednesday, as it increased its estimates of the total number of users affected from 50 to 87 million.

Mark Zuckerberg, the embattled chief executive of Facebook, refused to rule out legal action against the British company and insisted that he remained the best man to lead the tech firm, flatly denying that he had been asked to resign.

Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of a sign           © Provided by The Telegraph

In a rare teleconference with reporters, Mr Zuckerberg, 33, sidestepped questions as to why he had declined to appear before a committee of British MPs, pointing out that earlier in the day it was confirmed that he will testify before US politicians.

He said he would from now send his executives, including Mike Schroepfer, the chief technology officer, to answer internationally on his behalf.

“We announced today that I am going to be testifying in the US Congress, and I am going to be sending Schroepfer or another of our top folks to answer additional questions from countries in other places,” he said.

The entrepreneur struck an upbeat tone at times, saying he was proud of Facebook’s work in “bringing billions of people together” and defending the company from accusations of selling data to advertisers.

At other moments he was apologetic, admitting that Facebook had not done enough to protect its users and admitting that, with hindsight, he would have acted to prevent the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“I think life is about learning from the mistakes and figuring what are the best things to do, moving forward,” he said. “I think the reality of a lot of this is that when you are building something like Facebook, that is unprecedented in the world, there are going to be things you will mess up. I think what people should hold us accountable for is learning from our mistakes.”

Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica   © press association Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica

The people affected had their data incorrectly passed to the British election consultants several years ago after fewer than 200,000 Facebook users downloaded a quiz app in 2013 that harvested data about their friends.

Facebook told The Telegraph that 81.2 percent of total affected people were in the US, while 1.2 percent – or 1,079,000 people – were in the UK.

Facebook is now accused of failing to ensure that Cambridge Analytica deleted the data after ordering it to do so in 2015. The British company allegedly used the information to boost Donald Trump’s election campaign.

The offices of Cambridge Analytica (CA) in central London, after it was announced that Britain's information commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica's computer servers, Tuesday March 20, 2018. Denham said Tuesday that she is using all her legal powers to investigate Facebook and political campaign consultants Cambridge Analytica over the alleged misuse of millions of people's data. Cambridge Analytica said it is committed to helping the U.K. investigation. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA via AP)© The Associated Press The offices of Cambridge Analytica (CA) in central London, after it was announced that Britain’s information commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pursuing a warrant to search Cambridge…

Technology bosses rarely appear in front of Washington hearings in person and have been criticised by US politicians for sending their top lawyers instead. Mr Zuckerberg has often left Washington manoeuvring to his chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has represented Facebook at previous political summits, and his appearance next week will be a first in front of US politicians.

Mr Zuckerberg may also face US senators in a separate hearing next week, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The committee’s Republican chairman Greg Walden and its ranking Democrat member Frank Pallone Jr said the hearing “will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online”.

They added: “We appreciate Mr Zuckerberg’s willingness to testify before the committee, and we look forward to him answering our questions.”

Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie            © Provided by The Telegraph 

Mr Zuckerberg’s willingness to appear in Washington jars with his current reluctance to face British MPs, who have twice demanded he appear in front of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

Last week, the committee chairman Damian Collins said it was “absolutely astonishing” that Mr Zuckerberg was not prepared to appear in person.

This week, Facebook said it had deleted hundreds of pages and accounts linked to a Russian “troll factory” accused of posting fake news and political posts during the 2016 US presidential election, in a further attempt to regain its reputation.

Mr Zuckerberg said the agency “has repeatedly acted to deceive people and manipulate people around the world, and we don’t want them on Facebook”.

Chris Wylie, from Canada, who once worked for the UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, gives a talk entitled "The Most Important Whistleblower Since Snowden: The Mind Behind Cambridge Analytica" at the Frontline Club in London, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Cambridge Analytica has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. It denies wrongdoing. Wylie has been quoted as saying the company used the data to build psychological profiles so voters could be targeted with ads and stories. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)© The Associated Press Chris Wylie, from Canada, who once worked for the UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, gives a talk entitled “The Most Important Whistleblower Since Snowden: The…

He concluded: “Given how complex our systems are, I think this is a multi-year project. Part of the good news is that we have really ramped up on this. We are probably a year in on a three-year push.

“We’re going to keep on looking for things, and keep on doing more.”   (The Telegraph)

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Mark Zuckerberg Attacks Tim Cook Over Allegation That Facebook Trades Peoples’ Privacy For Money

Jeremy B White
Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook are posing for a picture          © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited 

Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at Apple CEO Tim Cook for disparaging Facebook’s business model.

A critique from Mr Cook suggesting the social media platform was trading privacy for profit was “extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth”, Mr Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, said in an interview with Vox.

Days earlier, excerpts emerged of an interview in which Mr Cook faulted Facebook’s reliance on attracting advertisers who can use the site’s data to precisely target customers. He praised Apple’s model of selling thoroughly vetted products as superior and suggested Mr Zuckerberg had blundered into the scandal now engulfing the company.

Mr Zuckerberg pushed back on those comments, saying he rejected the premise that “that if you’re not paying that somehow we can’t care about you”.

             © Getty 

“The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay”, Mr Zuckerberg said. “And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people”.

He also drew a contrast between his company’s free service and Apple’s line of high-priced products.

“If you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford”, Mr Zuckerberg said, adding that “at Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use”.

The barbs flew between the two tech executives as Mr Zuckerberg seeks to steer his company through a data privacy crisis.

After it was revealed that a third party researcher obtained some 50 million Facebook users’ personal information and passed it along to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which went on to work for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the social media giant has faced a torrent of criticism from both elected officials and tech titans like Mr Cook.

                © Reuters 

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher, Mr Cook called it “creepy” to find targeted advertisements are “chasing me around the web” and said Facebook’s revenue model compromised personal privacy.

“We’ve never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist”, Mr Cook said, going on to say Facebook needed to be better regulated.

Facebook has sought to tamp down a public outcry by vowing to institute tougher privacy safeguards that limit how many personal data outside apps can harvest. The company has said that, in the years since researcher Aleksandr Kogan gleaned reams of user data and shared them with Cambridge Analytica, it has tightened its rules to bar that scale of a collection.  (The Independent)

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