Facebook critics want regulation, investigation after data misuse

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 March 2018
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Facebook critics want regulation, investigation after data misuse

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook Inc. faced new calls for regulation from within US Congress and was hit with questions about personal data safeguards on Saturday after reports a political consultant gained inappropriate access to 50 million users’ data starting in 2014.
Facebook disclosed the issue in a blog post on Friday, hours before media reports that conservative-leaning Cambridge Analytica, a data company known for its work on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was given access to the data and may not have deleted it.
The scrutiny presented a new threat to Facebook’s reputation, which was already under attack over Russians’ alleged use of Facebook tools to sway American voters before and after the 2016 US elections.
“It’s clear these platforms can’t police themselves,” Democratic US Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted.
“They say ‘trust us.’ Mark Zuckerberg needs to testify before Senate Judiciary,” she added, referring to Facebook’s CEO and a committee she sits on.
Facebook said the root of the problem was that researchers and Cambridge Analytica lied to it and abused its policies, but critics on Saturday threw blame at Facebook as well, demanding answers on behalf of users and calling for new regulation.
Facebook insisted the data was misused but not stolen, because users gave permission, sparking a debate about what constitutes a hack that must be disclosed to customers.
“The lid is being opened on the black box of Facebook’s data practices, and the picture is not pretty,” said Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland law professor who has written about Silicon Valley’s use of data.
Pasquale said Facebook’s response that data had not technically been stolen seemed to obfuscate the central issue that data was apparently used in a way contrary to the expectations of users.
“It amazes me that they are trying to make this about nomenclature. I guess that’s all they have left,” he said.


The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

UAE's most Googled people in 2018. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 December 2018
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The Six: The UAE’s most Googled people in 2018

DUBAI: Google recently released its list of the world’s most searched for topics in 2018 and the UAE’s list of the most googled personalities show just how celebrity obsessed we all are at heart.

If you’re late to the party, grab your phone and google these famous names now.

Meghan Markle
The American-born British royal was the most googled personality in the world in 2018 — and UAE-based Internet users mirrored that trend.

Nick Jonas
The second most googled personality in the UAE this year climbed to new heights of fame when he married Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra in December.

Logan Paul
Third on the list is disgraced YouTube star Logan Paul, who was widely criticized at the beginning of the year when he uploaded a video that showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in Japan.

Sylvester Stallone
Fourth on the list is “Rocky” star Stallone, who also happens to be the most searched for actor in the world this year.

Freddie Mercury
The UAE’s fifth most googled personality is rock legend Freddie Mercury — most likely due to the release of hit film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Sonam Kapoor
The Bollywood actress rounds out the list of the UAE’s six most googled personalities and her headline-making nuptials in 2018 could be the reason.