Technology Facebook's latest leak hints at unrest within the social network
Facebook’s latest data leak includes records for over 419 million users
A security researcher has discovered databases containing more than 419 million records tied to Facebook accounts. It appears the data -- which includes phone numbers and Facebook IDs and in some cases users' names, genders and countries -- was scraped from the platform. However, it's not clear who pulled that information from Facebook or why. The dataset included 133 million records on Facebook users in the US, 18 million on people in the UK and 50 million on users in Vietnam. The researcher, Sanyam Jain, found the databases on an exposed server that wasn't protected with a password. He told TechCrunchhe found phone numbers linked to several celebrities.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a record of making candid remarks that not only land him in hot water but raise questions about how well he leads the world's largest social network. After the 2016 US presidential election, he called reports that fake news on Facebook had influenced the results "." He's even had to clarify his stance on after telling a tech journalist that he doesn't think Holocaust deniers are "intentionally getting it wrong."
Turns out, Zuckerberg offers similarly candid observations to his roughly 40,000 workers.
On Tuesday, The Verge publishedat two town hall meetings in July. His comments covered everything from Facebook's competition to its social responsibility to mounting pressure from politicians looking to limit the company's enormous power. In particular, Zuckerberg name-checked , a Democratic presidential contender who's called for the breakup of Facebook and other tech giants.
Zuckerberg indicated that if Warren became president, the company would pull out all the stops to keep itself whole. "At the end of the day, if someone's going to try to threaten something that existential, you go to the mat and you fight," the transcript reads.
Latest Google Pixelbook 2 leak shows the device in action weeks before launch
Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL may be the stars of the show at its hardware event next month, but they won't be the only devices unveiled at the event. Google will undoubtedly bring a variety of new products to its October event, and one of those products might have leaked a few weeks early. This week, 9to5Google shared two new images which appear to feature the display of the unannounced Pixelbook 2 powered on and running. As 9to5Google notes,
The remarks themselves aren't terribly revealing. Zuckerberg repeated positions he's long held, though he expressed them with unusual candor. The fact that the comments leaked, though, is the latest evidence that Facebook's workers are now worried about what their company is doing and how it's perceived outside its Menlo Park, California headquarters.
"It does tell us that the people inside Facebook feel under siege and uncomfortable about the world around them," said David Yoffie, an international business administration professor at Harvard Business School.
Dribs and drabs of internal information have leaked out of Facebook for years, though rarely as completely as Tuesday's transcript. News outlets have published internal documents about, an internal post from scolding employees for crossing out the phrase "Black Lives Matter" on the walls of its headquarters and remarks from executives at .
Facebook to shut down its group stories feature next week
The social network will start to sunset the feature on Sept. 26.The feature, called group stories, has been available globally since December 2018. The company will start sunsetting group stories on Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. PT. Existing group stories will be deleted and users won't be able to post any new ones.
But Facebook employees, like workers at many tech companies, have been wary of leaking information, because it could get them fired. In the wake of aabout how Facebook executives reacted to crisis, including a Russian influence operation, Zuckerberg reportedly told employees during a town hall that the company wouldn't hesitate to fire employees who spoke to the media. Leaks, he told employees, are usually caused by "issues with morale."
In a public post, Zuckerberg stood by his remarks and linked to a full transcript. He called it "an unfiltered version" of what he's thinking and telling employees.
"Even though it was meant to be internal rather than public, now that it's out there, you can check it out," he said in the post.
Warren, the presidential hopeful, also had a response for Zuckerberg.
"Let's talk a bit about my plan toand why it's got Mark Zuckerberg so worked up," she tweeted.
The leak of an internal memo embarrassed Facebook
In 2016, a senior executive of Facebook wrote that the social network was determined to grow at all costs, even at the expense of risks for its users. Network CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to distance himself.
Already entangled in the Cambridge Analytica case, Facebook has seen a new front of criticism after the leak of two memos. These two documents, dating from 2016 and 2014, respectively revealed by BuzzFeed and the Financial Times suggest that Facebook had all the keys in hand to avoid what he today calls "mistakes". Mark Zuckerberg's team was quite clairvoyant about the potentially harmful consequences of his creation.
The first is an internal memo written in 2016 by one of Mark Zuckerberg's right hand man, Andrew Bosworth. The document, titled "The Ugly" ("The Ugly"), discusses the negative effects of the social network on society, before dismissing these concerns on the grounds that growth is paramount.
Bosworth explains that the success of Facebook, which is also its raison d'être, is due to its ability to create bridges between individuals. The social network can have very positive effects in allowing people to meet, find love, or save the life of someone on the brink of suicide. "But it can also be bad if people do something negative. It may cost lives by exposing people to harassment. Someone might die in an organized terrorist attack with our tools, "writes Bosworth with disconcerting foresight. "The sad reality is that we believe so much in bringing people together that anything that allows us to connect more people with each other and as often as possible seems de facto good. It's our imperative. Because that's what we do. We connect people, "continues the memo.
"I do not agree today with this text"
Asked about this document, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Andrew Bosworth as a talented leader but with sometimes provocative words: "This is one of those with whom the most people at Facebook, including me, disagree the most. " And to add: "We never thought that the end justifies the means. We recognize that connecting people is not enough in itself. We also need to work to make people closer to each other. "
Summoned to explain, the author of the memo returned to the context and his writings: "The purpose of this note, like many others that I wrote internally, was to raise topics which, in my opinion, deserved more discussion in a wider way within the company ". In a statement, he even states: "I do not agree today with this text and was not even when I wrote it."
For some, this document shows that, contrary to statements made in recent months, Facebook leaders were already aware for several years of the risks associated with connecting to the social network and share opinions and personal data.
Moreover, other documents cast doubt on the sincerity of Facebook in full scandal Cambridge Analytica. The social network has always said it was deceived by Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan, who would have allowed the British company cambridge Analytica to illegally recover the personal data of 50 million users of the social network.
According to the documents accessed by the, Aleksander Kogan had in 2014 sent a document to Facebook in which he outlined the conditions of use of his application. It stated that the company would have the right to publish, publish, transfer, sell, or archive data and publications of people.
Facebook must now explain itself to justice. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday that the company had already sent documents to him and had expressed his desire to cooperate fully with the investigation.
New Facebook app pays people to take part in surveys .
Facebook on Monday introduced a "Viewpoints" app in the US that pays members of the social network for taking part in surveys. The new market research app will be used to improve the Facebook "family" of offerings including Instagram, WhatsApp, Portal, Oculus and the core online social network, according to product manager Erez Naveh. The app could blunt criticism that Facebook keeps to itself profits made by taking advantage of data shared on the social network."We believe the best way to make products better is to get insights directly from people who use them," Naveh said in an online post.
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