This week, The New York Times reported that tech companies met with US government officials to discuss security and possible foreign influence around the 2018 midterm elections. Representatives from Amazon, Google, Twitter, Oath, Microsoft, Snap and Apple met at Facebook’s headquarters in California. Christopher Krebs, an under secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, and an unnamed representative from the FBI’s foreign influence task force were present at the meeting.
THE embattled data firm that worked on President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has told employees it is shutting down, along with its UK counterpart SCL Elections. The move, which impacts all offices of both companies worldwide, comes amid recent revelations that the company harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their consent, according to multiple sources close to the company. Continue reading CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SHUTS DOWN ALL OFFICES AMID ONGOING FACEBOOK CRISIS
The Guardian reports today that Cambridge University researcher Aleksandr Kogan’s relationship with Facebook wasn’t limited to his now infamous “thisisyourdigitallife” app. He had actually also received an additional sizable chunk of data from Facebook that he used for a research paper published in 2015. This dataset, however, differs quite a bit from that collected through Kogan’s personality app. While large in volume, this other set was anonymized and aggregated with no personally identifiable information included. As the 2015 research paper states, the data included “every friendship made on Facebook in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level,” which summed up to over 57 billion friendships.
Facebook is very serious about its original programming ambitions — $3 million per episode serious. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the tech giant is courting Hollywood agencies for original scripted TV shows, in some cases offering up to $3 million per episode. It’s also keen on procuring less-expensive productions that would cost hundreds of thousands each episode to make. The Journal’s sources said that Facebook has set late summer as a tentative launch window, and that it hopes to reach audiences aged 13-34.
In a bid to keep its creator community happy, Facebook announced that it’s planning a whole new app just for them later this year. It’s essentially a video creation app made just for its star broadcasters, who are also the same folks who are deemed worthy enough to use Facebook Mentions, an app only available to verified accounts owned by journalists, celebrities and other online influencers.
At Facebook’s annual developer conference, F8, on Wednesday, the group unveiled what may be Facebook’s most ambitious—and creepiest—proposal yet. Facebook wants to build its own “brain-to-computer interface” that would allow us to send thoughts straight to a computer.