Open database exposes information of 49M Instagram users

(May 21, 2019) TechCrunch reports more than 49 million Instagram accounts belonging to influencers, celebrities and brands were breached due to an open database owned by Mumbai-based social media firm Chtrbox. The data scraping mostly involved account features and details, such as profile pictures, biographies and number of followers, but user email addresses and phone numbers were exposed, as well. “We’re looking into the issue to understand if the data described — including email and phone numbers — was from... Read More

White House announces campaign against social media 'bias'

(May 16, 2019) The Washington Post reports the Trump administration has announced a campaign that is asking citizens to speak up regarding any censorship by big tech firms, like Google, Facebook and Twitter. "The Trump Administration is fighting for free speech online," the White House wrote in a tweet announcing the campaign. "No matter your views, if you suspect political bias has caused you to be censored or silenced online, we want to hear about it!" The campaign aims to collect names, contact information ... Read More

Irish DPC to investigate WhatsApp hack

(May 15, 2019) Ireland's Data Protection Commission is preparing to investigate whether WhatsApp users in the European Union were victimized by a recent hack of the messaging app, Yahoo Finance reports. The DPC is in discussions with WhatsApp about the possibility of EU citizens' data being compromised, but it cannot begin a formal investigation until WhatsApp completes its own review and reports the breach according to EU General Data Protection Regulation protocols. "While the possibility remains that EU use... Read More

Sen. Hawley seeks clarity on Facebook's privacy shift

(May 15, 2019) U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., penned a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking for details on the social network's plans to improve its privacy and data-collection methods, Politico reports. Hawley asked for specifics on Facebook's plans for the collection of metadata from encrypted conversations, including what types of metadata, how long the data will be stored, and how it will be used. “The American people deserve to know how you plan to [create more privacy] before they sign on to your... Read More

Facebook, FTC nearing deal with 20-year oversight

(May 14, 2019) CNBC reports the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is close to finalizing a settlement with Facebook that would include 20 years of oversight, in addition to previously reported fines. While an official agreement is not expected before the end of May, Facebook is already preparing for its fine after recently setting aside $3 billion. The reported oversight clause in this potential deal draws a parallel to a similar clause in the 2011 settlement between the FTC and the social network.Full Story... Read More

Perspective: Content moderation in 2019

(May 13, 2019) Amid all the Active Learning Day programming during the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in Washington, the IAPP held its first-ever "Content Moderation in 2019" workshop, featuring keynotes and panelists from across the burgeoning content moderation profession. "While content moderation is getting more attention than ever before," the IAPP's Margaret Honda writes, "the panelists all agreed there is more work to be done organizationally to elevate it from a necessary evil to an integral part of a comp... Read More

Turkish DPA fines Facebook $271K for data breach

(May 13, 2019) Turkey’s data protection authority, the KVKK, announced it has fined Facebook more than $271,000 for a data breach, Reuters reports. The agency’s decision stemmed from a photo application programming interface flaw that allowed third-party applications to access the photos of Facebook users. The KVKK determined about 300,000 Turkish citizens were affected by the breach. Meanwhile, Facebook filed a lawsuit against a South Korean analytics company for potentially mishandling users’ data, while Fac... Read More

Takeaways from the 'Content Moderation in 2019' workshop

(May 10, 2019) After months of planning, it’s hard to believe our “Content Moderation in 2019” workshop is in the rear-view mirror. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the conversations throughout the day. A special thank you to all our keynote speakers and panelists. Your contributions, insight and humor fostered a day full of constructive discussions.We covered a lot of ground in six hours. Our keynote speaker, Tarleton Gillespie, principal researcher at Microsoft New England and author of... Read More

Facebook co-founder calls for its break up

(May 10, 2019) In an op-ed for The New York Times’ Privacy Project, Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes, who left the social network's ranks a decade ago, writes that the time is now to rein in his former company and create a new standard for privacy and accountability for all big tech companies. Hughes blamed himself and those involved in Facebook's infancy for "not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture" but also wrote that Facebook has gone from "a project developed in our dor... Read More

Ethics committee votes to subpoena Zuckerberg, Sandberg

(May 10, 2019) The Parliament of Canada’s Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics has voted to subpoena Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg over Cambridge Analytica and the spread of online misinformation, CBC News reports. New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Charlie Angus said it is important for the committee to question Facebook on its adherence to Canadian law. "We are aware of the recent vote and are continuing our dialogue with the committee regar... Read More