New security and privacy features introduced on Facebook Messenger will give users more control, the company says.
App Lock, one of the features, lets users add another layer of security to private messages and helps prevent other people from accessing them, Facebook said in a statement.
It also said that this optional feature will give users the confidence to know that if a friend or family member needs to borrow a phone, they won’t be able to access a user’s chats.
App Lock uses the device’s privacy settings like fingerprint or face authentication to unlock the Messenger app, and mobile touch or face ID is not transmitted to or stored by Facebook.
The feature became available from July 22, on iPhone and iPad and will come to Android in the next few months.
The Facebook Messenger said people say that they want more control over their inbox and calls.
“That’s why we’re working on new controls so you can decide who can message or call you directly, who goes to your requests folder, and who can’t message or call you at all,” it said.
Facebook said that this will be similar to the message controls on Instagram, and the company will share more details when they start testing these controls.
The hackers targeted the accounts of 130 people, some of its most high-profile users and were able to reset the passwords of 45 of those accounts, said Twitter.
“We’re embarrassed, we’re disappointed, and more than anything, we’re sorry. We know that we must work to regain your trust, and we will support all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Twitter said in the blog post.
The San Francisco-based company said in a blog post Saturday that for up to eight of these accounts the attackers also downloaded the account’s information through the “Your Twitter Data” tool. None of the eight were verified accounts, Twitter said, adding that it is contacting the owners of the affected accounts.
The July 17 attack broke into the Twitter accounts of world leaders, celebrities and tech moguls in one of the most high-profile security breaches in recent years.
The attackers sent out tweets from the accounts of the public figures, offering to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.
It highlighted a major flaw with the service millions of people have come to rely on as an essential communications tool.
Allison Nixon, chief research officer at cybersecurity firm 221B said in an email Sunday that the people behind the attack appear to have come from the “OG” community, a group interested in original, short Twitter handles such as @a, @b or @c, for instance.
"Based upon what we have seen,the motivation for the most recent Twitter attack is similar to previous incidents we have observed in the OG community — a combination of financial incentive, technical bragging rights, challenge, and disruption,” Nixon wrote. “The OG community is not known to be tied to any nation state. Rather they are a disorganized crime community with a basic skillset and are a loosely organized group of serial fraudsters.”
While this attack did not appear go further than the Bitcoin ruse — at least for now — it raises questions about Twitter’s ability to secure its service against election interference and misinformation ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
A two-year audit of Facebook’s civil rights records found “serious setbacks” that have marred the social network’s progress on matters such as hate speech, misinformation and bias, reports AP.
Facebook hired the audit’s leader, former American Civil Liberties Union executive Laura Murphy, in May 2018 to assess its performance on vital social issues.
Its 100-page report released Wednesday outlines a “seesaw of progress and setbacks” at the company on everything from bias in Facebook’s algorithms to its content moderation, advertising practices and treatment of voter suppression.
The audit recommends that Facebook build a “civil rights infrastructure” into every aspect of the company, as well as a “stronger interpretation” of existing voter suppression policies and more concrete action on algorithmic bias.
“While the audit process has been meaningful, and has led to some significant improvements in the platform, we have also watched the company make painful decisions over the last nine months with real world consequences that are serious setbacks for civil rights,” the audit report states.
Those include Facebook’s decision to exempt politicians from fact-checking, even when President Donald Trump posted false information about voting by mail.
Last month, Facebook announced it would begin labeling rule-breaking posts even from politicians going forward. But it is not clear if Trump’s previous controversial posts would have gotten the alert. The problem, critics have long said, is not so much about Facebook’s rules as how it enforces them.
More than 900 companies have joined an advertising boycott of Facebook to protest its handling of hate speech and misinformation.
Civil rights leaders who met virtually with Zuckerberg and other Facebook leaders Tuesday expressed skepticism that recommendations from the audit would ever be implemented, noting that past suggestions in previous reports had gone overlooked.
Global digital platforms Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for news content in Australia, the government said Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic causes a collapse in advertising revenue.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would release in late July draft rules for the platforms to pay fair compensation for the journalistic content siphoned from news media.
Frydenberg said he believed that Australia could succeed where other countries, including France and Spain, had failed in making Google and Facebook pay.
"We won't bow to their threats," Frydenberg told reporters. "We understand the challenge that we face. This is a big mountain to climb. These are big companies that we are dealing with, but there is also so much at stake, so we're prepared for this fight."
The ACCC had attempted to negotiate a voluntary code by which the global giants would agree to pay traditional media for their content.
But the parties couldn't agree on "this key issue of payment for content," Frydenberg said.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said Australia would take a different approach to Europe, relying on competition law rather than copyright law.
Google and Facebook said they had been working to the ACCC November deadline to negotiate a voluntary code.
"We're disappointed by the government's announcement, especially as we've worked hard to meet their agreed deadline," Facebook Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Will Easton said in a statement.
"COVID-19 has impacted every business and industry across the country, including publishers, which is why we announced a new, global investment to support news organisations at a time when advertising revenue is declining," he added, referring to a $100 million investment in the news industry announced in March.
Google said said it had engaged with more than 25 Australian publishers to get their input on a voluntary code.
"We have sought to work constructively with industry, the ACCC and government to develop a code of conduct, and we will continue to do so in the revised process set out by the government today," a Google statement said.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims played down the prospect of Google shutting down its Australian news platform rather than pay for content as it had done in Spain.
"Around 10% of search results are media stories. This will seriously affect the usefulness, for example, of Google Search, so I think we have to understand that there's value both ways here and I think it will be hard for Google and Facebook just to say we won't have any contact with news media at all," Sims told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Michael Miller, Executive Chairman Australasia of News Corp. Australia, the nation's largest newspaper publisher, said, "We are looking for a fair payment and at the same time a substantial payment."
Frydenberg declined to estimate how much Google and Facebook would pay news media, other than to say it would amount to millions of dollars.
Google was netting 47% of online advertising spending excluding classified ads in Australia, and Facebook was claiming 24%, he said.
Media companies have stopped printing dozens of newspaper mastheads across Australia because the pandemic shutdown has caused advertisers to stop spending.
Social media app TikTok is committing more than 250 million U.S. dollars to support frontline medical workers, educators, and local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said Thursday.
TikTok will support medical staffing, supplies, and hardship relief for health care workers through the provision of 150 million dollars under the name Health Heroes Relief Fund, TikTok's president Alex Zhu said in a statement.
"We will be providing 50 million dollars in grants to educators to help spread educational information in distance learning format," he added.
TikTok, a video sharing app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, is also working with global and local partners to distribute masks and other personal protective equipment to hospitals across hard-hit countries such as India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, and the United States, according to the statement.
"We're partnering with the CDC Foundation to donate 15 million dollars toward supporting surge staffing for local response efforts ... We're also looking to assist global health workers, including our 10-million-dollar contribution to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund," said Zhu.
TikTok is also providing a community relief fund worth millions of dollars to support school lunch programs across the United States, as well as to help artists whose livelihoods are being severely impacted by the pandemic.
Additionally, the company is pledging 125 million dollars in advertising credits to help organizations and businesses recover.
"Together, we will persevere through this time of crisis and emerge a better community and part of a world that we fervently hope will be more united in common purpose than it was before," Zhu said.