San Francisco, Apr 25 (AP/UNB) — Facebook said it expects a fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which is investigating whether the social network violated its users' privacy.
The company set aside $3 billion in its quarterly earnings report Wednesday as a contingency against the possible penalty but noted that the "matter remains unresolved."
The one-time charge slashed Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew 26% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook broke its own 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy.
Investors shrugged off the charge and sent the company's stock up more than 9% to almost $200 in after-hours trading. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, however, called it a "significant development" and noted that any settlement is likely to go beyond a mere dollar amount.
"(Any) settlement with the FTC may impact the ways advertisers can use the platform in the future," she said.
Facebook has had several high-profile privacy lapses in the past couple of years. The FTC has been looking into Facebook's involvement with the data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica scandal since last March. That company accessed the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent.
The 2011 FTC agreement bound Facebook to a 20-year privacy commitment; violations could subject Facebook to fines of $41,484 per violation per user per day. The agreement requires that Facebook's users give "affirmative express consent" any time that data they haven't made public is shared with a third party.
The now-defunct Cambridge Analytica, which provided political data services to the 2016 Trump campaign and others, had wide access to normally private user data. It exploited a Facebook loophole that allowed it to see the data of people's friends, and not just people who explicitly permitted access when they took a personality quiz. While Facebook did have controls in place that allowed people to restrict such access, they are found buried in the site's settings and are difficult to find.
In addition to the FTC investigation, Facebook faces several others in the U.S. and Europe, including one from the Irish Data Protection Commission , and others in Belgium and Germany . Ireland is Facebook's lead privacy regulator for Europe. The FTC is also reportedly looking into how it might hold CEO Mark Zuckerberg accountable for the company's privacy lapses.
The social network said its net income was $2.43 billion, or 85 cents per share in the January-March period. That's down 51% from $4.99 billion, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier, largely as a result of the $3 billion charge.
Revenue grew 26% to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, Facebook earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion.
The company cautioned during a conference call with analysts that it faces "ad targeting headwinds" in the second half of this year. That includes developments such as Europe's new privacy regulation that could impair hurt the company's ability to target ads. Facebook also plans to launch a long-promised "clear history" tool that will let users delete their web-browsing tracks from Facebook's data records while also blocking the social network from tracking the links they click going forward.
Zuckerberg, meanwhile, doubled down on his long-term vision to turn Facebook into a "privacy-focused platform " modeled after its encrypted messaging app WhatsApp. Analysts have questioned the company's ability to make money if its focus shifts to private communications. But Zuckerberg said the company doesn't currently use the content of messages for ad targeting anyway.
Facebook's monthly user base on its flagship service grew 8% to 2.38 billion. Daily users grew 8% to 1.56 billion. The company said about 2.7 billion people used Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger each month and 2.1 billion people used at least one of its services daily.
Dhaka, Apr 23 (UNB) - Search engine Google has created a new Doodle on its homepage, marking the 73rd birth anniversary of Bangladeshi film actress Rosy Afsari.
Rosy Afsari (April 23, 1946 – March 9, 2007) also known as Rosy Samad, was an actress in the Bangladeshi film industry.
She was awarded the Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in its very first ceremony in 1975 for her role in the film Lathial, besides numerous other awards.
Rosy started her career in 1964 through Eito Jibon film. She appeared in over 200 Bengali films and always played a positive sad role. She also acted in 25 Urdu films. She was President of Zia Sangskritik Parishad (Zisus).
She is best known for her roles in films like Shurjo Grahan, Shurjo Shangram, Jibon Thekey Neya and Titas Ekti Nadir Naam.
Rosy was first married to filmmaker Abdus Samad. Then in 1981, she married filmmaker Malek Afsari and changed her surname to Rosy Afsari.
Rosy died on March 9, 2007 at Birdem Hospital, Dhaka of kidney failure.
Dhaka, Apr 17 (UNB) - The Indian government has ordered Google and Apple to take down the Chinese-owned Tiktok video app after a court expressed concerns over the spread of pornographic material.
The app, which claims to have 500 million users worldwide including more than 120 million in India, has been fighting the effort to shut it down after a high court in Chennai called for the ban on 3 April, reports the Guardian.
India's top court on Tuesday refused an appeal by its owner, Chinese company ByteDance, to suspend the order.
Hugely popular with teenagers, it allows people to post short videos of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to their favourite songs, performing short comedy skits or completing challenges.
TikTok has been fined in the US for illegally collecting information on children.
The Madras High Court order asked the federal government to ban TikTok on the grounds that it encouraged pornography and made young users vulnerable to sexual predators. It is due to hear the case again on 22 April.
In its court filing, ByteDance argued that a "very minuscule" proportion of TikTok content was considered inappropriate or obscene.
The company says it has more than 500 million monthly active users around the world.
San Francisco, Apr 17 (AP/UNB) — Apple and mobile chip maker Qualcomm have settled a bitter financial dispute centered on some of the technology that enables iPhones to connect to the internet.
The surprise truce announced Tuesday came just as the former allies turned antagonists were facing off in a federal court trial that was supposed to unfold over the next month in San Diego. The resolution abruptly ended that trial, which also involved Apple's key iPhone suppliers.
The deal requires Apple to pay Qualcomm an undisclosed amount. It also includes a six-year licensing agreement that likely involves recurring payments to the mobile chip maker.
Investors reacted as if it were a resounding victory for Qualcomm. The San Diego company's stock soared 23% to close Tuesday at $70.45. Apple shares edged up 2 cents to $199.25.
Neither Apple nor Qualcomm would comment beyond a brief statement announcing they had resolved their differences. Details about how much Apple and its iPhone suppliers will be paying Qualcomm could emerge in court documents or when the companies announce their latest financial results. Apple is due to report its quarterly results on April 30 while Qualcomm is scheduled to release its numbers on May 1.
Apple had been seeking at least $1 billion for money that Qualcomm was supposed to rebate as part of an earlier licensing agreement. Apple had begun to have misgivings about that deal as it added more features to its increasingly popular line-up of iPhones.
Qualcomm was seeking $7 billion for unpaid royalties it contended it was owed for its patented technology in the iPhone. Apple's iPhone suppliers, including Foxconn and Pegatron, wanted another $27 billion from Qualcomm.
The dispute was clearly beginning to hurt all parties involved, motivating them to settle, said technology industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.
"Both Apple and Qualcomm got deeper into this than they wanted to," Moorhead said.
Qualcomm also held another bargaining chip: It makes the modem chips needed for future smartphones to work with the next generation of high-speed wireless networks known as "5G." Two of Apple's biggest rivals, Samsung and Huawei, are already getting ready to introduce 5G models. The iPhone would have been at a disadvantage if it didn't have a pipeline to Qualcomm's chips.
Falling behind the competition isn't something Apple can afford with its iPhone sales already falling .
"Ultimately, Apple realized this was more about two kids fighting in the sandbox and they have bigger issues ahead with 5G and iPhone softness versus battling Qualcomm in court," Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives wrote in Tuesday research note.
Apple had already lost an earlier battle with Qualcomm last month when a federal court jury in San Diego decided the iPhone maker owed Qualcomm $31 million for infringing on three of its patents.
Qualcomm still faces other potential fallout from its demands to be paid royalties in addition to the fees it charges for its mobile chips. The Federal Trade Commission has accused the company of using its royalty system to stifle competition in the mobile chip market in another case in which Apple played a central role.
A trial about the FTC's lawsuit wrapped up in a San Jose, California, court in January, but the judge still hasn't issued a ruling.
Dhaka, Apr 14 (UNB) - Search engine giant Google is celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla new year, by replacing its regular home page graphic with a special doodle for the Bangladeshi surfers.
Google‘s new Doodle featured a parade of colorful banners in the shape of Mangal Shobhajatra and Royal Bengal tiger.
Pahela Baishakhis the first day of Bengali Calendar. It is celebrated on 14 April as a national holiday in Bangladesh, and on 14 or 15 April in the Indian states of West Bengal, Odisha , Tripura and part of Assam by people of Bengali heritage, irrespective of their religious faith.
A time of hope and joy, Pohela Boishakh is marked by traditional song and dance, reciting of poems, and festive processions through the streets. In the capital city of Dhaka, thousands of students wearing masks participate in a festival known as Mangal Shobhajatra.
Colorful bamboo figures of animals—like the Bengal tiger seen in today’s animated Doodle—are carried above the crowd, along with flying birds, elephants, and more. In fact, students from Dhaka University’s Faculty of Fine Art began this tradition in 1989, and in 2016 it was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of humanity’s Intangible Culture Heritage.
Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepage that is intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people. The doodle was introduced in 1998.