Chattogram, Aug 21 (UNB) – A court here on Wednesday sent Tasnuva Anwar, creator and an admin of Facebook group Girls Priority, to jail in case filed under the Digital Security Act.
Chattogram Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Saleh Mohammad Noman passed the order when she surrendered before his court on expiry of the High Court bail.
Tasnuva turned up before the court on expiry of her eight-week bail granted by the High Court in the case, said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (Prosecution) Quamruzzaman.
Ishtiak Hasan, a resident of the city, filed the case with Panchlaish Police Station on May 26 accusing Tasnuva Anwar and three other admins -- Amena Chaity, Salman Mohammad Wahid and Nadia Aktar Rumi -– of harassing Facebook users through blackmailing after hacking their pages, personal IDs and groups.
Of the other accused, Rumi has been on bail while Salman in jail and Chaity on the run.
San Francisco, Aug 20 (AP/UNB) — Soon, you could get fewer familiar ads following you around the internet — or at least on Facebook.
Facebook is launching a long-promised tool that lets you block the social network from gathering information about you on outside websites and apps.
The company said Tuesday that it is adding a section where you can see the activity that Facebook tracks outside its service via its "like" buttons and other means. You can choose to turn off the tracking; otherwise, tracking will continue the same way it has been.
Formerly known as "clear history," the tool will now go by the somewhat awkward name "off-Facebook activity." The feature will be available in South Korea, Ireland and Spain on Tuesday, consistent with Facebook's tendency to launch features in smaller markets first. The company did not give a timeline for when it might expand it to the U.S. and other countries, only that it will be in "coming months."
Blocking the tracking, which is on by default, could mean fewer ads that seem familiar — for example, for a pair of shoes you decided not to buy, or a nonprofit you donated money to. It won't change the actual number of ads you'll see on Facebook.
Facebook faces increasing governmental scrutiny over its privacy practices, including a record $5 billion fine from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for mishandling user data. Boosting its privacy protections could help the company pre-empt regulation and further punishment. But it's a delicate dance, as Facebook still depends on highly targeted advertising for nearly all of its revenue.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the "clear history" feature more than a year ago. The company said building it has been a complicated technical process, which is also the reason for the slow, gradual rollout. Facebook said it sought input from users, privacy experts and policymakers along the way, which led to some changes. For instance, users will be able to disconnect their activity from a specific websites or apps, or reconnect to a specific site while keeping other future tracking turned off.
You'll be able to access the feature by going to your Facebook settings and scrolling down to "your Facebook information." The "off-Facebook activity" section will be there when it launches.
The tool will let you delete your past browsing history from Facebook and prevent it from keeping track of your future clicks, taps and website visits going forward. Doing so means that Facebook won't use information gleaned from apps and websites to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. It also won't use such information to show you posts that Facebook thinks you might like based on your offsite activity, such as news articles shared by your friends.
"We do think this could have an impact on our revenue," said Stephanie Max, product manager at Facebook, adding that this will depend on how people will use the tool. But she added that giving people "transparency and control" is important.
Off-Facebook activity is one of many pieces of information that Facebook uses to target ads to people. The changes won't affect how your actions on Facebook are used to show you ads. It also won't change the metrics Facebook sends back to advertisers to tell them how well their ads work.
Washington, Aug 20 (AP/UNB) — Twitter says it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were linked to the Chinese government and a disinformation campaign targeting the protests in Hong Kong.
The company also says it will prohibit ads from state-backed media companies that have amounted to propaganda.
A senior Twitter official tells The Associated Press that both actions are part of a broader company effort to halt malicious political activity on the widely used platform. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concerns.
The accounts linked to the Chinese government sought to portray Hong Protesters as criminals who don't represent the majority of the semi-autonomous region.
The official says the Chinese accounts also spread tweets from fake English and Chinese news sites to spread disinformation.
New York, Aug 15 (AP/UNB) — Facebook has paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service, raising privacy concerns for a company with a history of privacy lapses.
The practice was, until recently, common in the tech industry. Companies say the use of humans helps improve their services. But users aren't typically aware that humans and not just computers are reviewing audio.
Transcriptions done by humans raise bigger concerns because of the potential of rogue employees or contractors leaking details. The practice at Google emerged after some of its Dutch language audio snippets were leaked. More than 1,000 recordings were obtained by Belgian broadcaster VRT NWS, which noted that some contained sensitive personal conversations — as well as information that identified the person speaking.
"We feel we have some control over machines," said Jamie Winterton, director of strategy at Arizona State University's Global Security Initiative. "You have no control over humans that way. There's no way once a human knows something to drag that piece of data to the recycling bin."
Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy privacy-advocacy group, said it's bad enough that Facebook uses artificial intelligence as part of its data-monitoring activities. He said the use of humans as well is "even more alarming."
Tim Bajarin, tech columnist and president of Creative Strategies, said it's a bigger problem when humans use the information beyond its intended purpose.
Facebook said audio snippets reviewed by contractors were masked so as not to reveal anyone's identity. It said it stopped the practice a week ago. The development was reported earlier by Bloomberg.
Google said it suspended doing this worldwide while it investigates the Dutch leaks. Apple has also suspended its use of humans for the Siri digital assistant, though it plans to bring them back after seeking explicit permission from users. Amazon said it still uses humans, but users can decline, or opt out, of the human transcriptions.
A report from tech news site Motherboard last week said Microsoft also uses human transcribers with some Skype conversations and commands spoken to Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana. Microsoft said in a statement that it has safeguards such as stripping identifying data and requiring non-disclosure agreements with contractors and their employees. Yet details leaked to Motherboard.
After the Motherboard report, Microsoft said it "could do a better job" explaining that humans listen to the conversations. It updated its frequently asked questions for Skype to say that using the translation service "may include transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors."
It makes sense to use human transcribers to train artificial intelligence systems, Winterton said. But the issue is that companies are leading people to believe that only machines are listening to audio, causing miscommunication and distrust, she said.
The companies' privacy policies — usually long, dense documents — often permit the use of customer data to improve products and services, but the language can be opaque.
"We collect the content, communications and other information you provide when you use our Products, including when you sign up for an account, create or share content, and message or communicate with others," Facebook's data-use policy reads . It does not mention audio or voice specifically or using transcribers.
Bajarin said tech companies need to use multiple methods to refine artificial intelligence software, as digital voice assistants and voice-to-text technology are still new. But he said being more clear about the human involvement is "the very least" companies could do.
"They should be very clear on what their policies are and if consumer messages or whatever it is are going to be seen," he said. "If humans are part of the process for analysis that needs to be stated as well."
Irish data-protection regulators say they're seeking more details from Facebook to assess compliance with European data regulations. The agency's statement says it's also had "ongoing engagement with Google, Apple and Microsoft" over the issue, though Amazon wasn't mentioned.
Facebook is already under scrutiny for a variety of other ways it has misused user data. It agreed to a $5 billion fine to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission probe of its privacy practices.
San Francisco, Aug 10 (AP/UNB) — Facebook is reportedly in talks with news publishers to offer "millions of dollars" for the rights to publish their material on its site. The move follows years of criticism over its growing monopolization of online advertising to the detriment of the struggling news industry.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Facebook representatives had told news executives that they'd pay as much as $3 million a year to license stories, headlines and other material. Facebook declined to comment but confirmed that the company is working on launching a "news tab" for its service this fall. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began talking about a news section on the service in April.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed that Facebook has approached News Corp. about paying to license Wall Street Journal stories. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
The Journal report was not clear as to whether Facebook was offering $3 million to individual publishers or in total to all news organizations.
Many in the news industry have long blamed Facebook and Google for using their content for free while the social network slurped up the majority of digital ad dollars, imperiling the news industry. A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress this year would grant an antitrust exemption to news companies, letting them band together to negotiate payments from the big tech platforms.
The Washington Post, which was also named in the report as a company Facebook approached, declined to comment. The Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, did not immediately respond to a message for comment.