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The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

The $5 billion Facebook fine is embarrassingly weak

On Friday the US Federal Trade Commission handed Facebook a $5 billion fine for its involvement with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and for breaking its 2011 agreement with the organization. But here’s the real kicker: the government spent months trying to come up with a suitable punishment for Facebook — but it ended up handing it one that increased the stock price and value of the company.

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It's time to rethink how much information companies collect about you online

It's time to rethink how much information companies collect about you online

Companies on the internet collect a lot of data on consumers — the information we give away for free to companies like Facebook, Google and lesser known ones like Nielsen and Acxion is transformed from simple questions we type into the search bar and photos of summer vacations into location trails, metadata and other money-making data forms. According to IBM, 90 percent of the internet’s data was created in the past two months, likely aided by the rise of social networks and internet-connected devices.

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Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

Facebook's new cryptocurrency, Libra, explained

This week Facebook finally took the wraps off Libra, its new cryptocurrency, that will allow users to buy things online, send money with minimal fees and eventually, interact with offline businesses. It’s a digital cryptocurrency, but unlike Bitcoin, it can’t be mined and will remain at relatively the same value — making it prime to be used as a currency in countries where banks aren’t common.

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A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

A brief timeline of Facebook's recent privacy issues

It seems like Facebook has been battling crisis after crisis over the numerous privacy issues it has had to deal with in the last year. But the company has never been too good at privacy — after all, when we share more, the company is able to make more money — and it all started back in 2006, just when the company was getting its footing. This all caused the FTC to become involved, launching a lawsuit that forced the company to not make “misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers' personal information” and “obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences.” Now because of the recent issues Facebook has faced, the company is being re-examined for breaking its promises.

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Facebook's third-party content moderators end up developing PTSD from their job

Earlier this week The Verge released an incredibly in-depth report on the workplace conditions of the content moderators Facebook employs — though they are technically employed by Cognizant, a third-party company — and detailed how they end up being around conspiracy theories that they begin to believe them, going as far as to develop PTSD-like symptoms.

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Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

Facebook makes more money off users in the US and Canada than Europeans

According to Facebook’s Q4 earnings report, a user in the United States or Canada is much more valuable than one in Europe, Asia-Pacific or a user from anywhere else in the world. It’s no surprise that the company is able to make so much money off users — during this quarter, it made nearly $35 per North American user, but only $11 for European users and $3 for users in Asia and the Pacific region. But that should be no surprise, given the large amount of data that the company collects on you, including location, age, school, lines of credit and TV show preference.

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Mark Zuckerberg's 2019 New Year's challenge is to talk to the public more

Mark Zuckerberg's 2019 New Year's challenge is to talk to the public more

In 2018 he pledged to “fix” Facebook and now for Mark Zuckerberg’s 2019 resolution, he’s aiming to host public talks about the future of technology, Zuck, who isn’t traditionally one to be in the spotlight or to make public appearances, will meet each few weeks with leaders, experts and community members from Facebook to talk about the “opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties” that impact the work his company does, he explained in a Facebook post on January 8.

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For most people, $1000 would be enough to convince them to quit Facebook

For most people, $1000 would be enough to convince them to quit Facebook

There’s more than 2.27 billion monthly users of Facebook — but since the company doesn’t charge for people to use its services, it can be hard to understand how much people actually value the service. However a new study has revealed that a Facebook user would need to be paid around $1,000 to deactivate their account for a year, while students would be willing to for an average of $200.

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The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

The main takeaways from Facebook's internal documents that the UK released

British Parliament published a 250-page internal Facebook document on the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee website, which is investigating the company’s privacy standards as a portion of its report on disinformation and fake news. Previously the documents had been sealed in US courts, but they can now provide a rare look into Facebook’s policies on privacy, user data, how it handles competitors and more.

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Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

Apple and Google's new anti-smartphone addiction tools are an admission of guilt

During Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference it announced a few addiction-combatting features for its mobile devices, including an enhanced Do Not Disturb feature, more notification control, and insight into people's smartphone usage with Screen Time. The next version of iOS will have built-in time controls to limit the amount of time spent in apps and games and will display how many notifications users receive and from what apps they originated from. This is far from the first company to announce something like this, with Facebook announcing months ago that it will emphasize "time well spent" on the platform as its new motto.

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Facebook stocks have slipped post-scandal and the company is still under immense pressure

Facebook stocks have slipped post-scandal and the company is still under immense pressure

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has noted in previous earning reports that the company would take a hit as it adds more content moderation in a massive hiring spree to control bad information on the platform, alongside improvements to interactions between friends and family, versus from brands and other organizations. The company's CFO, David Wehner, indicated that it would likely continue to have a "negative impact on revenue growth" in the coming quarters as it continues to deal with crisis after crisis.

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In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

In total, Facebook has been sharing user data with 52 companies

It's hardly a secret that Facebook has historically shared user data with other companies which it was partnered with, but now the scope of these deals is a bit more clear thanks to a 747-page document the company released in response to over 1,200 questions asked by the US House Energy & Commerce Committee.

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Facebook responds to the data breach by introducing new ways to use people's data

Just after the company is beginning to recover from a brutal data breach impacting million's of user's data, Facebook is announcing a new way for it to use the data of its billions of users. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the company, announced this week a new tool for people looking to data that lets them create a separate profile to list their interests, location, job, likes and personality traits, and then reach out to people with similar profiles as you, such as someone going to the same event you are.

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Google has a lot more data than Facebook, but nobody really cares

Google has a lot more data than Facebook, but nobody really cares

With all eyes on Facebook reeling in the aftermath of its own data scandal, nobody is paying attention to Google and the vast amount of data it collects on its users. The company, with products in search, video sharing, social media, maps, photo storage and more holds a lot of data about its users, including the locations of where they've been and how they got there.

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Zuckerberg's Facebook testimony was either a disaster or success, depending on how you look at it

Zuckerberg's Facebook testimony was either a disaster or success, depending on how you look at it

Though the hearings could  be considered a utter disaster when you take into account he fact that most people asking the questions were ill-informed, unprepared and just stupid. But in the same sense the purpose of the hearings was to provide some clarity of how the company operates, and in the process the value of Facebook rose more than $17 billion

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