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Facebook breach: Apple, IBM heads want stricter data regulations

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Beijing, March 27: With the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealing massive Facebook data misuse, Apple chief Tim Cook and IBM chair Ginni Rometty have called for more measures to ensure user data protection.

Speaking at the China Development Forum in Beijing, the two tech honchos called for better regulations to protect personal data shared online, the USA Today reported on Monday.

The call for additional protection measure comes after the leak of personal and other data on some 50 million users to the London-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica became public.

US Federal Trade commission confirmed on Monday that it was investigating Facebook and said that it “takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook”.

Cambridge Analytica, which collaborated with the election campaign of Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election, used the leaked information to develop a computer programme to predict the decisions of US voters and influence them.

“Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices,” Efe quoted Acting FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director, Tom Pahl, as saying.

Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy privacy chief, said in a statement last week that the tech social networking firm remains “strongly committed to protecting people’s information”, adding that “we appreciate the opportunity to answer questions the FTC may have”.

A week ago, after the controversial leak of private information on millions of users came to light, press reports said that the FTC was investigating whether Facebook violated the terms of a 2011 consent agreement requiring user consent for sharing data by providing use data to Cambridge Analytica in 2014.

IANS

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773 million unique email IDs leaked: Researcher

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San Francisco, Jan 17: In what could be the biggest data breach in recent years, a whopping 773 million unique email IDs and 21 million unique passwords have been leaked, a researcher said on Thursday.

The leaked files, however, do not include information such as credit card details.

According to web security researcher Troy Hunt, this data leak is part of the “Collection #1” which is a set of email addresses and passwords totalling 2,692,818,238 rows.

“It’s made up of many different individual data breaches from literally thousands of different sources,” Hunt posted on troyhunt.com on the day.

“In total, there are 1,160,253,228 unique combinations of email addresses and passwords. This is when treating the password as case sensitive but the email address as not case sensitive.

“This also includes some junk because hackers being hackers, they don’t always neatly format their data dumps into an easily consumable fashion.

“The unique email addresses totalled 772,904,991. This is the headline you’re seeing as this is the volume of data that has now been loaded into Have I Been Pwned (HIBP),” Hunt added.

Several people reached out to the web security expert last week and pointed to a collection of 12,000 files with a total size of 87GB, and nearly 2.7 billion records, hosted on MEGA.

Mega or MEGA is a Cloud storage and file hosting service offered by Mega Limited, an Auckland-based company which offers services primarily through web-based applications.

Those interested in knowing whether they were affected could head to Hunt’s website called “Have I been Pwned”, enter their email ID in the dialogue box and find out if they were affected.

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India to launch imaging satellite Microsat-R on Jan 24

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ISRO Satellite Kalamsat MicrosatR
Photo Credit- ISRO/Twitter

Bengaluru, Jan 17: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch an imaging satellite Microsat-R along with a student payload ‘Kalamsat’ from its spaceport in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on January 24, it announced on Thursday.

“The 46th flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) will launch Microsat-R and Kalamsat from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on January 24,” the state-run space agency said in a statement on its website.

The country’s only spaceport is located at Sriharikota, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.

The four-stage launch vehicle which has alternating solid and liquid stages, with two strap-on configuration has been identified for the mission and configuration designated as PSLV-DL, the statement said.

“PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV,” the agency said.

The fourth stage (PS4) of the vehicle will be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments, it added.

The student payload ‘Kalamsat’ will be the first to use PS4 as an orbital platform.

IANS

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YouTube bans dangerous, harmful pranks

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California, Jan 16: YouTube videos that depict dangerous or emotionally distressing “pranks” have been banned from the platform.

The move comes in response to the so-called “challenges” that have sometimes resulted in death or injury, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The Google-owned video sharing site said such material had “no place on YouTube”.

But enforcing its new rules on pranks may prove to be difficult, given ambiguity over what may or may not be considered harmful.

“YouTube is home to many beloved viral challenges and pranks,” a message added to the site’s FAQ section read.

“That said, we’ve always had policies to make sure what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.

“Our Community Guidelines prohibit content that encourages dangerous activities that are likely to result in serious harm.”

From now on, the site said it would not allow videos that featured “pranks with a perceived danger of serious physical injury”.

This includes pranks where someone is tricked into thinking they are in severe danger, even if no real threat existed.

The site added: “We also don’t allow pranks that cause children to experience severe emotional distress, meaning something so bad that it could leave the child traumatized for life.”

Recently, a challenge inspired by a scene in Netflix show Birdbox involved carrying out activities – such as driving – while blindfolded. At least one person is known to have crashed as a result.

IANS

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