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Facebook planned to sell users’ data in 2012: Report

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San Francisco, Jan 12: Facebook considered selling users’ data to companies some years ago but later decided to act against it, the media reported.

According to Arstechnica.com that viewed an unredacted court document, Facebook staff in 2012 considered charging companies at least $250,000 for “access to one of its primary troves of user data — the Graph API”.

“In April 2014, Facebook changed the way the previously permissive Graph API works.

“The social media giant restricted some data access and eliminated all access to the earlier version by June 2015,” the report said on Friday.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that “Facebook employees discussed pushing some advertisers to spend more in return for increased access to user information”.

A failure on Facebook’s part to adequately redact a public court document revealed this information.

According to Arstechnica.com, Facebook gave “extended access to the v1.0 of Graph API to numerous companies not only including Nissan and Royal Bank of Canada but now also to Chrysler/Fiat, Lyft, Airbnb, and Netflix, among others”.

A Facebook spokesperson, however, was quoted as saying that Chrysler/Fiat and the other companies, besides Nissan and Royal Bank of Canadaa, were listed erroneously in the court document.

The news comes on the heel of the British Parliament obtaining a set of internal Facebook documents from US software company Six4Three that has sued the social media giant over what it claims are fraudulent breaches of contract.

Facebook, however, defended itself, saying that Six4Three’s “claims have no merit, and we will continue to defend ourselves vigorously”.

Now defunct, Six4Three in a new filing to a California lawsuit in May 2018 alleged that Facebook collected information on users and their friends through its apps.

The filing was part of a suit brought against Facebook in 2015 by Six4Three.

To collect the information, Facebook used several methods including tracking users’ locations, reading their text messages and accessing their photos on phones, according to the allegations as reported by the Guardian.

In March, Facebook admitted it collected data from people’s calls and texts but said it had prior consent.

However the Guardian reported that it logged some messages without explicitly notifying users.

Six4Three sued Facebook over its app Pikinis, which allowed users to zoom in on bikini photos.

It alleged that Facebook tracked users, sometimes without their express consent.

IANS

India

Enterprises must be prepared for mega cyber attacks: Check Point CEO

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Bangkok, Jan 22 : The world is on the brink of facing mega cyber attacks and the enterprises need to be prepared more than ever before, a top executive of Israel-based cybersecurity solution provider Check Point Software Technologies said here on Tuesday.

“Large-scale and fast-moving across mobile, Cloud and on premise networks, 5th Generation cyber attacks have increased over the past year, impacting more companies than ever before,” Gil Shwed, Check Point Founder and CEO, said in his keynote address during the company’s annual event here.

Cyber attacks and data fraud or theft were listed in the top five of the World Economic Forum’s 14th edition of “Global Risks Report 2019”.

“This is indicative of the fact that how much cyber risks have intensified, particularly in 2017 — both in their prevalence and disruptive potential,” noted Shwed.

According to him, most companies focus particularly on detecting the fraud. By the time a cyber attack is detected, which, according to the industry standard, is 5-6 months, the damage is already done.

“A good malware can breach critical data in a matter of minutes and shut down the networks in seconds. The need is to be future-ready and protect before the advent of such an event,” Shwed emphasised.

Most enterprises today are generally protected for only Gen 2 and Gen 3 viruses.

“They need to close the security ‘generation gap’ by deploying infrastructures which combine real-time threat prevention, shared intelligence and the most-advanced security across all enterprise environments.

Shwed also unveiled “Maestro”, an industry-first hyperscale network security solution.

“Maestro” is a new architecture that enables businesses of any size enjoy the power of flexible Cloud-level security platforms and seamlessly expand their existing security gateways to hyperscale capacity.

Shwed also introduced “Nano Security” — Gen VI of cyber security which can be embedded on every device, web or Cloud service, applications and network, to protect the hyper-connected, hyperscale world.

The three-day “CPX360” event is aimed at addressing most-pressing cyber security challenges and helping organisations of all sizes develop strategies to prevent cyber threats and sophisticated hackers impacting their business.

(Rachel V. Thomas is in Bangkok at the invitation of Check Point Software Technologies. She can be contacted at [email protected])

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India

India to issue chip-based e-passport: Modi

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Varanasi, Jan 22 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said work is on to issue chip-based e-passports to Indian citizens under a centralized passport system.

“Our embassies and consulates are being connected to the Passport Seva Project worldwide,” he said addressing the inaugural ceremony of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) 2019 here.

“This will prepare a centralized system connected to the passport service for all of you,” he added. “Going one step ahead, work is on for issuing of the chip-based e-passport.”

He also said that work was on to simplify the process of issuing visas to PIO (Person of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards.

The government’s endeavour was to see to it that Indians were happy and safe wherever they live abroad, he said.

“In the last four-and-a-half years, more than two lakh Indians stranded in crisis situations abroad have been helped by the government and its efforts,” he said.

Modi’s Mauritius counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, the chief guest at the event, commended India’s efforts in reaching out to the diaspora.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the gathering.

Organised by the External Affairs Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh government, the Indian diaspora conclave this year has over 5,000 delegates registered.

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Madhavan’s painfully long transformation for ‘Rocketry…’

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ROCKETRY - THE NAMBI EFFECT

Mumbai, Jan 22 : Actor R. Madhavan says getting the look of scientist and aerospace engineer S. Nambi Narayanan for “Rocketry – The Nambi Effect” was a “painfully long” process.

“The process took painfully long…about 2 days of sitting on a chair for 14 hours at a stretch,” Madhavan said in a statement.

“Initially it looked easy but later I realised how tough it was on the body,” he added.

The actor says getting the look right is “definitely half the battle won”.

“But the other half was really really tough because the age group I’m playing is around 70-75. Mr. Nambi is a very good-looking man and he has got his own charm and charisma so it took me around two-and-a-half years to actually imbibe him and learn how to walk like him.It wasn’t easy and it’s probably one of the toughest looks and characters I’ve had to pull off”.

The film is based on the life of the scientist. As a senior official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Narayanan was in-charge of the cryogenics division. In 1994, he was charged with espionage and arrested. The charges against him were dismissed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1996 and the Supreme Court declared him not guilty in 1998.

Madhavan has got the look right, and the actor says the biggest encouragement came from Narayanan himself.

“Nambi sir couldn’t stop laughing and getting amused by my look. There are so many pictures on the set that it looks almost eeriely how similar we both look.”

The film is slated for a release later this year.

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