5 items tagged "facebook"

  • 2016 wordt het jaar van de kunstmatige intelligentie

    Artificial-intelligence.jpg-1024x678December is traditiegetrouw de periode van het jaar om terug te blikken en oudjaarsdag is daarbij in het bijzonder natuurlijk de beste dag voor. Bij Numrush kijken we echter liever vooruit. Dat deden we begin december al met ons RUSH Magazine. In deze Gift Guide gaven we cadeautips aan de hand van een aantal thema’s waar we komend jaar veel over gaan horen.Eén onderwerp bleef bewust een beetje onderbelicht in onze Gift Guide. Aan de ene kant omdat het niet iets is wat je cadeau geeft, maar ook omdat het eigenlijk de diverse thema’s overstijgt. Ik heb het over kunstmatige intelligentie. Dat is natuurlijk niets nieuws, er is al ontzettend veel gebeurt op dat vlak, maar komend jaar zal de toepassing hiervan nog verder in een stroomversnelling raken.

  • Big Tech: the battle for our data

    Big Tech: the battle for our data

    The most important sector of tech is user privacy and with it comes a war not fought in the skies or trenches but in congressional hearings and slanderous advertisements, this battle fought in the shadows for your data and attention is now coming to light.

    The ever-growing reliance we have on technology has boomed since the advent of social media, especially and specifically with phones. Just 15 years ago, the favoured way of accessing services like Facebook was through a computer but this changed at a radical pace following the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 and the opening of the iOS App Store in 2008.

    Since then, the app economy now in its teens has become a multi-billion dollar industry built on technologies founded in behavioural change and habit forming psychology.

    If you don’t have the iPhone’s ‘Screen Time’ feature set up, you’ll want to do that after hearing this:

    According to various studies a typical person spends over four hours a day on their phone, with almost half of that time taken up by social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These studies were conducted before the pandemic so it wouldn’t be far stretched to assume these figures have gone up.

    So what happens with all this time spent on these platforms?

    Your time is your attention, your attention is their data

    Where advertisements of old for businesses and products relied on creativity and market research on platforms like television and newspapers, modern advertising takes advantage of your online behaviour and interests to accurately target tailored advertisements to users.

    User data collected by Facebook is used to create targeted advertisements for all kinds of products, businesses and services. They use information like your search history, previous purchases, location data and even collect identifying information across apps and websites owned by other companies to build a profile that’s used to advertise things to you. In a recent update to iOS, Apple’s App Store now requires developers to outline to users what data is tracked and collected in what they are calling ‘privacy nutrition labels’.

    In response to this in Facebook’s most recent quarterly earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg stated “We have a lot of competitors who make claims about privacy that are often misleading,” and “Now Apple recently released so-called (privacy) nutrition labels, which focused largely on metadata that apps collect rather than the privacy and security of people’s actual messages,”.

    Facebook uses this meta-data to sell highly targeted ad space.

    This is how you pay for ‘free’ services, with your data and attention

    The harvesting of user data on platforms like Facebook has not only benefited corporations in ‘Big Tech’ and smaller business but has even been grossly abused by politicians to manipulate outcomes of major political events.

    In 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal emerged into the forefront of mainstream media after a whistleblower for the company, Christopher Wylie came forward with information that outlined the unethical use of Facebook user data to create highly targeted advertisements with the goal of swaying political agendas. Most notably, illicitly obtained data was used in former US President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in the United States, as well as the Leave. EU and UK Independence campaigns in support of BREXIT in the United Kingdom and his is just the tip of the iceberg.

    This is the level of gross manipulation of data Apple is taking a stand against.

    “The fact is that an interconnected eco-system of companies and data-brokers; of purveyors of fake news and peddlers of division; of trackers and hucksters just trying to make a quick buck, is more present in our lives than it has ever been.” — Tim Cook on Privacy, 2021

    What we have here are two titans of industry with massive amounts of influence and responsibility at war.

    On one hand, you have Facebook who has time and time again been grilled in public forums for data harvesting of their 2.6 billion monthly active users, shadow profiles (data collected on non-Facebook users), and social media bias, and then, on the other hand, you have Apple, who have 1.5 billion active devices running iOS across iPhone and iPad, all of which are ‘tools’ that demand attention with constant notifications and habit forming user experience design.

    Apple has been scrutinised in the past for its App Store policy and are currently fighting an anti-trust lawsuit filed by Epic Games over the removal of Fortnite from the App Store for violating its policies on in-app purchases. Facebook stated in December of 2020, that the company will support Epic Games’ case and is also now reportedly readying an antitrust lawsuit of its own against Apple for forcing third-party developers to follow rules that first-party apps don’t have to follow.

    Zuckerberg stated in the earnings call that “Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own. And this impacts the growth of millions of businesses around the world.” and “we believe Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of app developers and small businesses”. This is an attempt by Zuckerberg to show that Apple is using their control of the App Store to stifle the growth of small businesses but our right to know how our own data is being used should stand paramount, even if its at the expense of business growth.

    Apple’s position on privacy protection ‘for the people’ and introduction of privacy ‘nutrition labelling’ is not one that just benefits users, but is one that benefits and upholds trust in the company and its products. The choices the company makes in its industries tend to form and dictate how and where the market will go. You only have to look at its previous trends in product and packaging design to see what argument I’m trying to make.

    With growing concern and mainstream awareness of data use, privacy is now at the forefront of consumer trends. Just look at the emergence of VPN companies in the last couple of years. Apple’s stance on giving privacy back to the user could set a new trend into motion across the industry and usher in an age of privacy-first design.

    Author: Morgan Fox

    Source: Medium

  • European Union to Scrutinize Usage of Big Data by Large Internet Companies

    Competition Commissioner Margrethe VestagerThe European Union is considering whether the way large Internet companies, such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google or Facebook Inc., collect vast quantities of data is in breach of antitrust rules, the bloc’s competition chief said Sunday.

    “If a company’s use of data is so bad for competition that it outweighs the benefits, we may have to step in to restore a level playing field,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, according to a text of her speech delivered at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany.

    “We continue to look carefully at this issue,” she said, adding that while no competition problems have yet been found in this area, “this certainly doesn’t mean we never will” find them in the future.

    Her comments highlight the increased focus that regulators give to the use of so-called big data—large sets of personal information that are increasingly important for digital businesses, even though people generally hand over the information voluntarily when they use free services.

    The data can help firms target ways to make business operations more efficient. Companies increasingly are also collecting more data as a greater range of devices—from fitness trackers, smoke detectors to home-heating meters—are being connected to the Web, a phenomenon known as the “Internet of Things.”

    “But if just a few companies control the data you need to satisfy customers and cut costs, that could give them the power to drive their rivals out of the market,” Ms. Vestager said.

    The concern is that huge data sets compiled by large Internet firms could give these companies an unfair advantage by essentially erecting barriers to new competition, some experts say. Incumbent firms would amass detailed profiles of their consumers that would allow them to target advertising with precision, while new rivals could find themselves too far behind to compete.

    This isn’t the first time Ms. Vestager has expressed interest into how companies use big data. On Sunday, she laid out some details about how the European Commission is looking into the issue.

    Ms. Vestager said the commission would be careful to differentiate between different types of data, since some forms of information can become obsolete quickly, making concerns of market dominance moot.

    She also said the EU would look into why some companies can’t acquire information that is as useful as the data that other competing firms have.

    “What’s to stop them [companies] from collecting the same data from their customers, or buying it from a data-analytics company?” she said.

    Lawyers representing U.S. tech firms have said previously that competition concerns over data are misguided. They said data isn’t exclusive since many different companies can hold the same information on people’s names, addresses and credit-card details, for example. It is also easy for consumers to switch between platforms, they said.

    As for how companies protect their consumers’ data, Ms. Vestager said that was beyond her scope and pointed to the new EU-wide data-privacy rules agreed late last year.

    Ms. Vestager also said she would publish a preliminary report in the middle of the year, as the next formal step in an investigation into whether Internet commerce companies, such as Amazon.com Inc., are violating antitrust rules by restricting cross-border trade.

    “With so much at stake, we need to act quickly when we discover problems,” she said, in reference to business contracts that aim to keep national markets separate.

    To start that debate, the commissioner said she would publish a paper before Easter outlining the views of relevant parties affected or involved in geo-blocking, a practice to discriminate via price or the range of goods a company offers based on a customer’s location.

    The commission in September launched a public questionnaire to gather more information about the practice of geo-blocking.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

  • Facebook to face lawsuit regarding 'worst security breach ever'

    Facebook to face lawsuit regarding 'worst security breach ever'

    Facebook Inc. failed to fend off a lawsuit over a data breach that affected nearly 30 million users, one of several privacy snafus that have put the company under siege.

    The company’s disclosure in September that hackers exploited several software bugs to obtain login access to accounts was tagged as Facebook’s worst security breach ever. An initial estimate that as many as 50 million accounts were affected was scaled back weeks later.

    A federal appeals court in San Francisco, rejected the company’s request to block the lawsuit on June 21 , saying claims against Facebook can proceed for negligence and for failing to secure users’ data as promised. Discovery should move 'with alacrity' for a trial, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in his ruling. He dismissed breach-of-contract and breach-of-confidence claims due to liability limitations. Plaintiffs can seek to amend their cases by July 18.

    'From a policy standpoint, to hold that Facebook has no duty of care here ‘would create perverse incentives for businesses who profit off the use of consumers’ personal data to turn a blind eye and ignore known security risks', Judge Alsup said, citing a decision a separate case.

    The world’s largest social network portrayed itself as the victim of a sophisticated cyber-attack and argued that it isn’t liable for thieves gaining access to user names and contact information. The company said attackers failed to get more sensitive information, like credit card numbers or passwords, saving users from any real harm.

    Attorneys for users called that argument 'cynical', saying in a court filing that Facebook has 'abdicated all accountability' while 'seeking to avoid all liability' for the data breach despite Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s promise that the company would learn from its lapses. The case was filed in San Francisco federal court as a class action.

    Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The Menlo Park, California-based company faces a slew of lawsuits and regulatory probes of its privacy practices after revelations in early 2018 that it allowed the personal data of tens of millions of users to be shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. As lawmakers have focused greater scrutiny on the company, Zuckerberg called for new global regulation governing the internet in March, including rules for privacy safeguards.

    The case is Echavarria v. Facebook Inc., 3:18-cv-05982 , U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

    Author: Kartikay Mehrotra and Aoife White

    Source: Bloomberg

  • GfK: Nederlanders gebruiken steeds minder apps

    pexels-photo-1080x675Het GfK heeft in opdracht van de SIDN, de Nederlandse domeinnaambeheerder, onderzoek gedaan naar het gebruik van apps op smartphones. Daaruit blijkt dat Nederlanders veel minder apps gebruiken dan een jaar geleden. De populariteit van apps lijkt een beetje op zijn retour te zijn.
    Vorig jaar gebruikte Nederlanders nog gemiddeld zo’n 33 apps, inmiddels is dat aantal gedaald tot 25 apps. Uit het onderzoeksrapport blijkt dat het aantal gebruikte apps op tablets nog verder is gedaald, dat lag het gemiddelde vorig jaar op 24 apps en nu op 15 apps.
    Naast het gebruik van apps heeft het onderzoek ook gekeken naar hoelang apps worden gebruikt, de tijd die gebruikers doorbrengen in een app is gestegen van 27 naar 37 uur per maand. Het GfK heeft deze gegevens verzameld door een app te installeren op de apparaten van de deelnemers aan het onderzoek die door middel van allerlei metingen het gebruik van het apparaat in kaart brengt, waaronder dus het aantal apps.
    Uit het onderzoek kunnen we ook zien dat er minder gebruik wordt gemaakt van de browser op de pc en tablet, maar meer op de smartphone. Het aantal unieke domeinnamen dat per maand wordt bezocht ligt op de smartphone nu op 66, en gemiddeld wordt er zo’n 3 uur per maand gebruik gemaakt van de mobiele browser. Vergeleken met de pc ligt de totale duur nog ver uit elkaar, op de pc worden gemiddeld per maand zo’n 101 verschillende domeinnamen bezocht en wordt er 25 uur gebruik gemaakt van de browser.
    De meest populaire app die op vrijwel alle smartphones staat is WhatsApp, gevolgd door Facebook en Facebook Messenger. Daarmee heeft het bedrijf van Zuckerberg de volledig top drie in handen. Daarna volgen er zes apps van Google; Google Maps, YouTube, Search, Gmail, Drive en Google Play Services. Op plek 10 vinden we tot slot de app van Marktplaats.
    De meeste tijd wordt echter doorgebracht in spelletjes, die staan echt stijf bovenaan als het gaat om lang gebruik van apps.
    Source: techzine.nl, 18 november 2016

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