Displaying items by tag: Data
New York regulators are investigating Facebook’s gathering of intimate data about consumers’ menstrual cycles and body weight through smartphone applications.
Facebook has confirmed that New York’s Department of Financial Services set them a letter about the data sharing issue.
The New York based regulator asked the social media giant to provide a list of all the companies that were involved in sending them the data over the past three years.
According to the source, requests to provide information on agreements with Facebook were sent to a number of application developers.
A Wall Street Journal report from February 22 showed that after testing over 70 smartphone apps, approximately 11 were disclosing ‘highly sensitive’ information to Facebook to use for target ads. These ads would be able to reach users who are not Facebook members.
The intimate data that was collected by the apps showed personal information with regards to body weight, height, ovulation cycles, heart rate, pregnancy status and home shopping.
It was found that around 6 of the 15 most popular health and fitness apps shared personal information with Facebook.
A Facebook spokesperson stated:
"It's common for developers to share information with a wide range of platforms for advertising and analytics.
"We require the other app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data. We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us."
The investigation comes at the peak of the debate over online privacy and at a time when Facebook is still attempting to regain the trust of the masses following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
According to the Journal, the ‘highly sensitive information’ is sent to Facebook immediately after it is entered into the app.
Facebook is able to collect data through the Software Development Kit (SDK), which is a set of programs used to create apps and it often includes a set of open software tools.
These apps have used Facebook’s SDK to build their software in exchange for data which Facebook uses for advertising purposes.
A Facebook spokesperson has said that the data transmission does violate the company’s business agreement and that Facebook has taken measures to stop the apps from disclosing such personal information.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for extra security to be applied to Chinese companies following alleged security concerns that have been raised regarding the practices of telecommunications behemoth Huawei.
Ericsson has launched a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based managed services offering for communications service providers – the Ericsson Operations Engine. The solution is an end-to-end managed services operating model that, through Artificial Intelligence, automation, and the power of data, reimagines network and IT operations, network design and optimization, and applications development and maintenance.
The Ericsson Operations Engine directly and proactively addresses service providers’ managed services complexity challenges as the industry moves to the reality of 5G and IoT.
The Ericsson Operations Engine has three building blocks:
- Service-centric business model based on business outcomes: Using AI, automation and data insights, the Ericsson Operations Engine addresses targeted business outcomes for service providers such as enhanced customer experience, revenue growth and efficiency.
- End-to-end capabilities: delivering on business outcomes through AI-based design, planning and optimization, data-driven operations, dynamic deployment, applications development, and collaborative innovation.
- Components: Best-in-class tools and processes that leverage data, AI and automation as well as expertise and investments in the service provider domain.
Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President, Head of Managed Services, Ericsson, said, “Networks are quickly becoming significantly more complex to operate as we introduce IoT and 5G at scale, and virtualize core networks, while aiming to enhance user experience at the same time. The Ericsson Operations Engine enables us to create sustainable differentiation for our managed services customers as it evolves operations from being network-centric to user experience-centric. It fundamentally changes our way of operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation and artificial intelligence.”
Curtis Price, Program Vice President, Infrastructure Services, IDC, commented: “Managed services will play a significant role in the service providers transformation initiatives taking place worldwide. Nearly 65 percent of service providers indicate that managed services will be key in addressing their main operational concerns around customer satisfaction – improving customer experience is the number one factor that will influence service providers use of managed services – revenue growth and cost efficiency. It's also clear that advanced technologies like AI, automation and analytics represent the underlying pillars for supporting and enabling operational transformation through managed services partnerships.”
The Ericsson Operations Engine, as well as the latest trends and future of managed services, will be showcased by Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
The European Union and Japan finalized common rules to protect personal information, and launched what they called the “world's largest areas of safe data flows”. Firms can transfer data now that the executive European Commission finds that Japanese law offers “a comparable level of protection of personal data,” the commission said.
“This adequacy decision creates the world's largest area of safe data flows,” EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said, referring to an area of more than 600 million people. “Europeans' data will benefit from high privacy standards when their data is transferred to Japan,” the Czech commissioner said. “Our companies will also benefit from a privileged access to a 127 million consumers' market,” she added.
Jourova said the arrangement "will serve as an example for future partnerships" on data flows and set global standards.
The two sides cleared the final hurdle by agreeing on supplementary rules. These cover the protection of sensitive data, the exercise of individual rights and the conditions under which EU data can be further transferred from Japan to another third country.
Japan's independent data protection authority (PPC) and courts can enforce these rules covering Japanese firms that import data from EU.
Tokyo gave Brussels assurances that any use of personal data for law enforcement and national security purposes would be “limited to what is necessary and proportionate.” Access by public authorities for these reasons would be “subject to independent oversight and effective redress mechanisms,” the EU executive said.
The two sides agreed to a mechanism to investigate and resolve complaints from Europeans over data access that Japan's independent data protection authority will run and supervise. The decision complements the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which takes effect in February to become the world's biggest trade deal.
France's data watchdog (CNIL) announced a fine of 50 million euros ($57 million) for US search giant Google, using the EU's strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the first time.
Google was handed the record fine from the CNIL regulator for failing to provide transparent and easily accessible information on its data consent policies, a statement said. The CNIL said Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, in particular with regards to targeted advertising.
“People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We're deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We're studying the decision to determine our next steps.”
The ruling follows complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May, shortly after the landmark GDPR directive came into effect. One was filed on behalf of some 10,000 signatories by France's Quadrature du Net group, while the other was by None Of Your Business, created by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.
Schrems had accused Google of securing “forced consent” through the use of pop-up boxes online or on its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless people accept its conditions of use.
“Also, the information provided is not sufficiently clear for the user to understand the legal basis for targeted advertising is consent, and not Google's legitimate business interests,” the CNIL said.
Fifteen Democratic senators have proposed a new bill for protecting online information.
The Data Care Act creates new rules around how companies handle the data of customers. Data collectors would be required to ‘reasonably secure’ information and to ‘not use individual identifying data in ways that harm users’. It requires data collectors to give adequate notice to consumers about breaches of sensitive information.
If data collectors share or sell data with a third party, it would give the FTC the authority to fine companies that act deceptively.
It is just one of many proposals that members of Congress have put forward to regulate the tech industry. Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden proposed a bill that would send executives who mishandle data to prison.
Privacy activists have welcomed the bill, believing online personal data should be handled in the same regard as bank or medical records. EFF legislative analyst India McKinney said in a statement that the organization will “look forward to working with the Senator to improve his bill and to advance information fiduciary protections that will meet the needs of Internet users and adequately safeguard consumer data privacy as a part of comprehensive privacy legislation.”
The bill comes after Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before a committee earlier this week. He was questioned on data privacy during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday.
Beleaguered social media behemoth Facebook has been subjected to further scrutiny over its data sharing policies following a report by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ has claimed that Facebook offered deeper access to user records in a series of customized data sharing deals.
According to the report in the New York-based publication the Silicon Valley based social networking firm struck agreements, known internally as whitelists with a small group of companies which allowed access to users’ data which included connections, phone numbers and a metric that measures the closeness of a user with other users in its network.
When quizzed about these agreements and whitelists by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook acknowledged the deals which included agreements with enterprises such as the Royal Bank of Canada and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan, among others.
It was further alleged that the access was offered to companies which advertise on the social network or were valuable for other reasons, the newspaper said. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that Facebook continued to offer such access for periods lasting weeks and months after declaring it had cut off access to third party developers in 2015.
Company officials told WSJ Facebook struck the deals to improve user experience, test new features and allow certain partners to wind down existing data sharing projects. The latest revelation is the latest in a string of publicly damaging setbacks for the company, which faced fierce criticism in recent months over its data sharing activities.
Last week, Facebook’s data sharing practices with 60 device makers, including China-headquartered vendors, was flagged by a US politician. The company is also attempting to deal with the fallout of revelations in March that it shared data of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. It was also announced last week that Instagram had overtaken Facebook amongst teenagers and young adults.
Nokia and Vodafone Qatar are modernizing Vodafone Qatar's core network using Nokia virtualized applications to meet growing high-quality voice and data demands of customers living in and visiting Qatar.
The modernization of the network will provide increased capacity, scalability, flexibility and performance in the delivery of services such as high-definition Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to Vodafone Qatar's more than 1.4 million mobile subscribers.
Nokia began deployment in November 2017, leveraging its hardware, NFV applications and global services expertise. The first test call was completed in March 2018 and Nokia will complete the deployment in 2019. As part of the agreement, Nokia will provide care services for five years and managed services for 20 months.
Ramy Boctor, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Qatar, said: "We are working with Nokia to deploy virtualized core network capabilities that will enable us to provide world-class services. Our aim is to deliver superior customer services leveraging this 'Telco over Cloud core' network."
Deon Geyser, head of South Africa and Vodafone (SAV) Market Unit at Nokia, said: "We are pleased to continue a long-standing relationship working with Vodafone Qatar on this Telco over cloud core modernization project. With a history of proven deployments in the field, we are able to leverage our breadth of cloud core capabilities and services expertise to deliver a network that will deliver new flexibilities in the delivery of services such as VoLTE."
Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has vehemently denied that it collected data from Facebook users after the Silicon Valley social media colossus confirmed that it granted the Chinese smartphone manufacturer with access to user information.
Huawei has been deemed a threat to national security in the United States by a number of leading US intelligence officials and Republican congressman. The Chinese vendor has been subjected to intense scrutiny over the last few months, and this latest revelation by Facebook will only serve to heighten concerns over national security.
Facebook confirmed that Huawei along with several other companies was allowed to access Facebook data to get the world’s leading social network to perform on its smartphones. Following a fierce backlash in the US congress, Facebook mobile partnerships leader Francisco Varela has leapt to the defense of Huawei, saying that the information utilized by the Chinese vendor was stored on the device and not on Huawei’s servers.
Varela said, “Facebook along with many other US tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones. Given the interest from Congress, we wanted to make clear that all the information from these integrations with Huawei was stored on the device, not on Huawei's servers.”
A spokesperson for Huawei told AFP that it cooperated with Facebook as part of a concerted effort to improve user services, and strongly denied it collected or stored the data of users. In addition to this, it also rubbished claims it had any links to the Chinese government and dismissed fears in the US over national security.
The spokesperson said, “Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook's services more convenient for users. Huawei has never collected or stored any Facebook user data. Our infrastructure and computing products are used in 170 countries and we’ve worked hard to become a trusted ICT provider for our customers.”
US Senator Mark Warner, who is also vice-chairman of the senate select committee on intelligence, expressed his concern regarding the revelations by Facebook that Huawei had access to users’ data.
Warner said, “Concerns about Huawei aren't new. I look forward to learning more about how Facebook ensured that information about their users was not sent to Chinese servers."
Contracts with phone makers placed tight limits on what could be done with data, and "approved experiences" were reviewed by engineers and managers before being deployed - according to the social network. Facebook said it does not know of any privacy abuse by phone makers who years ago were able to gain access to personal data on users and their friends.
China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei said results of the world's first 400GE test indicate next-generation large-capacity port technology 400GE possesses the qualities required for commercial deployment.
With the rapid development of HD video, cloud computing, and other services, backbone network traffic has experienced average annual growth of over 45 percent, according to Huawei, creating challenges for backbone network bandwidth. As the next-generation port technology, 400GE can significantly increase backbone network bandwidth to help carriers cope with the explosive growth of data traffic.
Currently, international standards organizations are accelerating development work on 400GE standards, which are expected to be released by year-end 2017. In 2016, China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei established a 400GE joint innovation R&D team to develop live-network service requirements, application scenarios, standards formulation, and technology R&D, driving the standardization and commercial use of medium-and-long distance 400GE port technology.
Test results verified 400GE port functions such as line-speed forwarding, multi-service stacking, and fault reporting. The test was performed in China Telecom's network and terminal key laboratory using test cases based on actual network applications. The expert team at the Guangzhou Research Institute was responsible for sorting out network requirements, test-case design, and the process of the all-round test.
Huawei backbone routers were used in the test, and 400GE port networking was used between devices and the tester. Under real-world network traffic conditions, at full bandwidth, 400GE ports experienced zero packet loss in line-speed forwarding. Multi-service stack tests showed that protocol-based forwarding was normal; bundled 400GE and 100GE ports could implement precise load balancing; the transmission distance was as far as 10 km; and loopback and fault reporting functions were normal.
"High-speed traffic growth has contributed to the rapid development of high-speed port technology," said Zhu Yongqing, IP technology research owner at China Telecom Guangzhou’s Research Institute. "In the final release of the 400GE technology standard, China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute and Huawei performed the world’s first 400GE port tests based on requirements of the live network, realizing a combination of network requirements and technical R&D.
Yongqing added, “The test results reached expectations. In the future, we will cooperate with Huawei and other partners to promote development of the 400GE industry and maturation of the supply chain, ultimately driving the development of China Telecom’s network and the national broadband infrastructure."
"This joint venture with China Telecom Guangzhou Research Institute has officially opened up the possibility of commercial use for 400GE single ports," said Chen Jinzhu, General Manager of Huawei’s Backbone Router Domain. "Moving forward, we will focus on customer requirements and spare no effort in core technologies. Our innovative solutions can assist carriers in seizing development opportunities as we enter the cloud era."