Representatives from a number of major tech firms will gather in San Francisco on Wednesday to address growing concerns over consumer privacy, driven to the forefront by new European regulations and public uproar over scandals like Cambridge Analytica.
Social media giant Facebook admits it had data-sharing partnerships with Apple and many other device manufacturers over a period of years, granting third-party access to users' personal data before the company made apps available on iOS and Android.
With mounting legal fees and vanishing clients in the wake of revelations about its use of Facebook data, political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its British parent company, SCL Elections, are shutting down — though another company may be taking its place. [Updated with Emerdata info]
Facebook on Tuesday issued a surprise by announcing the immediate launch of its new Oculus Go standalone VR headset, which also boasts iPhone connectivity. AppleInsider got its hands on one of the first units, and offers a closer look.
The FaceBook-owned Oculus has started shipping the Go, a low-cost virtual reality headset that works without needing to be connected to a smartphone, Mac, or Windows PC, with the entry-level head-mounted display available to purchase in North America today.
Amid the furor over Silicon Valley companies mishandling personal data, Apple is very near the top of the charts for the most trusted company, with the majority of respondents pointing the finger at Facebook for being the least trust-worthy.
Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not mention Apple during a congressional hearing concerning data privacy and social media matters on Tuesday, a photo of his prepared notes shows he was ready to drag the iPhone maker into the discussion.
This week, Facebook has started to alert the estimated 87 million users affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, advising in the News Feed if personal data for an account was obtained by the company. For users of the social network who haven't yet seen a notification, there is a second way to manually check if their privacy was violated as part of the affair.
In written testimony released by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once again admitted to making mistakes in the way his company shares and tracks data. The social network also began notifying some users about whether their data was harvested by political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.
Speaking on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook criticized Facebook for its mishandling and commercialization of consumer data, and again concedes that the time may be past for self-regulation of how companies handle personal information.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is actively investigating Facebook's privacy practices in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, confirming in a statement the existence of a probe into the social network's activities after settling an earlier investigation with a consent decree in 2011.
Facebook tests the limits of people's tolerance for use of private information, as well as over regular changing of privacy settings for their users with little or no notice. Obviously, you can delete your Facebook account, but what if you're not ready to purge everything?
For years, Facebook and Google have been bleeding the publishing industry dry, appropriating the work of its reporters while replacing the ads that traditionally supported the news business with their own targeted surveillance advertising that does little to support actual journalism. It took a major scandal to wake the industry up, but it's increasing warming to Apple News and its unique model of privacy.