FTC looking into Facebook privacy policy

See on Scoop.itGeneral News N Updates

After a storm of negative comments from users, the Federal Trade Commission has begun an inquiry into Facebook’s latest privacy policies.

Techno Geek silhoutte‘s insight:

The Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday that it had begun an inquiry into whether the social network’s proposed new privacy policies, unveiled two weeks ago, violated a 2011 agreement with regulators. Under that agreement, the social network is required to get the explicit consent of its users before exposing their private information to new audiences.

Facebook’s new policies make clear that users are required to grant the company wide permission to use their personal information in advertising as a condition of using the service.

Facebook says the language was in part required by a federal court. In August, a judge approved some of the wording as part of a settlement in a class-action suit brought by users upset at seeing their names and photos used to endorse products in Facebook ads sent to their friends.

See on www.nytimes.com

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World’s Top 10 Tech Billionaires

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple are not just engines of technological innovation in America — they’re also the path to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, which was just updated. But there is a little catch.

You gotta be a man.

Eleven of the world’s richest billionaires are wealthy primarily because they founded a technology company or own a significant stake in a technology company. That includes people like Bill Gates, who founded Microsoft and is worth $67 billion (and would probably still be the world’s richest man if he had not given away so much of his wealth). And CEOs like Larry Ellison, who founded Oracle and is currently the owner of not just a small Hawaiian island but also a fortune valued at $43 billion.

One problem?

Not a single woman is on the top 10 billionaires list, and just one woman is in the top 1. And that is due to inheritance more than founding a company:

  1. Bill Gates: $67 billion
  2. Larry Ellison: $43 billion
  3. Jeff Bezos: $25 billion
  4. Larry Page: $23 billion
  5. Sergey Brin: $22.8 billion
  6. Michael Dell: $15.3 billion
  7. Steve Ballmer: $15.2 billion
  8. Paul Allen: $15 billion
  9. Mark Zuckerberg: $13.3 billion
  10. Azim Premji: $11.2 billion
  11. Laurene Powell Jobs and family: $10.7 billion

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest top tech billionaire, at just 28, followed not all that closely by Google’s Page and Brin, both of whom are still thirtysomething but will only be able to say that for one more year.

An interesting question: Who will be the first woman to make it on the list due to her standing as a tech founder or CEO?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer might be a top candidate, but her potentially $60 million compensation first-year package at Yahoo is only a drop in the billionaire’s bucket. She’s only like to make it if she gets a lot more stock-based compensation and Yahoo’s value goes through the roof.

That’s something that women like Change.org president and COO (and former Google exec) Jennifer Dulski is trying to change, as we reported a month ago. But given the 10-15 years it takes a company to attain the kind of scale that supports multibillion-dollar valuations, it may take us some time to see who successful they will be.

Malware Attack on Apple Said to Come From Eastern Europe

At least 40 companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. were targeted in malware attacks linked to an Eastern European gang of hackers that is trying steal company secrets, two people familiar with the matter said.

Apple, one of three victims to publicly disclose attacks this month, said some of its internal Mac systems were affected by a malware attack. The hackers used an iPhone-developer website, according to the people familiar with law enforcement efforts, including investigations by the FBI and Secret Service, and didn’t want to be identified because of the probe.

“We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network,” Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday in a statement. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.”

The attack is part of the same series of invasions that also led to recently disclosed breaches at Facebook and Twitter, according to investigators working with the companies. Apple was the first to discover the attack, one of the people said.

The hackers appear to be seeking company secrets, research and intellectual property they can sell underground, the people familiar with the matter said. While such attacks have previously been associated with China, sophisticated criminals in other countries have now successfully hacked corporate networks.

‘Sophisticated Attack’

Facebook said last week that it was subjected to a “sophisticated attack” by hackers who took advantage of weaknesses in a mobile-developer website. Apple said its computers were infected in a similar manner, though it didn’t name Facebook or any other affected companies.

Twitter, the microblogging site with more than 200 million active users, said this month that it detected unauthorized attempts to hack into its systems and that attackers may have obtained access to information for about 250,000 people. It said the perpetrators were “extremely sophisticated.”

Information from the social media sites could be used to target employees of other companies, the investigators said.

Employees at the companies were first infected when they visited the iPhone developers site iphonedevsdk.com, which the hackers had infiltrated and used to implant malware via a security flaw in the victims’ browsers. Bedford, Massachusetts- based RSA Security Inc. has dubbed the tactic a “waterhole” attack, because victims are attracted to the source of the infection like animals attracted to a waterhole on the savanna.

Attractive Targets

In this case, the website was probably visited by software developers and other employees of technology companies, which would present attractive targets to hackers, according to Anup Ghosh, founder of the security firm Invincea Inc. The hackers, who don’t know ahead of time exactly who will be infected, then use those initial infections to burrow deeper into networks of companies that might have valuable data, Ghosh said.

Investigators suspect that the hackers are a criminal group based in Russia or Eastern Europe, and have tracked at least one server being used by the group to a hosting company in the Ukraine. Other evidence, including the malware used in the attack, also suggest it is the work of cyber criminals rather than state-sponsored espionage from China, two people familiar with the investigation said.

The New York Times Co. reported Jan. 30 that its computer network was hacked repeatedly by attackers in China. For four months, the newspaper’s computer systems were infiltrated and Chinese hackers accessed some passwords for its reporters and other employees, the publisher said.

More on: http://www.bloomberg.com

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