Category Archives: Cambridge Analytica

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Potential Facebook Stakeholders Line Up for Libra Amid Industry Concerns

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Despite Facebook declaring it has backing from over a dozen firms for the project “Libra,” reports suggest that the media giant is far from ready due to software unpreparedness, with one source suggesting early 2020 as the likely date for testing.

Detractors claim that Facebook’s attempt to launch its own cryptocurrency is purely a way of creating its own super mall where FB can boost its product sales and net users can sidestep familiar payment methods and web payment systems.

Facebook has announced that it already has Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber on board, despite claims elsewhere that delay to date are because the industry doesn’t perceive Facebook’s proposed coin as a true cryptocurrency.  The FB coin, it is also argued can present no challenge to Bitcoin which has gained popularity, simply because it requires a storage and payment facility which doesn’t need to go through financial giants such as Visa and Mastercard.

Other sources suggest that Facebook is hoping to attract 100 members to the project’s governing consortium securing USD 1 billion in the process. The consortium amongst others will include venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures, Coinbase, and non-profit organization Mercy Corps.

The development of Facebook Coin raises concerns for many in the industry, due to the media giant’s record on earning its revenue, particularly last year’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal when customers’ information was shared between Cambridge and Facebook for advertising purposes. Users are hoping that a higher standard of ethics is one of the critical prerequisites necessary for any coin launch. The company is hoping that such fears can be allayed by the hiring of Standard Chartered’s Europe head of corporate and public affairs, Edward Bowles.

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How Blockchain is Transforming Personal Data Security

How Blockchain is Transforming Personal Data Security

The amount of personal data managed by third parties expands at a nearly incomprehensible rate every day. With the vast majority of these corporations relying on centralized servers to protect client information, 2018 perhaps unsurprisingly saw the personal information of millions of people compromised on an international scale.

Some of the biggest data breaches last year came from household names such as Facebook, Google, and T-Mobile, Facebook alone suffering consecutive major security incidents that affected over 100 million users of the popular social media platform. The Cambridge Analytica scandal also brought to light uncomfortable truths about the business model of such platforms, as many people chose to delete their accounts upon seeing how their data had been cataloged and sold without their consent.

Even traditional industries were affected: popular UK-based airline company British Airways fell victim to a ”malicious criminal” hack last year too that saw customers’ personal and financial details compromised.

The case for blockchain

There are several reasons why blockchain immediately appears compatible with protecting personal data. For one, the system is immutable and does not allow access from unwanted actors and secondly, various levels of access can be administered to users, which means personal data can be shared on the distributed ledger only to those who have directly been allowed access.

Ryan Faber, co-founder of cryptographic identification startup Bloom, has said security breaches against major corporations are now happening on a weekly basis. He believes that blockchain technology can provide a more secure solution to handle sensitive data, while also giving people more control over the usage of their own information.

Noting the number of users on BloomIDs has exploded; over 120,000 were created just last year, Faber told Forbes earlier this year:

“The demand for secure identity and better data management practices has been huge.”

Protecting data through a blockchain protocol means that instead of relying on the traditional central server, data is stored locally on users devices, managed through private keys that allow access and giving the user control over who accesses what and where their data goes.

Data as currency in 2019

As the model of social media has increasingly revealed, personal data has become a tradeable commodity that allows corporations to profit from private individuals, very often without such individuals even being aware their information is being sold. People looking to take back personal control have been migrating to decentralized alternatives to Facebook such as Minds, Memo and Steem. One report from the Guardian suggests that teenage Facebook users in the US fell by 20% last year.

On top of the benefits of securing data via the blockchain, users on platforms such as Minds can earn tokens as rewards for posting content that other users enjoy.

But it is fair to say there has yet to be any blockchain social media app that has seen its popularity explode, and people understandably want to use sites where they can find members from their social groups. While it will undoubtedly take time for one of these platforms to emerge dominant, the trends certainly suggest people are looking for better solutions to ensure the privacy of their own data.

 

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Finance Journo Martin Lewis Targets Facebook for Fake Bitcoin Ads

British financial journalist and TV personality Martin Lewis has announced that he will sue social media giant Facebook over a series of cryptocurrency ads featuring his image and his name.

Lewis, who is taking his case the UK High Court on Monday, claims that at least 50 ads have been released on Facebook endorsing financial products to which he has no connection and has not authorized. Lewis, who has made his name on British TV and in the media for advising consumers how to spend money wisely, ironically is not a cryptocurrency enthusiast, once saying,”Bitcoin is a highly speculative investment. You need to be prepared and think about your attitude to risk before you consider investing.”

The presenter has said that he is “disgusted beyond endurance” with the crypto ads and maintains that Facebook has made no attempt to address the problem:

“It is facilitating scams on a constant basis in a morally repugnant way. If [it] wants to be the champion of moral causes, then he needs to stop its [sic] company doing this.”

According to Facebook, this isn’t the case, arguing,”We do not allow adverts which are misleading or false on Facebook and have explained to Martin Lewis that he should report any adverts that infringe his rights, and they will be removed.”

The statement continued to point out that Facebook was in direct contact with the Lewis team, and was investigating their requests and had recently removed other ads which violated the new company advertising policy.

Facebook has recently introduced a ban on cryptocurrency advertising, but scammers are able to avoid filters that have been put in place. The scammers promote advertising that fools investors into schemes that tap into the burgeoning popularity of cryptocurrency.

The social media giant’s fortunes continue to take a downturn after the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this month. Lewis has said that should he win the case against Facebook, awarded damages will be donated to charities that fight against scams of this nature.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/mobile-phone-smartphone-keyboard-1917737/ – geralt

 

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Cambridge Analytica Reportedly Planned ICO

Cambridge Analytica allegedly planned to hold an initial coin offering (ICO) for their own digital currency, prior to becoming embroiled in a scandal involving the misuse of data from Facebook.

Sources familiar with the situation spoke to Reuters Tuesday, noting that Cambridge Analytica had consulted with a company known for advising the structuring of ICOs. It is reported they were looking to source up to USD 30 million from the ICO.

A spokesman for Cambridge Analytica did not confirm if the firm was still pursuing the venture but did comment on their intentions to use blockchain technology in securing data in their care online. They stated: ”Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used.”

This seems ironic considering that the nature of the scandal they were involved in entailed gaining and sharing Facebook users data improperly and without the users’ knowledge. The spokesman continued in their email to Reuters, saying that they were “exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetize their personal data, including blockchain technology”.

Cambridge Analytica notably worked for the US presidential campaign of Donal Trump in 2016, before knowledge of the Facebook scandal was known publicly. Earlier this month, Facebook said that over 87 million users may have been affected by the data analytics consultancy’s breach of privacy, although Cambridge Analytica reiterated that data was properly licensed on far fewer users from the research firm they were working on behalf of.

ICOs

As the popularity of digital currencies continues to increase, ICOs are one of the most popular ways for firms to raise money for their startups.

According to research from Autonomous, companies have so far raised USD 3.5 billion this year through ICOs. This style of funding is popular with investors as they can exchange their tokens on online trading platforms, often at a profit.

 

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