Oculus Adds ‘Privacy Center’ To Comply EU Data Collection Policy

Oculus is now complying the data protection rules issued by the European Union. The Facebook-owned virtual reality company  will be releasing more detailed policies and a privacy center which will be launched on May 20.


Oculus set to launch ‘Privacy Center’


Oculus said that a privacy center is a place where users can actually check all the data that Oculus has collected from them. However, Oculus pointed out that the update would take a little bit longer.


The company’s new terms of service were published on April 20, but it would take effect come May 20. Oculus is also planning to expand its terms of service that would cover augmented reality.


Reports claim that tech companies are now adapting the General Data Protection Regulation which obliges these companies to set a higher standard for collecting information from the users.


And Oculus’ privacy center is actually a response of the company to GDPR. “Our practices are not changing concerning how we use data today. We just include more transparency,” Oculus associate general counsel Jenny Hall said in a statement.


This means that Facebook-owned virtual reality company will be adding existing code of conduct to its terms of service, “to provide increased visibility of our commitment to creating a safe VR environment for all people.”


Apart from this, Oculus is also planning to revisit its privacy policy even with social media giant Facebook. The plan to move ahead was a result of the data mess controversy between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The controversy includes the improper use of the data of 87 million individuals targeted for political ads.



Facebook To Issue Simplified Terms of Service, Data Policy

Social media giant Facebook announced it would be releasing clearer versions of data policy. This includes the company’s terms of service as well to stem the tide of the recent privacy concerns amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


Facebook to release clearer terms of service, data policy


In a statement, Facebook’s Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan said that it would show this time “transparency” on how FB products work.


“It’s important to show people in black and white how our products work,” a blog post co-authored by Egan with Ashlie Beringer, Facebook’s VP and deputy general counsel.


“These updates are about making things clearer. We’re not asking for new rights to collect, use or share your data on Facebook. We’re also not changing any of the privacy choices you’ve made in the past,” they said.


Although this remains a proposal to date, Facebook has given its global users to give feedback within seven days. This is essential for the company to finalize the platform’s new language. It would also ask users to agree on the revised terms and data privacy agreement.


It can be recalled that both Egan and Beringer disclosed that the social media platform would be overhauled to simplify the app’s settings and control.


Also, a Facebook spokesperson said that Messenger’s conversations are being scanned for prohibited content.

“On Messenger, when you send a photo, our automated systems scan it using photo matching technology to detect known child exploitation imagery, or when you send a link, we scan it for malware or viruses,” a Facebook Messenger spokesperson said Bloomberg in an interview.


“Facebook designed these automated tools so we can rapidly stop abusive behaviour on our platform,” the social media giant’s spokesperson added.

Facebook Amidst Privacy Crisis: Delete or Not?

Facebook may be facing its biggest challenge yet as the Cambridge Analytica data scandal continues to cast a spell of doubt over the site’s security despite public reassurance from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. As in the recent fake news epidemic, Facebook claims to take all steps necessary to protect the public but the big fish aren’t biting. Already, there seems to be an exodus of big companies (who like Tesla deleted their Facebook page) after it was revealed that the personal data of around 50 million Facebook users were collected without their knowledge or consent. Although the general public is more forgiving, it’s perplexing how this could be an “innocent mistake” from a tech giant in a world where the option for two-factor authentication has become prevalent. Surprisingly even WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, whose company was bought for a whopping $19B by Facebook tweeted about supporting the #deletefacebook movement!

As expected, the leading social media platform’s popularity plummeted when it was revealed that Facebook was used to steal private information during the Trump campaign. One recent study showed that 48% of users no longer had a favorable view in contrast to only 30% who did. That being said, it was also a big surprise why most U.S. users have not yet changed log-in credentials – knowing fully well that there is no sanctity of data. According to Reuter’s 86% have not changed their log-in credentials in social media including Facebook and an appalling 78% have not switched to private mode on their browser. Going incognito can be done on the fly but it takes a little more effort to physically cover your device or laptop camera. Something that can’t be shrugged off because half of the adult users admit to logging on daily.

This breach of trust is something that could have been expected if we were more discerning when downloading the app. In a statement to the Guardian, it said, “Contact uploading is optional. People are expressly asked if they want to give permission to upload their contacts from their phone—it’s explained right there in the apps when you get started.” Surreptitious or not, the amount of call or SMS data is astounding and when you realize that it is free to use, then it looks like our collective data becomes part of the product for data miners – but is it a fair trade-off?

“It’s also our responsibility to tell you how we collect and use your data in language that’s detailed, but also easy to understand. In the coming weeks, we’ll be proposing updates to Facebook’s terms of service that include our commitments to people.”          Erin Egan, Facebook

If you think Facebook is indispensable because you are too attached to your social friends and had gotten used to the noise and trivia, you don’t have to delete your account. In a move to regain trust, Facebook itself has taken additional steps so users have better control of their security settings:

  1. Data settings and controls have been streamlined and easier to find – and accessible from one location.
  2. What can be shared with apps are now more explicit.
  3. Outdated settings have been removed or revised.
  4. New Privacy Shortcuts menu was introduced; one that is simpler, more visual, and gives you better control of ads, personal information, and who sees your profile, posts and information.

5. Two-factor authentication,

6. Tools for downloading and deleting Facebook data including contacts, photos, posts, pages, apps, comments and the like. You can also download and/or delete data about friends, followers, and who you are following.


“We’ll also update our data policy to better spell out what data we collect and how we use it. These updates are about transparency – not about gaining new rights to collect, use, or share data.”

Photo from https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/03/privacy-shortcuts/

After the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook Is Rolling Out Tool For Privacy Changes

Social media giant Facebook has announced this week about the privacy changes it would implement. These privacy changes came in after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Not just the recent scandal, Facebook is keen to implement changes in the platform due to legislation.


It can be recalled that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about the scandal. He revealed that about 50 million Facebook user profiles’ data were collected and sent to Cambridge Analytica. He also announced that the platform would now include a tool at the top of the News Feed.


Facebook’s new tool allows users to know what apps have been accessing their data. The tool also restricts the developers’ access to data, among others. Earlier this week, Facebook has revealed some measures for its global users. The social media giant disclosed that these measures were a work in progress.


A UK lawmaker named Damian Collins has reportedly summoned the Facebook CEO to appear before the British parliament, CNBC reported on Wednesday.


“A lot of it, a lot of stuff they would need to have done to be compliant with the new European data protection laws, known as GDPR. So I’m not convinced how much of that was actually really new stuff,” Collins told CNBC.


What is General Data Protection Regulation


The inquiry came on the heels of the General Data Protection Regulation that would be implemented across the European Union come May 25. This legislation obliges companies to allow users to download the data that was held on them.


The legislation also allows users to transfer these data to another service if the users opted to. Two salient provisions of GDR also are the right to be forgotten and the right to request data be deleted.


For Ian Bremmer, founder of political analysis firm Eurasia Group, said: “A much tighter data environment from Europe is set to change the way Facebook handles what they collect and how they sell it.”


“And given that Facebook’s 2-plus billion users are tightly interconnected, a change in Europe will affect how they handle business for those users connected to those in Europe as well,” Bremmer as quoted saying in the CNBC report.


“So it’s not quite as challenging for Facebook to say they’re taking the popular outcry seriously and are prepared to address it – that legal ‘fix’ was already in the books,” he added.

Facebook Goes Full Damage-Repair Mode

Facebook and it’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg, continues to do damage-repair in light of the recent situation the company is facing.

The social media giant knows they are in the wrong and are taking full responsibility of it. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has been going on TV interviews and just recently, taken out full-page ads in newspapers.

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg has finally broken his silence on the issue and has posted a lengthy explanation on his personal Facebook page. There he vowed to investigate “all apps that had access to large amounts of information”.

“The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago,” he wrote in his post. “But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.”

Zuckerberg also gave a rare on-cam interview to CNN explaining what’s been going on.  He then spoke to some news outlets regarding the situation and laid out the steps that the company is taking.

In a surprising move, Facebook also took out full-page ads in newspapers in the UK and the US to say sorry.

In the ad, Zuckerberg explained that a quiz built by a university researcher had “leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014”.

“I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” the ad further reads.

The full-page apology were plastered in both broadsheets and tabloids in the UK. This includes Mail on Sunday, Observer, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, and Sunday Express.

In the US, Facebook had full-page adverts in New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.


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