Don’t Panic Over Facebook and Twitter. The internet turned out not to be an unmixed blessing, but Antonio García Martínez, the author of ‘Chaos Monkeys,’ seeks to calm your fears about privacy and ‘fake news.’

If the internet was once hailed as a liberating revolution, today it’s more apt to be demonized as an oppressive regime. Privacy advocates raise alarms about the “surveillance capitalism” of personalized data collection and online advertising. Journalists warn that social media helps proliferate misinformation and lies, while politicians worry that it corrodes the institutions of liberal democracy.

Then…

 

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Web creator Tim Berners-Lee launches plan to ‘fix’ the internet

Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, is officially launching his plan to “fix” the internet.

The World Wide Web Foundation, a non-profit campaign group set up by Berners-Lee, has secured the backing of tech giants Facebook, Google and Microsoft for the scheme, dubbed the “contract for the web.”

The British computer scientist first outlined his vision to overhaul organizations’ approach to the internet at the Web Summit event last year. At the time, he said the web was “at a tipping point.” The contract calls on companies to respect consumers’ data privacy and urges governments to ensure everyone has access to the internet.

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The EU could hit Facebook with billions in fines over privacy violations

The European Union is reportedly nearing the end of its investigation into some of the cases it opened against Facebook under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In total, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, which is leading the investigation since Facebook’s HQ in Europe is in Dublin, has 11 cases against the social network.

Some of those cases have been finalized to a point where the Commission has passed along its final investigative reports. Decisions, along with any proposed fines and sanctions, are expected to be near completion by the end of September.

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US senators voice concerns over Facebook’s handling of children’s privacy

The Hill reports U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have reached out to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with questions regarding the social network’s privacy policies and standards for children. Markey and Blumenthal wrote a letter to Zuckerberg seeking details on a vulnerability discovered in Facebook’s Messenger Kids app that allowed users to communicate with people without parental consent. “Children’s privacy and safety online should be Messenger Kids’ top priority,” Markey and Blumenthal wrote. “Your company has a responsibility to meet its promise to parents that children are not exposed to unapproved contacts, a promise that it appears that Facebook has not fulfilled.”
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Facebook’s $5 billion fine doesn’t bode well for Libra

It looks like Facebook’s $5 billion settlement, which was ratified yesterday by the Federal Trade Commission, will likely go through. The deal was approved 3-2 along party lines, with the Republican commissioners voting for it and the Dems—who represent, arguably, the victims of the Cambridge Analytica data breach that may have helped elect Donald Trump—voting against it.

All that remains is for the U.S. Justice Department to rubber stamp it, and a settlement that The Verge described as an “embarrassing joke” will be finalized. The social network can get back to business, unencumbered by a year-long investigation into its cavalier handling of users’ personal data.

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Facebook Faces Activist, EU Judges in ‘Schrems II’ Privacy Case

Facebook Inc. warned the European Union’s top court that toppling a key system used by companies to transfer data out of the EU would threaten trans-Atlantic trade, in the latest twist of a six-year-old saga pitting the social media giant against privacy activist Max Schrems.

Facebook lawyers told the EU Court of Justice that the lawsuit threatens contractual clauses that companies rely on to transfer commercial data overseas. The new protocol was used as the only reliable option after Schrems won an earlier case throwing out an EU-U.S. data accord.

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Facebook Faces Lawsuit for Data Breach Affecting Nearly 30 Million Users

Facebook Inc. failed to fend off a lawsuit over a data breach that affected nearly 30 million users, one of several privacy snafus that have put the company under siege.

The company’s disclosure in September that hackers exploited several software bugs to obtain login access to accounts was tagged as Facebook’s worst security breach ever. An initial estimate that as many as 50 million accounts were affected was scaled back weeks later.

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