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Facebook To Be Fined A Fortune Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal!

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In 2017, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched an inquiry into voters’ data being obtained and used by political campaigns. This was following the Observer’s early investigative reports, into Cambridge Analytica, the political research firm. Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have been under scrutiny, for harvesting the data of millions of Facebook users around the globe, with the total number of people affected now at 87 million. The social media giant Facebook will be fined $ 664,000 for failing to protect users’ information by the UK’s privacy watchdog. While a fine of $ 664,000 is the biggest possible punishment available to the ICO, it is the same amount of money Facebook makes in just a few minutes. At the time of the infraction, the law on processing data was set out under the Data Protection Act of 1998, which imposed a maximum penalty of £ 500,00. However, Under the new Data Protection Act 2018, companies can be fined up to 4 % of global turnover, a substantially more serious penalty. In Facebook’s case, a fine could be as high as $ 1.9 bn, based on its revenue.

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner said she would penalize the social network platform as her office investigates how the data of millions of users was improperly accessed. Earlier, the CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by the U.S., and the EU lawmakers over how Cambridge Analytica accessed the personal data of such a huge number of Facebook users. During the EU referendum, Facebook was found to be at fault for failing to be clear about how the information had been harvested by others. According to reports, Denham said Facebook has failed to provide the kinds of protections they’re required to do under data protection laws.

However, the penalty could change as the agency would discuss the matter further with Facebook. Generally, the ICO does not reveal its initial investigations but this time, it shared the details of the amount of the penalty because of the hyped public interest toward the scandal. Also, the agency would next give an update in October, this year.

Erin Egan, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, acknowledged in a statement Facebook should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015. Apart from this, the UK privacy watchdogs said the fallout from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal is only the beginning. The UK’s early efforts could inform ongoing investigations elsewhere in Europe as well as the United States, where a probe by the Federal Trade Commission could result in a penalty well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also looking into Facebook’s ties to Cambridge Analytica.

 

 

 

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Apple’s New Launch – iPhone 11

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Apple Inc., launched its iPhone 11 lineup on September 10th 2019.  The launch happened in San Jose, where the headquarters of the Company are located.  The iPhone 11 lineup includes the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.  The price of the new iPhones ranges from $ 699 to $ 1099, with the iPhone 11 being the cheapest.  During the launch, Apple also introduced other devices like the next gen Apple watch, the 7th gen iPad and the Apple Arcade.

The new iPhone 11 is an upgraded version of the iPhone XR, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are upgrades of the iPhone XS and XS Max respectively.  The iPhone 11 is directed at the price sensitive Indian market.

During the launch, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said, “iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the most powerful and advanced smartphones we have ever made. They are packed with sophisticated technology that pros can count on to get their work done, and for anyone who wants the very best device made, even if they are not a pro.”

Specifications

iPhone 11

The new iPhone 11 will be available in three storage variants of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB.  The iPhone 11 will be powered by A13 Bionic, which is a new processor designed by Apple. The smartphone will have a 6.1 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1792 X 828 pixels.  The rear camera of the iPhone 11 consists of two lenses and both have a 12 megapixel image sensor. The iPhone 11 is dust and water resistant and will be available in black, green, yellow, purple, red and white variants. 

iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max

The Pro and Pro Max versions are quite expensive compared to the iPhone 11.  They are priced at $ 999 and $ 1099 respectively. The smartphones will be available in three storage variants of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB.  The rear camera of both the smartphones consists of three lenses. The OLED display of iPhone Pro and Pro Max are 5.8 and 6.5 inches respectively.  Just like the iPhone 11, these models are also dust and water resistant. 

 

The iPhone 11 lineup will be released on September 20th 2019 in the United States of America and on September 27th 2019 in India.

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Jack Ma Retires From Alibaba At 55

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Jack Ma retired from Alibaba, the Company he built 20 years ago, on September 10th 2019 as its Chairman.  Ma announced last year he would retire from Alibaba in September 2019.

Jack Ma co founded Alibaba in 1999 as a B2B marketplace site, at his apartment in Hangzhou, China.  Alibaba Group Holding Limited is now one of the biggest and most valuable companies in the world. The Company owns and operates businesses in numerous sectors around the world.  With a market value of $ 420 million, Alibaba made Jack Ma one of the richest people in China, with a net worth of $ 35.6 billion. He is also considered one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.

Jack Ma decided to retire from Alibaba in order to pursue educational and philanthropic work.  Daniel Zhang, who is the CEO of the Company since 2015, will step into Jack Ma’s shoes as the executive chairman of Alibaba. 

To bid farewell to Jack Ma, the Company held a four hour celebration at an Olympic sized stadium in Hangzhou with a capacity to accommodate 80,000 people.  Jack Ma, who is known for his colorful personality and performed at a Chinese music festival, did not disappoint anyone this time either.  Ma, dressed as a rockstar with a fake wig and holding an electronic guitar, gave a powerful performance in front of his employees. 

Speaking about his retirement at the event, Jack Ma said, “After tonight, I will start a new life. I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early.

Even though Jack Ma retired from Alibaba as its Chairman, he will stay on the Company’s board till 2020 and will remain a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership. 

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Binny Bansal Sells ₹531 Crore Worth Flipkart Shares To Walmart

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Binny Bansal, an Indian billionaire, entrepreneur and co founder of the e-commerce website Flipkart, sold $ 76.4 million worth of his shares in Flipkart to Walmart’s Luxembourg entity FIT Holdings SARL.

Binny Bansal, along with his partner Sachin Bansal, co founded the Flipkart and served as its Chief Executive Officer until January 2016.

Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, bought Flipkart in 2018 and back then, Bansal sold a small portion of his shares and held 3.85 % of stake.

Now, according to the documents filed by Flipkart with the regulators, Binny Bansal transferred 539,912 equity shares to FIT Holdings SARL.  These shares are valued to be $ 76.4 million (approximately Rs. 531 crores.)  This latest deal left him with only 3.52 % stake in Flipkart.

Vivek Durai, the founder of Paper.vc, a business intelligence platform, said, “With this transfer, Binny Bansal has monetised a small portion of his shareholdings. He had sold 1,122,433 shares for about $ 159 million during the Walmart takeover.”

According to his contract with Walmart, Binny Bansal is entitled to sell more than half of his shares to Walmart by August 2020 and he could gain around $ 400 million from this transaction.

Bansal, who is mostly based in Singapore, is now an investor in India’s  startup ecosystem and is also the co founder of xto10X Technologies, which was launched last year.

In December 2018, Binny Bansal invested a sprawling $ 25 million dollars in the online insurance startup Acko.  He also invested in several AI and healthtech startups.

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