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Facebook: Zuckerberg Apologizes For The Data Leaks

Smruthi Kishore

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Facebook Data Leaks,Zuckerberg Apologizes For Data Leaks,Startup Stories,Startup News India,Facebook Data Breach Scandal,Massive Facebook Breach,Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg,Cambridge Analytica,Trump Presidential Campaign,Facebook Testimony,Zuckerberg Apology

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, said last week the company had made multiple mistakes. The most serious one being the leak of 87 million users to Cambridge Analytica, the firm which had provided demographical intelligence to the Trump Presidential Campaign. In a testimony clarifying the issue, Zuckerberg said he was looking into the full extent of the involvement by the Russian Government during the 2016 elections.

The release of his testimony came as Facebook was preparing to notify users whose data were harvested by Cambridge Analytica. Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge professor, created an app called This Is Your Digital Life, in order to identify the voters through research. The data downloaded by the Cambridge professor was in return sold to Cambridge Analytica. Since the last fourteen years since Facebook was founded, lawmakers and government officials have looked at one of the largest online social media platforms with favour. According to reports, Cambridge Analytica had acquired the data of around 2,70,000 people who allowed the app to access its data along with their friends on the platform.

“For the first decade, we really focused on all the good that connecting people brings. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough. We didn’t focus enough on preventing abuse and thinking through how people could use these tools to do harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech. … We didn’t take a broad enough view of what our responsibility is, and that was a huge mistake. It was my mistake. But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough,” Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement in relation to the Facebook Data Leaks.

Clearly, he isn’t the only one who thinks that way. On Tuesday evening, in a meeting with the Senate and the Cabinet members, an apologetic Zuckerberg said he was extremely sorry for the role the online social media platform played during the 2016 American elections. During the two day Senate session, Zuckerberg apologised by saying he was looking into all the details of the breach.

Furthermore, the Facebook team has said a bounty program with a reward of $ 40,000 has been announced for people who catch large data leaks. Payouts will start at $ 500 and will go up to as high as $ 40,000. Over the better part of the last month, the Cambridge Analytica issue has spiralled into one of the biggest scandals faced by the 33 year old Zuckerberg. The data abuse program is the first of its kind to come up in the industry, giving users an incentive to ensure their safety.

With Zuckerberg’s apology and attempt at making sure things are right, Facebook seems to be addressing the breach issue with renewed vigour and commitment.

 

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Google Job Search Feature Comes To India

Ramya GovindRaj

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Technology giant Google announced the launch another India focused product making it easier for users to search for jobs in India. In a blog post, the company announced their latest job search feature for India under Google for Jobs feature.

In the blog post, the company added, “Now we’re bringing job search to India. With this new experience, we aim to connect Indians to numerous opportunities across the country. No matter who you are or what kind of job you’re looking for, it will now be easier to find job postings that match your needs and skills.” Under this feature, users will be able to see in depth results of relevant job opportunities from across the web when users search for “jobs near me,” “jobs for freshers,” or similar job seeking queries.

Google also partnered with a number of organizations from across the industry including IBM Talent Management Solutions, LinkedIn, QuikrJobs and TimesJobs among others for this purpose. The tech giant aims to add a new functionality to the search engine to show a comprehensive listing of jobs on the results page.

With from a roster over a million listings, from some 90,000 employers nationwide, the company claims its tool can help job seekers at every level, from recent college grads to experienced managers. Users can click on the listings to bring up more information about the company and the role, as well as links to apply for the said role on various platforms.

The search results can also be narrowed down to fewer and more relevant listings by adding filters such as preferred title, location and contract type. “We’ll continue to add relevant filters, and surface more pertinent job related information in the future. This new jobs search experience will be available in English on the Search app on Android and iOS, in Google search on the desktop and mobile,” the company further added.

Both the desktop and the Android versions of the search engine have been integrated with the new tool along with an open source framework called Open Documentation. All third party job search platforms and direct employers, big or small can make their job openings discoverable through the Open Documentation framework. At present, the Indian online job market is showing healthy growth with 63% of people slated to access online job postings and more than 50% of job related queries originating from mobile users.

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Walmart To Buy Controlling Stakes In Flipkart By Next Week

Ramya GovindRaj

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America’s biggest retail firm Walmart Inc., may buy close to a 51% stake in India’s biggest ecommerce startup Flipkart by the end of next week. Reuters reported, according to two sources close to the matter, Walmart could acquire controlling stakes in Flipkart as early as next week.

The investment talks met a snag when SoftBank was reportedly not ready to sell its shares in the Indian ecommerce firm to Walmart. Currently, the Japan based venture firm owns about one fifth of Flipkart through its Vision Fund. However, sources report the stalemate ended but it is still unclear if SoftBank agreed to sell some of its shares in Flipkart. Sources also revealed, Walmart offered to buy SoftBank shares at a valuation of $12 billion, a price the Japanese tech investor considered to be low. MoneyControl reported Walmart may retain Flipkart’s management team including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kalyan Krishnamurthy. This investment could increase Flipkart’s valuation to about $20 billion, up from $12 billion last year.

India has become ground zero for the ecommerce ecosystem with big global players looking to invest in Indian firms and break into the market. Amazon India has also gone into overdrive in an attempt to emerge as the biggest shareholder of the Indian ecommerce industry which is expected to reach a market capitalization of $ 28 billion by 2020. Flipkart, on the other hand, envisioned as the ‘Amazon of India’ has raised over $6 billion in funding rounds so far and owns India’s largest online fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong.

According to a report by Morgan Stanley, India had up to 60 million online shoppers in 2016, which makes up to only 14% of the internet user base in the country. However, by 2026, these numbers are expected to rise to over 50%. Experts suggest, in the long run, this deal between Walmart and Flipkart could be a win for both the companies. Flipkart could also be the best available option for Walmart to access India’s growing retail market, while Flipkart could leverage Walmart’s enormous funds to battle Amazon. Amazon and Walmart have been bitter competitors in America for over two decades. It will be interesting to see, to say the least, who wins this battle and who wins the war in the Indian ecommerce battleground.

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Marissa Mayer Creates Tech Startup Incubator

Smruthi Kishore

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Marissa Mayer Creates Tech Startup Incubator,Former Yahoo CEO Creates Tech Startup Incubator,Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer starts Tech Startup Incubator, Marissa Mayer sets up Tech Startup Incubator,Marissa Mayer Startup Incubator updates,Featured,Startup News India, startup stories

Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo, is starting a brand new business incubator called Lumi Labs in partnership with long time colleague, Enrique Munoz Torres. According to reports, the new business incubator will aim to focus on consumer media and artificial intelligence.

While the incubator in itself is extremely intriguing, what makes the idea all the more exciting is the fact that Mayers is going back to the roots of her work. It is a homecoming of sorts for her as Mayer has rented out Google’s original office in Palo Alto, California, where she had started her career as a 24 year old Stanford University graduate.

This particular Google office has a lot of special things attached to its name. The office was home to online payments company, PayPal, which was started by a host of co founders including Tesla founder, Elon Musk. Marrisa was selected as the 20th employee of Google in the year 1999 and was in fact, the first female engineer to get a job at the largest search engine!

Mayer left the Google office after 13 long years and joined Yahoo in the year 2012 for five long years! Despite being regarded as the Geek Goddess at Google, she failed to revive Yahoo’s stalled business even after trying her best. While not a lot has been revealed about the new business incubator Mayer’s and Torres are working on, the premise in itself looks extremely exciting. With more and more people venturing into the field of artificial intelligence, the fact that Mayer’s business will be combined with consumer media is what will eventually make all the difference!

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