This week in social media news, the social media giant, Facebook, has turned to their own platform by posting a job listing in hopes of hiring a new manager to build an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware, and driver development organization.” Bloomberg indicates that it appears the company is interested in building its own semiconductors in order to curtail their dependence on third-party chip companies. Not only could they use their own chips for hardware devices, but also use the chips for artificial intelligence software and data center technology.
In preparation for the new General Data Protection Regulation rules being pressed by the EU, Facebook has set out new privacy controls that will go into effect as of May 25th, 2018. So what does this mean? Facebook will be asking every user around the world to review their privacy settings and specify how the information on users’ profiles (such as political, religious, relationship data, etc.) are being used for ad targeting. Facebook is also reintroducing facial recognition as an opt-in feature for users in Europe and Canada. Facebook claims the face recognition features help protect users’ privacy and improves their experience, but it will be entirely optional for anyone on the social network.
If you’re keeping up with the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally answered one of the questions he told Congress he would follow up on, which was whether Facebook tracks users even if they are logged out. Facebook has acknowledged that it has means of tracking data about people even if they don’t have an account. According to Facebook’s Product Management Director David Baser, “when you visit a site or app that uses our services, we receive information even if you’re logged out or don’t have a Facebook account. This is because other apps and sites don’t know who is using Facebook…most websites and apps send the same information to multiple companies each time you visit them.”
When you visit a website, your browser sends a request to the site’s server and shares your IP address. The website then gathers information about the browser, the operating system that you are using, and cookies, which uses identifiers that websites use to find out if you have visited before. Websites generally send the content from its site and instructions for the browser to send your request to other companies providing content on the site. And when a website uses one of Facebook’s services, your browser “sends the same kinds of information to Facebook as the website receives.”