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Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium

Facebook told to stop tracking in Belgium

Technology
Facebook has been ordered to stop tracking people without consent, by a court in Belgium.The company has been told to delete all the data it had gathered on people who did not use Facebook. The court ruled the data was gathered illegally.Belgium's privacy watchdog said the website had broken privacy laws by placing tracking code - known as cookies - on third-party websites. Facebook said it would appeal against the ruling.The social network faces fines of 250,000 euros (£221,000, $ 311,000) a day if it does not comply.The court said Facebook must "stop following and recording internet use by people surfing in Belgium, until it complies with Belgian privacy laws"."Facebook must also destroy all personal data obtained illegally."The ruling is the latest in a long-running dispute between the
Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Technology
Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook's financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets parents approve who their children message. But critics say it serves to lure kids into harmful social media use and to hook young people on Facebook as it tries to compete with Snapchat or its own Instagram app. They say kids shouldn't be on such apps at all — although they often are. "It is disturbing that Facebook, in the face of widespread concern, is aggressively marketing Messenger Kids to even more children," the Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood said in a statement t
Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race

Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race

Technology
Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda, aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump and harming the prospects of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The federal indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. It also marks the first criminal charges against Russians believed to have secretly worked to influence the outcome. Trump claimed vindication, noting in a tweet that Russian interference efforts alleged in the indictment began in 2014 — "long before I announced that I woul
Google Chrome launches default ad-blocker

Google Chrome launches default ad-blocker

Technology
Google has launched an ad-blocker for its Chrome web browser that is designed to prevent "annoying" and "intrusive" ads being shown to users.Google announced the move to curtail full-page and auto-playing video ads, among others, last year.The choice of which ads to block will be determined by the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) - made up of companies including Google and Facebook.Sites will have 30 days to remove disruptive ads before blocking begins.A survey of 40,000 US and European web users found that the most intrusive ads were full-page ads that hide the content of a web page and flashing animated ads, according to a blog by Chris Bentzel at Google."Chrome will automatically block ads on sites that fail the Better Ads Standards," wrote Bentzel."When at least one network request has b...
Petition to scrap Snapchat update hits one million

Petition to scrap Snapchat update hits one million

Technology
More than a million people have signed an online petition calling on Snapchat to undo a redesign to the app.The update, which was released last week, separates content and interactions with friends from public and branded content from news services and other businesses.But users are urging the photo and video-sharing app to revert "back to the basics", slamming the changes as "annoying"."Many users have found that it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult," the petition says."There is a general level of annoyance among users and many have decided to use a VPN app, or are using other risky apps or steps, to go back to the old Snapchat as that's how annoying this new update has become.I actually HATE this snapchat update. Soo unbelievably compli...