Social networking behemoth Facebook reported a glitch in a software update that caused users’ private messages to land in the wrong in-boxes, stoking new fears over the site’s security, eWeek reports. A Facebook spokesperson released a statement via eMail acknowledging the problem and explained that while the problem was being fixed, the affected users were not able to access the site. “During our regular code push yesterday evening, a bug caused some misrouting to a small number of users for a short period of time,” the statement read. “Our engineers diagnosed the problem moments after it began and worked diligently to get everything back in its rightful place.” The statement did not include specifics on how widespread the problem was or how long it took the company to fix the hiccup. The incident puts Facebook back in the security spotlight as questions are again raised regarding the level of security and privacy of its users’ accounts……Read More
Podcast Series: Innovations in Education
Explore the full series of eSchool News podcasts hosted by Kevin Hogan—created to keep you on the cutting edge of innovations in education.
Privacy group files FTC complaint on Google Buzz
A privacy watchdog group complained to federal regulators on Feb. 16 about Google’s new Buzz social networking service, saying it violates federal consumer protection law, reports the Associated Press. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed its complaint with the Federal Trade Commission just days after Google Inc. altered the service to address mounting privacy concerns. Since launching Google Buzz as part of Gmail a week ago, the search company has come under fire for automatically creating public circles of friends for users based on their most frequent Gmail contacts. Over the weekend, Google altered the service to merely suggest contacts for its users’ social networks. Despite the changes, EPIC argues that privacy violations remain because Google automatically signs up Gmail users for Buzz, rather than waiting for them to do so themselves. EPIC wants the FTC to require Google to make Buzz a “fully opt-in” service. It also wants the company barred from using Gmail address book contacts to compile social networking lists……Read More
Google tweaks Buzz social hub after privacy woes
As it introduced a new social hub, Google quickly learned that people’s most frequent e-mail contacts are not necessarily their best friends, the Associated Press reports. Rather, they could be business associates, or even lovers, and the groups don’t necessarily mix well. It’s one reason many people keep those worlds separate by using Facebook for friends and LinkedIn for professional contacts, or by keeping some people completely off either social circle despite frequent e-mails with them. Google Inc. drew privacy complaints this week when it introduced Buzz and automatically created circles of friends based on users’ most frequent contacts on Gmail. Just days later, Google responded by giving users more control over what others see about them. Google introduced Buzz on Tuesday as part of its existing Gmail service. The service includes many of the features that have turned Facebook into the Web’s top spot for fraternizing with friends and family. Like Facebook, Buzz lets Gmail users post updates about what they are doing or thinking. Gmail users can also track other people’s updates and instantly comment on them for everyone else in the social circle to see. But while Facebook requires both sides to confirm that they are friends before making that relationship public, Google automatically does so by analyzing how often they’ve communicated in the past. Those frequent contacts become part of the circle of people you follow and who follow you.…Read More