It’s not just WhatsApp, most messaging apps likely have security vulnerabilities

The WhatsApp messaging app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on May 14, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. Facebook owned messaging app WhatsApp announced a cybersecurity breach that makes users vulnerable to malicious spyware installation iPhone and Android smartphones. WhatsApp is encouraging its 1.5 billion users to update the app as soon as possible. “The unfortunate reality is that most messaging apps have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by sophisticated cyber spies,” he said. He noted th


The WhatsApp messaging app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on May 14, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. Facebook owned messaging app WhatsApp announced a cybersecurity breach that makes users vulnerable to malicious spyware installation iPhone and Android smartphones. WhatsApp is encouraging its 1.5 billion users to update the app as soon as possible. “The unfortunate reality is that most messaging apps have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by sophisticated cyber spies,” he said. He noted th
It’s not just WhatsApp, most messaging apps likely have security vulnerabilities Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: abigail ng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, likely, iphone, messaging, users, security, vulnerabilities, secure, cybersecurity, apps, whatsapp, app


It's not just WhatsApp, most messaging apps likely have security vulnerabilities

The WhatsApp messaging app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on May 14, 2019 in San Anselmo, California. Facebook owned messaging app WhatsApp announced a cybersecurity breach that makes users vulnerable to malicious spyware installation iPhone and Android smartphones. WhatsApp is encouraging its 1.5 billion users to update the app as soon as possible.

It’s not just WhatsApp, almost everything connected to the internet is at risk of cyberattacks. That’s what experts are emphasizing following news that the messaging platform had been targeted by spyware.

The vulnerability in the world’s most popular messaging platform, which was first reported by the Financial Times, allegedly allowed an Israel-based company to install malware onto both iPhone and Android phones. The security weakness reportedly could have been used to tap calls made with the app.

A spokeswoman said Facebook-owned WhatsApp encouraged users to update the application in order to protect against “potential targeted exploits designed to compromise information stored on mobile devices.”

But even after the patch, users should keep in mind that there will always be vulnerabilities on mobile applications.

“It’s definitely possible or even likely that at least some other apps will have similar vulnerabilities,” said Tom Uren, a senior analyst in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre. “Pretty much the entire suite of apps that ‘talk’ over the internet could be vulnerable.”

That’s because the apps are “constantly updated” to introduce new features, said Ori Sasson, founder of cyber-intelligence firm S2T.

“While updates can fix known defects and vulnerabilities, they can insert new unknown ones,” he said. In software development and testing, engineers can identify weaknesses, but it is “literally impossible” to prove the absence of a vulnerability in a “non-trivial application,” he added.

Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer of U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Carbon Black, echoed that sentiment.

“The unfortunate reality is that most messaging apps have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by sophisticated cyber spies,” he said. “No messaging service is bulletproof.”

Such platforms usually secure the transmission of messages between users, but that’s not a “panacea,” Kellermann said.

Most security ratings for such platforms relate to encryption, which implies reduced risk of eavesdropping on messages and calls, explained Sasson. He noted that WhatsApp, like BBMe and other apps that are “considered secure,” has end-to-end encryption.

In the case of the WhatsApp attack, however, it was about “secure application development” rather than how well the app protects privacy and security, said Uren of ASPI, a Canberra-based think tank.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: abigail ng
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, likely, iphone, messaging, users, security, vulnerabilities, secure, cybersecurity, apps, whatsapp, app


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Chinese social media users are rallying behind Huawei. Some say they’re switching from Apple

Chinese consumers are throwing their support behind Huawei, accusing the U.S. of “bullying the company,” with some on social media saying they’re looking to buy the technology giant’s products over Apple. Chinese social media users, many of whom are often very patriotic about home-grown brands, have been rallying behind Huawei. A hashtag on Twitter-like social media site Weibo, which translates as “Huawei’s chip doesn’t need to rely on U.S. supply chain,” had nearly 50 million views. And some us


Chinese consumers are throwing their support behind Huawei, accusing the U.S. of “bullying the company,” with some on social media saying they’re looking to buy the technology giant’s products over Apple. Chinese social media users, many of whom are often very patriotic about home-grown brands, have been rallying behind Huawei. A hashtag on Twitter-like social media site Weibo, which translates as “Huawei’s chip doesn’t need to rely on U.S. supply chain,” had nearly 50 million views. And some us
Chinese social media users are rallying behind Huawei. Some say they’re switching from Apple Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, support, rallying, buy, media, switching, users, chinese, theyre, user, weibo, say, huawei, apple, supply, social


Chinese social media users are rallying behind Huawei. Some say they're switching from Apple

Chinese consumers are throwing their support behind Huawei, accusing the U.S. of “bullying the company,” with some on social media saying they’re looking to buy the technology giant’s products over Apple.

The U.S. has stepped up pressure on Huawei recently, putting it on a blacklist that requires American firms to get a license from the government before selling to the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker. The move threatens to cut of the supply of key components to Huawei.

Alphabet’s Google also said it would suspend some business with Huawei earlier this week. But the U.S. scaled back some of those restrictions, granting a 90-day period for American firms to continue working with Huawei, including Google.

Chinese social media users, many of whom are often very patriotic about home-grown brands, have been rallying behind Huawei. A hashtag on Twitter-like social media site Weibo, which translates as “Huawei’s chip doesn’t need to rely on U.S. supply chain,” had nearly 50 million views.

And some users are saying they’re now looking to buy Huawei products over those from Apple.

“I’ve also decided to buy a Huawei Phone, and I will change my plan from buying an Apple Watch into a Huawei product, taking action to support Huawei,” one Weibo user said in a Mandarin post that was translated by CNBC. “It had been bullied by the U.S. so poorly recently.”

“Even though my stock investment account is facing a loss continuously, I’m still preparing to switch my other phone into Huawei, to show support with action,” another user said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-22  Authors: arjun kharpal
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, support, rallying, buy, media, switching, users, chinese, theyre, user, weibo, say, huawei, apple, supply, social


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Jim Cramer reveals his top social media stocks

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday ranked the top social media stocks. The social media conglomerate, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has seen its stock surge nearly 40% so far in 2019. “As long as Facebook can maintain its user and engagement numbers, this stock will remain the undisputed king of social media,” Cramer said. Yep, the best-of-breed social media kingpin is also the cheapest of the big social media stocks.” WATCH: Cramer ranks the top social media stocks


CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday ranked the top social media stocks. The social media conglomerate, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has seen its stock surge nearly 40% so far in 2019. “As long as Facebook can maintain its user and engagement numbers, this stock will remain the undisputed king of social media,” Cramer said. Yep, the best-of-breed social media kingpin is also the cheapest of the big social media stocks.” WATCH: Cramer ranks the top social media stocks
Jim Cramer reveals his top social media stocks Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-20  Authors: tyler clifford
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cramer, social, stocks, jim, engagement, platform, company, media, users, reveals, stock, facebook, user


Jim Cramer reveals his top social media stocks

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday ranked the top social media stocks. “If you want some social media exposure, here’s what you get: You got Facebook … it’s No. 1, ” the “Mad Money” host said. “Twitter is a distant second. Pinterest a close third, and then the inconsistent Snap [is] welcome to the show to tell us why they deserve to be higher in our newfound power rankings. ”

1. Facebook

After laboring through a scandal-laden 2018, Facebook has not lost its dominance. The social media conglomerate, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has seen its stock surge nearly 40% so far in 2019. Facebook delivered two “terrific” quarterly reports in January and April where it showed that daily active users and total advertising impressions are still growing, Cramer noted. The platform is still the best for both digital marketing and targeted advertising, he added. Some have called for the breakup of the company, but the host said he doesn’t want to hear it. “As long as Facebook can maintain its user and engagement numbers, this stock will remain the undisputed king of social media,” Cramer said. “It also happens to represent the best value in the cohort. Yep, the best-of-breed social media kingpin is also the cheapest of the big social media stocks.”

2. Twitter

Twitter’s stock has held relatively consistent in the $30 range for months. Management has been working to turn the business around, cut obscene content from the platform and make it a more enjoyable site, Cramer said. It’s showing in the numbers. Daily users and engagement have improved, and the company has figured out how to monetize content, he said. Total advertising engagements improved 23% over the past year, and cost per engagement decreased 4%, Cramer highlighted. The platform counts 134 million monetizable daily active users, he added. It’s also President Donald Trump’s favorite mode of communication, which is a big boost for Twitter. “Other than Facebook, it’s the only social media play that’s actually profitable,” Cramer said. “At 33-times next year’s earnings, it’s not exactly cheap, but I think it may turn out to be a bargain in retrospect.”

3. Pinterest

Investors learned last week that Pinterest, which went public in April, is further from profitability than previously thought. The company reported greater losses than expected in its first quarterly report as a publicly traded entity. Pinterest grew monthly average users by 22%, average revenue per user by 26% and sales by 54%, Cramer said. While guidance was softer than what analysts had hoped for, leadership is confident in its long-term growth plan. “While the stock isn’t what, again, we call cheap — 9.7-times its 2020 sales — you have my blessing to be a small buyer here and get bigger as the stock goes down, because I think this is going to be a long-term keeper,” Cramer said.

4. Snap

Snap, which owns Snapchat, has struggled since it entered public markets in 2017. Cramer has advised investors not to buy the stock, but he acknowledged that the company is showing signs of life in 2019. The share price has more than doubled in 2019, closing Monday at $11.19. Cramer said the stock fell too steeply in the sell-off that closed out 2018. After reporting a better-than-feared quarter earlier this year, management showed that user engagement has stabilized and monetization has improved significantly. But the stock pulled back following a weaker-than-expected guidance in its earnings report in April. “It seems like these guys have finally gotten their act together,” Cramer said. “They don’t have the best track record, but they can come back.” WATCH: Cramer ranks the top social media stocks


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-20  Authors: tyler clifford
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, cramer, social, stocks, jim, engagement, platform, company, media, users, reveals, stock, facebook, user


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Pinterest CEO after earnings report tumble: We’re in the growth phase of our business

The stock dropped nearly 14% during the session after the company posted a wider loss per share than Wall Street expected. Pinterest reported a loss per share of 32 cents, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimate of 11 cents per share. Silbermann said users come to the app for ideas around planning meals, wardrobe and home decor, among other things. “If, for example, you’re finding new clothes to wear or if you’re redecorating your house, ads can actually be really, really helpful to turn that


The stock dropped nearly 14% during the session after the company posted a wider loss per share than Wall Street expected. Pinterest reported a loss per share of 32 cents, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimate of 11 cents per share. Silbermann said users come to the app for ideas around planning meals, wardrobe and home decor, among other things. “If, for example, you’re finding new clothes to wear or if you’re redecorating your house, ads can actually be really, really helpful to turn that
Pinterest CEO after earnings report tumble: We’re in the growth phase of our business Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-17  Authors: tyler clifford
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billion, transparent, revenue, build, report, phase, tumble, advertising, earnings, business, users, growth, really, companys, pinterest, ceo, silbermann, share


Pinterest CEO after earnings report tumble: We're in the growth phase of our business

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday that the company’s leadership will continue to be transparent and focus on the company’s long-term trajectory — despite a tumble after the company’s first quarterly report as a public company.

Silbermann sat down with the “Mad Money” host a day after delivering Pinterest’s first quarterly results to shareholders since going public last month. The stock dropped nearly 14% during the session after the company posted a wider loss per share than Wall Street expected.

“We’re not trying to set expectations artificially low and go above them,” he said. “We’re trying to be transparent, and I think that the consistent thing you’ll hear from me … is that we want to focus on the long term.”

Pinterest reported a loss per share of 32 cents, compared with Refinitiv consensus estimate of 11 cents per share. However, the social media platform beat revenue estimates by $1.3 million. Revenue grew 54% year over year, Silbermann noted.

Monthly active users also grew by 22% from the same period the year prior. Silbermann said users come to the app for ideas around planning meals, wardrobe and home decor, among other things.

“We’re definitely in the growth phase of our business. We’ve tried to be very transparent and clear,” he said.

Pinterest is working with retailers and consumer packaged goods companies and is working on expanding to small- and medium-sized businesses and internationally, Silbermann said.

“We want to build the best place to get inspiration,” he said. “We want to build personalization, the best visual discovery tools, and then we want to make sure that if you see something you like, we can actually help you make it into reality.”

Pinterest is connecting its 291 million global users directly to businesses, Silbermann said. Two in three users come from outside the United States, he added. The technology company is building advertising tools that can present products to people at their finger tips and present metrics to business clients, he said.

Pinterest expanded its advertising markets from seven to 13 in the quarter, he added.

“That alignment has been really important as we build out advertising solutions,” Silbermann said. “If, for example, you’re finding new clothes to wear or if you’re redecorating your house, ads can actually be really, really helpful to turn that inspiration into something in your real life.”

Pinterest is forecasting between $1.06 billion and $1.08 billion in revenue for the full year 2019, which would mark its first $1 billion year. Analysts are projecting $1.07 billion.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-17  Authors: tyler clifford
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billion, transparent, revenue, build, report, phase, tumble, advertising, earnings, business, users, growth, really, companys, pinterest, ceo, silbermann, share


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Google replaces its Bluetooth security keys because they can be accessed by nearby attackers

Google found a security issue that could give an attacker access to a users’ device based on a tool meant to keep it secure, the company disclosed Wednesday. The Titan Security Key is meant to provide an additional layer of protection for users hoping to prevent their accounts from being taken over by phishing attacks. While Google said the issue does not interfere with the key’s ability to protect users from a remote phishing attack, it still reveals a significant gap in the device’s security.


Google found a security issue that could give an attacker access to a users’ device based on a tool meant to keep it secure, the company disclosed Wednesday. The Titan Security Key is meant to provide an additional layer of protection for users hoping to prevent their accounts from being taken over by phishing attacks. While Google said the issue does not interfere with the key’s ability to protect users from a remote phishing attack, it still reveals a significant gap in the device’s security.
Google replaces its Bluetooth security keys because they can be accessed by nearby attackers Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-15  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attackers, replacement, google, nearby, phishing, security, replaces, accessed, key, users, issue, bluetooth, devices, keys, privacy


Google replaces its Bluetooth security keys because they can be accessed by nearby attackers

Google found a security issue that could give an attacker access to a users’ device based on a tool meant to keep it secure, the company disclosed Wednesday.

Google is offering free replacements of its Bluetooth Low Energy Titan Security Keys after it found that anyone within about 30 feet could communicate with the key and its paired device while a user tried to activate the key or pair their devices.

The Titan Security Key is meant to provide an additional layer of protection for users hoping to prevent their accounts from being taken over by phishing attacks. While Google said the issue does not interfere with the key’s ability to protect users from a remote phishing attack, it still reveals a significant gap in the device’s security.

The flaw could undermine Google’s recent messaging around privacy and security, which has become a hot issue in Silicon Valley. Google CEO Sundar Pichai penned a New York Times op-ed earlier this month advocating for the democratization of privacy after unveiling a host of new privacy features at Google’s developer conference.

Google recommended continuing to use the affected keys until their replacement arrives. As an extra precaution, users should use the keys when they aren’t near other people who may try to gain access to their devices, then immediately unpair the key after signing on, Google said. However, iOS users who have updated the version 12.3 will not be able to sign into any accounts linked to the key until they receive a replacement, according to Google. The company advised staying logged onto accounts on iOS devices until the new replacement arrives.

Google said that only BLE versions of the keys are affected. Devices with a “T1” or “T2” on the back are eligible for the free replacement by visiting google.com/replacemykey.

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Watch: Google’s new security key will protect you from phishing attacks


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-15  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, attackers, replacement, google, nearby, phishing, security, replaces, accessed, key, users, issue, bluetooth, devices, keys, privacy


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Skillz 2019 Disruptor 50

There are 18 million registered users on mobile gaming platform Skillz and the company says players collectively earn over $675,000 in prizes on average, every day. San Francisco-based Skillz runs about 2 million tournaments a day that feature online games such as solitaire, mahjong, and sports-related mobile titles. Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50The entire e-sports market has exploded, with projections showing it bringing in over $1 billion in revenues by next year. Last year it launche


There are 18 million registered users on mobile gaming platform Skillz and the company says players collectively earn over $675,000 in prizes on average, every day. San Francisco-based Skillz runs about 2 million tournaments a day that feature online games such as solitaire, mahjong, and sports-related mobile titles. Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50The entire e-sports market has exploded, with projections showing it bringing in over $1 billion in revenues by next year. Last year it launche
Skillz 2019 Disruptor 50 Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: cnbccom staff, george kavallines, source, indigo agriculture, prakash singh, afp, getty images, michael nagle, bloomberg, chesnot
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disruptor, 2019, million, players, tournaments, prizes, 50, gaming, mobile, women, users, skillz, esports


Skillz 2019 Disruptor 50

The next time you’re tempted to complain about your teenager’s video gaming, think again. There are 18 million registered users on mobile gaming platform Skillz and the company says players collectively earn over $675,000 in prizes on average, every day. San Francisco-based Skillz runs about 2 million tournaments a day that feature online games such as solitaire, mahjong, and sports-related mobile titles. Users can compete in both informal and formal tournaments to earn cash prizes, so even amateurs can get a taste of the competitive gaming scene.

Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50

The entire e-sports market has exploded, with projections showing it bringing in over $1 billion in revenues by next year. The mobile slice—where Skillz competes—will grow even faster over time given. Right now, mobile games account for about one-third of the gaming market’s total global revenues—a percentage that’s estimated to reach 41% by next year. Skillz is certainly keeping up with that growth. Over the past year, it’s grown its revenue run rate from $100 million to $400 million. In 2018, it awarded over $8 million to its top 10 players and doubled its number of employees.

Skillz is also taking on a larger role in the community. Last year it launched the largest mobile e-sports charity tournament, raising $100,000 for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization. Over half of Skillz players are women, a percentage that is consistent with the growth of women in the e-sports industry worldwide. The company has raised a little over $52 million since its 2012 launch from investors including Liberty Global Investors, Telstra Ventures, as well as the owners of the New England Patriots, New York Mets, and the Sacramento Kings.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: cnbccom staff, george kavallines, source, indigo agriculture, prakash singh, afp, getty images, michael nagle, bloomberg, chesnot
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disruptor, 2019, million, players, tournaments, prizes, 50, gaming, mobile, women, users, skillz, esports


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InMobi 2019 Disruptor 50

InMobi, the adtech platform from India that is the country’s first unicorn, is now making it even easier for users to eye content. In August it launched Glance, bite-size content that shows up right on the lock screen of a mobile phone. Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50InMobi co-founder and CEO Naveen Tewari calls Glance “micro-moments of consumption.” Once your phone is unlocked, that’s where inMobi really shines. If a mobile ad pops up when you’re using your favorite app, inMobi specializ


InMobi, the adtech platform from India that is the country’s first unicorn, is now making it even easier for users to eye content. In August it launched Glance, bite-size content that shows up right on the lock screen of a mobile phone. Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50InMobi co-founder and CEO Naveen Tewari calls Glance “micro-moments of consumption.” Once your phone is unlocked, that’s where inMobi really shines. If a mobile ad pops up when you’re using your favorite app, inMobi specializ
InMobi 2019 Disruptor 50 Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: cnbccom staff, george kavallines, source, indigo agriculture, prakash singh, afp, getty images, michael nagle, bloomberg, chesnot
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disruptor, glance, 2019, thats, million, company, screen, phone, 50, inmobi, mobile, users, india


InMobi 2019 Disruptor 50

InMobi, the adtech platform from India that is the country’s first unicorn, is now making it even easier for users to eye content. In August it launched Glance, bite-size content that shows up right on the lock screen of a mobile phone. No need to unlock the phone; just hit the button to bring the screen to life and that’s where news, videos and single-player games appear, lasting anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes.

Read More: FULL LIST 2019 DISRUPTOR 50

InMobi co-founder and CEO Naveen Tewari calls Glance “micro-moments of consumption.” Glance comes pre-installed on some models of Samsung, Xiaomi, Gionee and Vivo phones, which together comprise 65% of all new smartphones sold in India. So far, the company says Glance has more than 26 million active users.

Once your phone is unlocked, that’s where inMobi really shines. If a mobile ad pops up when you’re using your favorite app, inMobi specializes in making them less intrusive and more user-friendly. It does this by taking information such as location and app interests to deliver ads that better align with a user’s interests.

The company was started in India in 2007 and today is one of the world’s largest independent mobile advertising platforms for mobile marketers. The company has partnerships with more than 30,000 apps and claims that is has reached more than 1.5 billion devices worldwide. Earlier this year, it teamed up with Microsoft and Sprint to launch TruFactor, a service that helps companies better understand the digital and physical environments of the consumer.

InMobi, which says it is profitable, has raised $320 million in funding from SoftBank Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield, among others, and is valued at $1 billion.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-14  Authors: cnbccom staff, george kavallines, source, indigo agriculture, prakash singh, afp, getty images, michael nagle, bloomberg, chesnot
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disruptor, glance, 2019, thats, million, company, screen, phone, 50, inmobi, mobile, users, india


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YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU’s new copyright directive

Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “It could create serious limitations


Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “It could create serious limitations
YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU’s new copyright directive Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-10  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, platforms, directive, youtube, creators, users, tech, face, threat, video, existential, copyright, videos, copyrighted, content, eus


YouTube and its users face an existential threat from the EU's new copyright directive

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube. Michael Newberg | CNBC

Samuel Jones largely lives off the money he makes from YouTube as a TV and film reviewer. “In terms of paying rent, buying food, buying cigarettes, it’s all YouTube money,” he said. While his channel’s co-creator Max Bardsley is in university, Jones works on “NitPix ” full-time. The U.K.-based pair also nurture a small fashion business on the side that mostly provides some spending change. Recently, Jones and Bardsley have been thinking about a backup plan. Like other content creators who have built brands and businesses on tech platforms like YouTube, they fear their livelihood and creative outlet could be threatened by a new copyright directive passed by the European Union in March. Under the new rules, which member states have two years to formally write into law, tech platforms like YouTube could be held liable for hosting copyrighted content without the proper rights and licensing. That’s a big change from the status quo, which generally assumes platforms are not legally liable for their users’ uploads so long as they take down infringing content once flagged. But according to the directive, companies like YouTube can soon be held liable unless they can also prove they made “best efforts” to get authorization for the content and prevent it from being shared without rights in the first place. YouTube and other tech platforms have argued that the only practical way to avoid liability will be to install even more restrictive content filters than the ones they currently have to prevent infringement. The EU directive does not require tech companies to do that and it makes exceptions for using copyrighted material in parody or commentary, as would be the case in Jones and Bardsley’s reviews. But experts say it will be difficult for platforms to create automated filters that can distinguish this context, at least at first. That could mean a channel like “NitPix” would have to avoid using any movie or TV clips in their reviews to ensure their videos upload to the site in a timely manner. Jones and Bardsely, along with four other YouTube creators interviewed for this article, remain optimistic that the final version of the laws will be more flexible than the vague language of the directive. But YouTube isn’t leaving things up to chance.

A threat to YouTube

YouTube is ready to put up a fight against the EU measure, which threatens to force it to block a wide swath of content and slow down the process of uploading videos to the site to avoid liability. If YouTube chose to block copyrighted content with stricter upload filters, everything from a family video of a couple’s first wedding dance to a potentially viral dance challenge video like a “Harlem Shake ” flash mob could be blocked from the site. Frustrated creators and users may flee the platform if it no longer provides the outlet for their creativity or boredom. If creators take their work elsewhere, that would mean fewer videos to watch on YouTube and fewer chances for YouTube to generate ad revenue. The company is already under pressure to grow ad revenue after changes to its algorithms over the past year have likely hurt engagement in favor of winning back scorned advertisers worried about their brands appearing next to unseemly videos. Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat blamed YouTube in part for the company’s decelerating ad revenue growth in its first quarter 2019, which sent Google’s stock plunging more than 7% following the report. “While YouTube clicks continue to grow at a substantial pace in the first quarter, the rate of YouTube click growth rate decelerated versus a strong Q1 last year, reflecting changes that we made in early 2018, which we believe are overall additive to the user and advertiser experience,” Porat said on a call with analysts after the report. YouTube recognizes the importance of keeping its creators happy on the platform. In an April 30 blog post, CEO Susan Wojcicki said YouTube will aim to further promote a wider array of creator videos in its trending tab to answer concerns that the same creators seemed to be featured all the time. Wojcicki also said YouTube is working on improving its “Manual Claiming” tool so that YouTubers aren’t unfairly penalized for copyright claims stemming from extremely short or incidental content usage. But under the new directive, YouTube would likely have to rethink this claiming process. “The incentive structure here for YouTube would be to delete everything where it has its doubts about its illegality,” said Stephan Dreyer, a senior researcher of media law and media governance at the Hans-Bredow-Institut in Germany. “In cases of doubt, the machine must always decide against the content creator and that’s something that paragraph 7 does not really cope with,” he added, alluding to the section that allows for commentary and parody exceptions. In its final iteration, the directive makes specific exceptions for content that is used for criticism, quotation or parody, which legal experts said should wipe away fears of what critics labeled a “meme ban. ” Opponents of the directive originally argued the measure would prevent the spread of memes since copyrighted images that make up the basis of many of these satirical posts could end up filtered off of platforms. But even after the text was revised, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Germany the week of the EU parliamentary vote, pledging to “save your internet.” YouTube did not make a representative available for an interview for this article, but it has said on its site that revisions made to the directive before its passage were an “improvement.” But the company still remains wary of how it will be implemented. “While we support the rights of copyright holders — YouTube has deals with almost all the music companies and TV broadcasters today — we are concerned about the vague, untested requirements of the new directive,” Wojcicki wrote in the blog post. “It could create serious limitations for what YouTube creators can upload. This risks lowering the revenue to traditional media and music companies from YouTube and potentially devastating the many European creators who have built their businesses on YouTube.”

Creators’ frustrations

YouTube creators often use copyrighted material as a way to highlight a point or comment on a specific piece of media. In many of these cases, this use is allowed under the principles of “fair use,” similar to the exceptions made in the EU’s final version of the directive. In interviews, YouTube creators said these materials aren’t just an added plus for their videos — they’re a core part of what makes them work. “I don’t want to have to spend half the video or three-quarters of the video just explaining things that I could show instead, and I think that when you do that, it kind of detracts from the video’s appeal,” said James Dancey, whose political commentary-focused channel “The Right Opinion ” has over 300,000 subscribers. “We have an audience that I feel like is waiting on us to deliver quality content, and one of the things I’ve realized as a YouTuber is there are many people who find my videos make a difference to their day.” Arun Maini, who runs the technology review channel “Mrwhosetheboss ” with over 2 million subscribers, said he intersperses relevant copyrighted material in about half of his videos as a way to keep viewers engaged. He dreads the thought of producing a six-minute video of simply talking to the camera. Beyond being boring, he thinks this sort of video could actually hurt a creator’s following. “If anything, you’d be better off not even trying because you’d be making such bad content that you’d be damaging your channel,” Maini said. Overall, creators are optimistic the directive won’t excessively impact their channels, if only because they believe the new laws won’t work. But they do anticipate headaches from YouTube’s own filtering system, whose current iteration known as Content ID, is already a thorn many creators’ sides. “Content ID is the only real existing model we have to work on to see what the filters would be like, and it’s been an absolute nightmare for me working under Content ID” said Dan Bull, a YouTube creator with over 1.5 million subscribers on his channel. Bull, who creates rap videos about the internet, gaming and politics, said he’s had videos flagged by the filter because it could not detect that he had a nonexclusive license. He said he’s also learned of instances where the system incorrectly redirects revenue after someone makes a false copyright claim. YouTube did not answer CNBC’s questions about Content ID or its characterizations by creators. Bull said his problems with Content ID have already changed his creative process. He’s reluctant to create videos with fair use content because it’s become so burdensome to deal with. “I don’t really want to make parody music anymore. I used to really enjoy making parody songs, but now when I think about that, I think about what a headache it would be with the copyright claims,” Bull said. “It seems to be contrary to the entire principle of what copyright was for.” The “NitPix” creators said they temporarily had one of their TV reviews removed from the platform due to copyright, but it was later reinstated. They said they haven’t had problems with it in more than a year. Given the technical limitations that already exist, legal experts say the complexity of such a system will advantage the already-dominant players. Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has fiercely opposed the EU directive, said building this type of system is a task that “even the YouTubes of the world will not be able to accomplish,” leaving open the question of how up-and-coming platforms will tackle it.

Entrenching large platforms

A key criticism of Article 17 of the EU directive has been that it will further entrench large platforms’ foothold in digital distribution dominance. The directive gives more leniency to companies with under 10 million euros in annual revenue with a product available to the public for less than three years. But legal experts say that in trying to get tech companies to pay their fair share for copyrighted content, the directive has created a new problem that only the tech giants can solve. “A likely effect of [Article 17] will be to entrench the exact tech giants that everyone’s been complaining about all this time,” McSherry said. Legal experts interviewed for this article said platforms will likely pursue broad licensing agreements to avoid liability. YouTube already has agreements with record labels that give it certain rights to use its artists’ music in exchange for royalty payments. Experts suggested that YouTube could broaden the scope of its licenses to include a wide array films, TV shows and games as well so that licensed content is cleared by its filters. But since such broad licenses would require platforms to shell out lots of cash, this solution could actually prove even more exclusionary for emerging platforms. “I don’t really want a world where YouTube is the only platform I can look to for videos,” McSherry said. “All we are doing is making sure they can continue to be the dominant video player and make sure they can exercise enormous power over our video experience.”

Hope in impracticality


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-10  Authors: lauren feiner
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, platforms, directive, youtube, creators, users, tech, face, threat, video, existential, copyright, videos, copyrighted, content, eus


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Ever developed facial recognition tools using photos uploaded to app

Every time Ever users enable facial recognition on their photos to group together images of the same people, Ever’s facial recognition technology learns from the matches and trains itself. There are many companies that offer facial recognition products and services, including Amazon, Microsoft and FaceFirst. Facial recognition companies’ use of photos of unsuspecting people has raised growing concerns from privacy experts and civil rights advocates. Sarah Puchinsky-Roxey, 22, from Lemoore, Calif


Every time Ever users enable facial recognition on their photos to group together images of the same people, Ever’s facial recognition technology learns from the matches and trains itself. There are many companies that offer facial recognition products and services, including Amazon, Microsoft and FaceFirst. Facial recognition companies’ use of photos of unsuspecting people has raised growing concerns from privacy experts and civil rights advocates. Sarah Puchinsky-Roxey, 22, from Lemoore, Calif
Ever developed facial recognition tools using photos uploaded to app Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-09  Authors: olivia solon, cyrus farivar, franckreporter, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, used, uploaded, technology, tools, developed, facial, app, ai, company, evers, using, photos, recognition, users


Ever developed facial recognition tools using photos uploaded to app

“Make memories”: That’s the slogan on the website for the photo storage app Ever, accompanied by a cursive logo and an example album titled “Weekend with Grandpa.”

Everything about Ever’s branding is warm and fuzzy, about sharing your “best moments” while freeing up space on your phone.

What isn’t obvious on Ever’s website or app — except for a brief reference that was added to the privacy policy after NBC News reached out to the company in April — is that the photos people share are used to train the company’s facial recognition system, and that Ever then offers to sell that technology to private companies, law enforcement and the military.

In other words, what began in 2013 as another cloud storage app has pivoted toward a far more lucrative business known as Ever AI — without telling the app’s millions of users.

“This looks like an egregious violation of people’s privacy,” said Jacob Snow, a technology and civil liberties attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “They are taking images of people’s families, photos from a private photo app, and using it to build surveillance technology. That’s hugely concerning.”

Doug Aley, Ever’s CEO, told NBC News that Ever AI does not share the photos or any identifying information about users with its facial recognition customers.

Rather, the billions of images are used to instruct an algorithm how to identify faces. Every time Ever users enable facial recognition on their photos to group together images of the same people, Ever’s facial recognition technology learns from the matches and trains itself. That knowledge, in turn, powers the company’s commercial facial recognition products.

Aley also said Ever is clear with users that facial recognition is part of the company’s mission, and noted that it is mentioned in the app’s privacy policy. (That policy was updated on April 15 with more disclosure of how the company uses its customers’ photos.)

There are many companies that offer facial recognition products and services, including Amazon, Microsoft and FaceFirst. Those companies all need access to enormous databases of photos to improve the accuracy of their matching technology. But while most facial recognition algorithms are trained on well-established, publicly circulating datasets — some of which have also faced criticism for taking people’s photos without their explicit consent — Ever is different in using its own customers’ photos to improve its commercial technology.

Facial recognition companies’ use of photos of unsuspecting people has raised growing concerns from privacy experts and civil rights advocates. They noted in interviews that millions of people are uploading and sharing photos and personal information online without realizing how the images could be used to develop surveillance products they may not support.

On Ever AI’s website, the company encourages public agencies to use Ever’s “technology to provide your citizens and law enforcement personnel with the highest degree of protection from crime, violence and injustice.”

The Ever AI website makes no mention of “best moments” snapshots. Instead, in news releases, it describes how the company possesses an “ever-expanding private global dataset of 13 billion photos and videos” from what the company said are tens of millions of users in 95 countries. Ever AI uses the photos to offer “best-in-class face recognition technology,” the company says, which can estimate emotion, ethnicity, gender and age. Aley confirmed in an interview that those photos come from the Ever app’s users.

Ever AI promises prospective military clients that it can “enhance surveillance capabilities” and “identify and act on threats.” It offers law enforcement the ability to identify faces in body-cam recordings or live video feeds.

So far, Ever AI has secured contracts only with private companies, including a deal announced last year with SoftBank Robotics, makers of the “Pepper” robot, a customer service robot designed to be used in hospitality and retail settings. Ever AI has not signed up any law enforcement, military, or national security agencies.

NBC News spoke to seven Ever users, and most said they were unaware their photos were being used to develop face-recognition technology.

Sarah Puchinsky-Roxey, 22, from Lemoore, California, used an expletive when told by phone of the company’s facial recognition business. “I was not aware of any facial recognition in the Ever app,” Roxey, a photographer, later emailed, noting that she had used the app for several years. “Which is kind of creepy since I have pictures of both my children on there as well as friends that have never consented to this type of thing.”

She said that she found the company’s practices to be “invasive” and has now deleted the app.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-09  Authors: olivia solon, cyrus farivar, franckreporter, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, used, uploaded, technology, tools, developed, facial, app, ai, company, evers, using, photos, recognition, users


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Facebook rolls back ban on cryptocurrency ads as it ramps up its own blockchain efforts

Facebook on Wednesday said it is loosening its ban on ads related to blockchain and cryptocurrency, allowing more businesses working on those technologies to promote their efforts on the social network. “While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.” In October, CNBC highlighted the


Facebook on Wednesday said it is loosening its ban on ads related to blockchain and cryptocurrency, allowing more businesses working on those technologies to promote their efforts on the social network. “While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.” In October, CNBC highlighted the
Facebook rolls back ban on cryptocurrency ads as it ramps up its own blockchain efforts Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-08  Authors: salvador rodriguez, stephen lam
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, facebook, ads, efforts, technology, ramps, company, blockchain, policy, require, rolls, related, data, ban, cryptocurrency, users


Facebook rolls back ban on cryptocurrency ads as it ramps up its own blockchain efforts

Facebook on Wednesday said it is loosening its ban on ads related to blockchain and cryptocurrency, allowing more businesses working on those technologies to promote their efforts on the social network.

Facebook first started blocking ads promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings in January 2018 over concerns that users might be scammed by initial coin offerings offered by some crypto start-ups. The company loosened its ban in June to allow ads from advertisers who received prior written approval. Now, it is further rolling back the policy so that many types of ads will no longer require approval.

“We’ve listened to feedback and assessed the policy’s effectiveness,” Facebook said Wednesday in a blog post. “While we will still require people to apply to run ads promoting cryptocurrency, starting today, we will narrow this policy to no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, industry news, education or events related to cryptocurrency.”

The company has come under scrutiny over the wide reach of this policy over the past year.

In October, CNBC highlighted the ban’s impact on Bloom, a San Francisco start-up that uses blockchain technology to help people keep control over their personal data online. Bloom had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads to promote its services, but the saw all of its ads suddenly banned by the social network in October.

“It’s good to see them (hopefully) evolve their stance on new technology that puts users in control of their data,” said Shannon Wu of Bloom in a statement.

Facebook’s rollback of this ban comes amid reports that the company is working on its own blockchain project. In December, Bloomberg reported that the company is building a so-called stablecoin that will allow WhatsApp users to send cryptocurrency payments to one another. Facebook has been in talks with dozens of financial firms and e-commerce companies to support the initiative, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

WATCH: Here’s how to see which apps have access to your Facebook data — and cut them off


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-05-08  Authors: salvador rodriguez, stephen lam
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, facebook, ads, efforts, technology, ramps, company, blockchain, policy, require, rolls, related, data, ban, cryptocurrency, users


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