Weekly Industry News Round-Up
Facebook experiencing another data breach? Bing search results promoting racist websites? Keep up to date with everything within the world of technology with Bright Design’s Tuesday Newsday.
Facebook’s no protection policy
On Friday Facebook announced that they would not be offering identity fraud protection for the victims of their latest data breach. The most recent Facebook data breach included a variety of different personal information about 14 million Facebook users. Including things like their search history, relationship information, religion, location data and even more. Usually, when hackers gain information from large companies like Facebook, the company tends to offer identity fraud protection in order to help calm users so that they’ll continue to use the website.
Facebook, however, have decided that they don’t need to offer this to the 14 million users who are now at risk of their personal information being used without their consent. This is extremely worrying as now the hackers are now able to engineer a social theft programme based off of the 14 million hacked Facebook users.
Now being on the internet a lot (and I mean A LOT) you constantly hear about these large companies having a large data breach with millions of users’ data being exposed to hackers. So, hearing about the 14 million Facebook users with their personal information out there isn’t surprising anymore. However, how Facebook has decided to respond to the incident with lack of protection for these 14 million users is very concerning. Hopefully they haven’t lowered the standards for other companies to follow suit with how they respond to data breaches. We think that all the large companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter should always offer protection for their users, even if it is done purely for their PR damage control.
Bing’s controversial search results
In the news recently, Microsoft’s search engine Bing has displayed what many would deem as offensive and controversial content at the top of their result pages. The search engine suggested racial content when words such as “Muslims”, “Black people” and “Jews” were searched on Bing. To top this story off, Bing even ranked debunked conspiracy theories within the top results.
After a deeper investigation into this, it turns out that if you search racially themed searches (like the ones we listed above), Bing will suggest further searches that lead to racist websites and racist images.
Since this discovery, Bing and Microsoft have been under extreme scrutiny, with many saying that this result is “disgusting”.
Now, everyone knows that this content does exist on the internet. The exact same content can be found on a variety of different platforms and apps. Things like Facebook, Twitter, Discord and all the large tech companies are still to this day struggling to remove the racist content from their services. So, whilst this result from Bing is disgusting and upsetting for many, other companies are also struggling with content that is appearing on their platforms. This, however, is not a defence for Bing or any other company displaying and promoting this sort of content, even inadvertently.
DuckDuckGo to 30 million searches a day
DuckDuckGo, an internet browser that prioritises user privacy, has been in the news recently because it has reached a staggering 30 million daily searches.
Founded back in 2008, DuckDuckGo specialises in user privacy. Essentially, using the internet browser is like constantly using incognito mode in Google Chrome. Whilst we are in a time where it seems like every week we report on data breaches and personal information hacks, it is no surprise that a service like this is gaining traction and growing at the rate it is.
However, this doesn’t mean that Google has to worry about competition anytime soon, as DuckDuckGo’s searches are a drop in the ocean compared to Google’s 3.5 billion (yes billion!) every day. So whilst it’s good to see DuckDuckGo grow, it won’t become the Google Replacement anytime soon.
DuckDuckGo aren’t the only search engine trying to take some of Google’s share of searches. If you weren’t already aware, Microsoft is really trying to push their search engine by providing a reward system for searching using Bing. So, in case you are looking for a way to get your morning Starbucks for free, then we suggest you check out Bing’s reward system (but only if you don’t mind compromising your search engine quality).
Project Zero strikes again
We previously reported on Google’s Project Zero and how it has exposed developers and companies for not fixing major faults and security issues with their apps and services. And here at Bright Design, we believe that Google is providing a vital service for the users of these apps and services, as this makes sure that developers are fixing these faults before major damage is done.
Not sure what Google Project Zero is? It’s a project set up to find vulnerabilities within Google and other third-party software from companies like Facebook, Apple and other large app and web service providers. Once faults are found within the software, Google will message the company and then wait 90 days for the fault to be fixed. If the fault is not fixed then Google will publicly announce the fault. In order to push developers to fix faults as soon as possible.
Thanks to this Facebook has finally fixed a significant hole in its WhatsApp infrastructure. The online messaging app allowed trojan software to force break and close the app which Project Zero described as a ‘Big deal’.
The fault was found in late August this year, luckily Facebook and WhatsApp have now fixed the software.