Facebook adopts new data use policy against wishes of its users… Well, those that spoke up, anyway

facebook adopts new data use policy against wishes of its users well those that spoke up anyway fbgovernanceFacebook asked its users to weight in on the subject of data collection and privacy policies and the people, they have spoken. Well, some of them have, at least; instead of the hoped-for 270 million votes necessary to create a binding resolution, less than 350,000 ballots were cast – amounting to just 0.038 percent of Facebook users. Clearly, more of “the people” don’t really care about that kind of thing than those who do.

Facebook officially opened voting on the subject of its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights on June 1, asking for user guidance on proposed modifications from Our Policy, a group that had a clear agenda when it came to the social site’s DUP, including ensuring that data use would be opt-in as default, all uses of collected data to be made public, and all collected personal data to be made available to users in raw format within 40 days of request. Explaining that it “listen[s] to feedback and [is] pleased that so many commentators have been so positive and supportive about this process,” Facebook put its own proposed amendments to its Data Use Policy up for a vote, allowing users to say whether or not the amendments should be put into place or abandoned. The catch, however, was that it said that 30 percent of the userbase would be required to voice an opinion in order for it to listen one way or another.

That, of course, didn’t happen. Instead, only 342,632 users voted – overwhelmingly against the amendments, if that matters; the outcome was 297,883 against, with 44,749 voting for. The company is facing criticism over the way it failed to properly publicize the vote (According to Ars Technica, the company “made no material effort to make users aware of the vote beyond posting to its Site Governance page, which has been ‘liked’ by over 2 million people” – Less than 1% of those needed to vote in order to make the results binding), suggesting that even if the vote was not exactly private, it wasn’t exactly public, either.

In a statement on the Facebook Site Governance page, the company’s VP of Communications, Public Policy and Marketing, Elliot Schrage, wrote that “As stated in both governing documents and throughout this process, when less than 30% of all active registered users vote, the results are advisory. Today Facebook will adopt the proposed updates to our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy, which you can view by using the following links: SRR and Data Use Policy.”

“Despite our substantial outreach effort, the number of people who voted constituted such a small and unrepresentative percentage of our user community,” he continued, adding that “Given these efforts and the subsequent turnout, we plan to review this process to determine how to maximize our ability to promote user engagement and participation in our site governance process in the future.”

Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Smart Home

Amazon starts crowdsourcing Alexa’s answers. What could go wrong?

Amazon announced a new resource for its Alexa voice assistant. Alexa Answers is an invitation-only program to which select Amazon customers will be invited to supply brief answers to questions that Alexa was asked but couldn't answer.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Computing

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.