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Facebook Develops New Privacy Technologies "Multi-Year Effort" Sees Facebook Working on 3 Privacy Tools

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

At a time in which Facebook is facing controversy over its relationship with privacy, the company has announced that it is launching a “multi-year effort” to build practices that prioritize privacy.

Specifically, Facebook announced this week that is partnering with academics and global organizations to work on projects involving privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). This term refers to technologies that minimize the amount of user data processed in order to protect personal information.

“PETs involve advanced techniques drawn from the fields of cryptography and statistics,” Facebook wrote. “These techniques help minimize the data that’s processed while preserving critical functionality like ad measurement and personalization.”

This news comes at a time in which Facebook is in the hot seat. The company has been the centre of privacy disputes for years, and it recently shut down third-party research efforts.

Thus, Facebook’s new push for PETs may be a sign of good things to come – or it may simply be an effort to change the company’s reputation.

Read below to learn about the three types of PETs that Facebook is working on.

Secure Multi-Party Computation

Multi-party computation, or MPC, allows multiple organizations to work with the same data set without unnecessarily sharing private data between the parties. Data is encrypted on both sides, preventing each party from seeing the other party’s data.

Facebook is testing a product called Private Lift Measurement, which uses MPC to assist advertisers.

On-Device Learning

While MPC is based on collaborative efforts between parties, on-device learning is based on a singular device’s data. On-device learning essentially trains an algorithm to find insights on a device without tracking individual data.

Facebook compares the feature to something like auto-correct or text prediction, explaining that the algorithm works based on a user’s habits rather than their private data.

Differential Privacy

This feature adds an extra touch of privacy by adding ‘noise’ to data sets. In other words, it adds a bit of incorrect or falsified information to less important parts of the data or identifiers. This is particularly helpful for large data sets used in public research.

Facebook has described the development of these technologies as a multi-year effort, and has not shared a tentative release date.

 

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Facebook Removes Support For Podcasts

05/03/2022

Facebook is ditching podcasts and plans to stop offering them from June 3.

The social-media giant will no longer allow users to add podcasts to the service as of this week but plans to remove them altogether starting June. Both its short-form audio product Soundbites and the central audio hub will be discontinued, Bloomberg reports.

These options were first introduced last April, as part of Facebook’s broader effort to promote social audio. That’s when Meta presented a range of upcoming podcast options: on-page display tools and direct connection options. Both were supposed to let Facebook users listen to podcasts from within the app without leaving it. In June, Meta launched its podcast support tools, with several launch partners.

Now, not even a year later, Facebook is shifting its focus to other initiatives.

We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences – a Meta spokesperson said in an email sent to Bloomberg. The person allegedly added that they don’t have a specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down but it will be in the “coming weeks.”

Facebook will also cut the site’s Soundbites and Audio hubs and integrate its Live Audio Rooms feature into its broader Facebook Live suite. They also said they will not warn users of this, but will rather let creators break the news how they see fit.

Why the change? Probably because they need to save some money:

After the start of COVID, the acceleration of e-commerce led to outsized revenue growth, but we’re now seeing that trend back off. However, based on the strong revenue growth we saw in 2021, we kicked off several 2 multi-year projects to accelerate some of our longer-term investments, especially in our AI infrastructure, business platform, and Reality Labs. These investments are going to be important for our success and growth over time so I continue to believe we should see them through. But with our current business growth levels, we’re now planning to slow the pace of some of our investments.

This might not be a big deal and some significant news for everyone, but as Andrew Hutchinson from Social Media Today noticed, it shows how Facebook’s focus can easily shift and ‘betray’ the creators that use the platform. What does that mean for future Meta visitors and builders?

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Facebook Launches New Novi Pilot

12/14/2021

Earlier this week, Meta launched a new trial version of the Novi digital wallet – this time, for use via the Whatsapp mobile app. Users in USA and Guatemala can now send and receive money right in their WhatsApp mobile app.

You might be wondering what the Novi app even is. Well, remember when Facebook announced the rebranding, the Metaverse, and how it will touch every product they build? It turns out this could be a part of it all.

Novi is a digital wallet that should enable people to send and receive money internationally without leaving their homes. There are no fees, and the process doesn’t last long. It uses blockchain technology and a digital currency called USDP – a cryptocurrency of Paxos – a coin that uses the Etherium blockchain technology and is attached to the U.S. dollar. So, 1 USDP = 1 USD.

According to Facebook, or Meta, if you will, Novi has been developed to enable fee-free, cross-country money transfers. If you decide to sign up, you will need a valid government ID and a video selfie. Then, you can add money to the account using your debit card and your contact list.

Things you should know

Novi is officially a regulated financial company from Facebook, but also has built-in protection against fraud and constant monitoring for suspicious activity. Yet, some regulators are hesitant to give Facebook more power and influence, especially considering the amount of user data they have access to.

For them, it seems that adding payment options is a step too far. That’s why Novi acts independently from Meta and wants to distance itself as much as possible, to maximize acceptance. Using Novi on Whatsapp won’t change Whatsapp’s privacy settings and should be completely safe, according to Facebook.

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