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Facebook admits, it shared your phone numbers for ads

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has confirmed that advertisers were privy to phone numbers given by members of the social network for enhanced security. A study by two US universities, first reported by news website Gizmodo, found that phone numbers given to Facebook for two-factor authentication were also used to target advertising. Two-factor authentication is intended to enhance security by requiring a second step, such as entering codes sent via text messages, as well as passwords to get into accounts. Phone numbers…

Google leans more on algorithms for ads as critics highlight risks

SAN FRANCISCO: Alphabet’s Google introduced new ad-buying tools on Tuesday that showcase its growing push to allow machines instead of humans to fine-tune ads and determine where they should run. Advertisers have welcomed the advanced software, which could encourage them to spend more on Google as it makes more efficient use of their money. But consumer privacy and technology analysts are watching the shift with concern and a push for more regulatory scrutiny may be coming. In Europe, the month-old General Data…

Facebook’s Zuckerberg says sorry to Britons with newspaper apology ads

LONDON: Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologized to Britons on Sunday over a “breach of trust”, taking out full page advertisements in British newspapers after a political consultancy got its hands on data on 50 million users. “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it,” said the advert, signed by Facebook founder Zuckerberg. The world’s largest social media network is facing growing government scrutiny in Europe and the United States. This follows allegations…

Google begins blocking annoying ads on its browser

WASHINGTON: Google has begun a new effort to block annoying ads on its Chrome browser, as part of an initiative aimed at improving the online advertising ecosystem that provides the bulk of its revenues. The new ad filtering system rolled out this week aims to eliminate the most irritating marketing messages such as pop-ups, auto-play video ads and "sticky" boxes which cannot be removed. The system was implemented by Google in partnership with the Coalition for Better Ads, an association which includes the internet…

YouTube toughens rules regarding which videos get ads

SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube has announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. "There's no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners," YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post. "The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018." Channels at YouTube will need to…

Click bait ads are tied to teen smoking: study

NEW YORK: Teens who engage with online tobacco ads are more likely to start smoking than their peers who aren’t lured by digital marketing campaigns, a U.S. study suggests. Twice, about a year apart, almost 12,000 adolescents were surveyed about their online and social media habits as well as their tobacco use. At the start, most of the teens were online and using social media at least once a day. But 78 percent of them had never used tobacco, and 88 percent had not engaged with online tobacco ads by doing things like…

Google uncovered Russia-backed ads on YouTube, Gmail

WASHINGTON: Google has discovered Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on its YouTube, Gmail and Google Search products in an effort to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a person briefed on the company’s probe told Reuters on Monday. The ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-affiliated entity that bought ads on Facebook Inc, but may indicate a broader Russian online disinformation effort, according to the source, who was not authorized to discuss details of the confidential…

Facebook is hiring 1000 people to thwart election manipulation

CALIFORNIA: Facebook on Monday said it will hire more than 1,000 people to thwart deceptive ads crafted to knock elections off course. The announcement came as the leading social network turned over to Congress some 3,000 Russia-linked ads that appeared to use hot-button issues to turn people against one another ahead of last year's US election. "Today we are delivering those ads to congressional investigators," Facebook vice president of global policy Joel Kaplan said in an online post. "Many appear to amplify…

Trump slams Facebook as lawmakers await ads amid Russia probe

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Facebook as “anti-Trump” and questioned its role during the 2016 presidential campaign, amid probes into alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump’s associates. His salvo came as the social media giant prepares to hand over 3,000 political ads to congressional investigators that it has said were likely purchased by Russian entities during and after last year’s presidential contest. Trump appeared to embrace the focus on…

Google to stop scanning Gmail for creating targeted ads

Alphabet's Google said on Friday it would stop scanning Gmail content for creating personalized ads from later this year, bringing the widely-used email service in line with its enterprise offering, G Suite. The decision was outlined in a blog post by Google cloud computing chief Diane Greene, who joined the company in 2015 and has been responsible for the rapid growth of company's cloud business. Google's practice of analyzing incoming and outgoing emails of its free consumer Gmail users has been criticized on privacy…