The Hush Post: To prevent harassment on Facebook through fake accounts, the social media giant has introduced new tools that keep unwanted friend requests and messages from reaching you. The new features helps prevent unwanted contact when someone you blocked sets up a new account or tries to contact you from another account, social media giant Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.
The new tools also provide the users the option to ignore a Messenger conversation and automatically move it out of their inbox, without having to block the sender. “Now, you can tap on a message to ignore the conversation. This disables notifications and moves the conversation from your inbox to your filtered messages folder. It enables the user to read messages in the conversation without the sender seeing if they have been read. “This feature is now available for one-on-one conversations and will soon be available broadly for group messages, too,” the Facebook statement said.
Facebook hopes that the new tools will be of immense use for women, journalists, celebrities, who disproportionately experience harassment on the social media platform. As those who resort to harassment on social media often rely on fake accounts. Facebook said it is building on the existing features that also prevent fake and inauthentic accounts.
With the help of these automated features, fake accounts will be detected more quickly and blocked.
Meanwhile, concerned over data privacy of its citizens, France’s privacy watchdog has issued formal notice to WhatsApp, asking the popular mobile messaging app to stop sharing user data with the parent company Facebook within a month. If WhatsApp fails to comply with the formal notice within the specified time scale, the chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) may issue a sanction against the company, CNIL said in a statement on Monday. The chair had asked WhatsApp to provide a sample of the French users’ data transferred to Facebook which they refused to do. Therefore the CNIL decided to issue formal notice to the company WhatsApp to comply with the Data Protection Act within one month.
The watchdog considered that the data transfer for “business intelligence” purpose is not based on the legal basis required by the Data Protection Act for any processing.
It is being done to ensure the highest level of transparency on the massive data transfer from WhatsApp to Facebook Inc. and, thus, to alert to the need for individuals concerned to keep their data under control, the statement said.
This is not the first incident where WhatsApp-Facebook data sharing has been condemned. Germany has ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp users. A German court this year upheld its decision asking Facebook to obtain the permission of WhatsApp users in the country before processing their personal data to the social media platform. After repeated criticism, Facebook also agreed to stop collecting WhatsApp user data in the UK.
The Supreme Court of India has also directed Whatsapp and Facebook to specify whether they were sharing the data with any third-party entity.