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Thursday Tech Crawl: Facebook says data on most of its 2B users is vulnerable, and Google workers want work ended on Defense Department project

Posted April 5th, 2018

Good morning, Austin! We have scanned the internet to bring  you the latest in technology news. Here are this morning’s headlines:

Facebook says data on most of its 2 billion users is vulnerable

Facebook said data on most of its 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly, giving fresh evidence of the ways the social media giant failed to protect people’s privacy while generating billions of dollars in revenue from the information.

“We didn’t take a broad enough view of what our responsibility was and that was a huge mistake. It was my mistake,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call Wednesday with reporters. “We’re broadening our view of our responsibility.”

For highlights and audio from Zuckerberg’s Q&A, check out this TechCrunch report.

Cambridge Analytica says no more than 30 million people impacted by leak

The British political consulting firm at the center of Facebook's data scandal announced the data leak only affected 30 million users — a lower threshold than the "up to 87 million" claimed by Facebook.

"Cambridge Analytica licensed data for no more than 30 million people from GSR [Global Science Research], as is clearly stated in our contract with the research company. We did not receive more data than this," Cambridge Analytica wrote in an email.

Both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have blamed GSR, the company that harvested Facebook data using a personality app, for duping them. But Facebook estimated the maximum impact of the data misuse could be much higher.

Google workers want work ended on Defense Dept. drone project

More than 3,000 Google employees have signed a letter asking management end the company's involvement in Project Maven, a Defense Department drone surveillance project.

The employees, in a letter addressed to company CEO Sundar Pichai, say Google's assistance in developing the artificial intelligence-powered system to detect vehicles and other objects in video captured by military drones betrays the company's motto of "Don't Be Evil."

Google counters the employees' arguments saying, in a statement, the company's involvement is for "non-offensive purposes" and is used "to flag images for human review and is intended to save lives and save people from having to do highly tedious work."

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