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Meta reaches privacy settlement, denies any wrongdoing



Meta reaches privacy settlement, agreeing to pay $37.5 million in compensation

There are new reports Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, has reached a $37.5 million privacy settlement.

Filed earlier this week in San Francisco’s Federal Court, the settlement is in response to a class action accusing Facebook of violating both California state law and its own privacy policy.

Meta allegedly collected consumer data despite users shutting off location services on their mobile devices. 

Whilst agreeing to pay, Meta continues to deny any wrongdoing as the deal awaits a judge’s final approval.

In 2018, then-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that location data was used to help advertisers reach their target audiences.

Zuckerberg said the data was useful to assist advertisers in serving more targeted promotions to users within a specific geographic area.

While some people find this feature helpful, others have complained that the move is highly invasive.  

Much has changed in the world of user data collection since this lawsuit was first lodged. Apple now allows consumers to turn off the ability for apps, like Facebook, to track activity. While Facebook is also allowing users to clear their history on the app.

Of course, people who have switched off these functions have impeded advertisers’ capability in accurately measuring ad performance.

It remains unclear if Meta has reached this settlement in a bid to make this case to disappear or if it is acknowledgement of former poor practices that have now been rectified.   

Dr Karen Sutherland is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast where she designs and delivers social media education and research. Dr Sutherland is also the Co-Founder and Social Media Specialist at Dharana Digital marketing agency focused on helping people working in the health and wellness space.

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Deepfakes are taking over Hollywood



Deepfakes are the online phenomenon changing the way in which we consume and trust social media

Have you ever scrolled through social media and found a celebrity selling something a bit left of centre?

Chances are you have fallen victim to a deepfake.

These images and videos are a type of artificial intelligence, which promises to create doctored videos, which are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

They have typically been used in pornographic clips and for celebrity endorsements.

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Prince Harry involved in ‘near catastrophic’ car chase



Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death

Prince Harry, his wife Meghan and her mother were involved in a “near catastrophic car chase” involving paparazzi photographers in New York.

The incident took place after they left the Ms. Foundation for Women, where Meghan was honoured for her work.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD (New York Police Department) officers,” said Prince Harry’s spokesperson.

The chase involved paparazzi driving on the sidewalk, running red lights and driving while taking pictures.

“I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.

Harry has long spoken out about his anger over press intrusion, which he blames for his mother’s death.

Princess Diana was killed when her limousine crashed as it sped away from chasing paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties in 2020, partly over what they described as intense media harassment.

Harry is currently involved in numerous court cases in London where he has accused papers of using unlawful methods to target him and his family.

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Tom Hanks open to continuing career with A.I. help



Despite the crackdown on A.I., one famous actor has raised the prospect of his career continuing after his death by using the technology

‘Forrest Gump’ and ‘Cast Away’ actor Tom Hanks says new tech could be used to recreate his image to appear in movies “from now until kingdom come”.

Hanks was asked about the legal ramifications of A.I. on a recent podcast with Adam Buxton.

He says talks are being held in the film industry about how to protect actors from the effects of the technology.

Hanks told the host: “I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and that’s it, but performances can go on and on and on and on.”

The award-winning actor acknowledged that tech developments could lead to an AI-generated version of himself appearing in films he may not not normally choose.

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