Technology

Today’s cache | Google’s version of Pinterest is Keen, Facebook sues individual over data scraping, and more

File photo.

File photo.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

Google has launched a new experimental app that is an ML-powered Pinterest rival. The search giant is calls it Keen.

Facebook has filed lawsuits against individuals in the US and Europe over data scraping user information from its platforms.

Part of reason for the large user base for TikTok is centred on its ‘for you’ feeds. The company shares how exactly that algorithm works.

The Official Trump 2020 re-election app was exposed to cyberattack.

Facebook has launched a voting information center to provide information on voting, and on how people can get registered and post ballots.

How does TikTok’s recommendation algorithm work

One of the most commonly used apps on smartphones in recent times is the short-form mobile video app TikTok.

Part of reason for the large user base for the ByteDance-owned video-sharing social network is centred on its ‘for you’ feeds.

The feeds are short videos tailored for specific users, and are delivered on their profiles. Those curated videos are powered by TikTok’s recommendation system, making video streams unique to each user’s feed.

TikTok refers contents based on video ranking, which is built on a variety of factors. Initially, new users update their preferences opted by a new user, which the app takes to load up some feeds.

It is later adjusted to remove content that the user may not be interested. This process of refining continues as TikTok personalises the ‘for you’ feeds.

The app also takes user interactions, video information and device settings to load and refine the feed.

One of the strongest indicators of an user like a specific type of video is the length of viewing time. If they seen the full video from the start, the pap would take that a high engagement.

“While a video is likely to receive more views if posted by an account that has more followers, by virtue of that account having built up a larger follower base, neither follower count nor whether the account has had previous high-performing videos are direct factors in the recommendation system,” TikTok said in a blog post.

Facebook files suits against individuals over data scraping

Facebook has sued individuals in the United States and Europe separately for using its platform to scrape users’ personal data.

The social network on Thursday said that the defendants were running a data scraping service and were abusing Facebook’s platform.

“This is one of the first times a social media company is using coordinated, multi-jurisdictional litigation to enforce its Terms and protect its users,” Jessica Romero, Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation at Facebook, said in a blog post.

The company as filed a suit against an individual who ran a data scraping service called Massroot8.

The service asks Facebook users to provide their login credientials on Massroot8’s website.

This information, Facebook claims, were used by the individual’s service to scrape user data from the social network’s platform.

The individual has used a computer programme to control a network of bots, which pretended to be an Android device connected to Facebook’s mobile app, Romero added.

In Spain, the social networking company has sued an individual for providing an automation software to give away fake likes and comments on Instagram.

Facebook claims that the defendants service was designed to evade Instagram’s restrictions against fake engagement.

Google’s version of Pinterest is called Keen

Google has launched a new app that will allow people to explore their interests and connect with other people with similar pursuits.

The Keen app, an experimental project via the search giant’s Area 120 initiative, was built in collaboration with a team at Google’s AI research centre.

Keen is a web-based and Android app that enables users to spend spell out their interests and curate content from the web and their connections to fulfil their hobbies; something similar to how Pinterest operates.

Whether it is bird watching, gardening or cooking, Keen allows users to explore a range of topics, and share their collections with other.

Users can curate for themselves or others to build a collection of resources on topics they know well.

Keens can be private or public collections, which allows users to control what they share and who can contribute on their profile.

For all the Keens that users create, Google’s search and its machine learning co-builds content related to people’s interests.

The new app has a ‘gems’ feature for amateurs or people who are starting out on their hobbies.

Through this feature, users can add bits of content, like links, which act like the starting point for Google’s machine learning to build additional content.

Official Trump 2020 app was exposed to attack

President Trump’s re-election campaign app was exposed to attack as the application’s code has revealed keys and other secure IDs.

The exposed keys could potentially reveal data on usernames and passwords. This will give access to different other parts of the app, including its Twitter API, according to a report by Website Planet, a cybersecurity website.

Security analysts Noam Rotem and Ran Locar discovered the security vulnerability in Official Trump 2020 app. The duo confirmed that the app exposes Google apps, Maps and Twitter keys, and Branch.io (mobile analytics) keys.

They added that no attempt was made to access any user information on the app as the initial vulnerability was sufficient to alert the Trump campaign.

“While the exposed keys allowed access to many parts of the app, we concluded in our investigation that user accounts remained inaccessible through this vulnerability,” Website Planet said in a statement.

The Official Trump 2020 app was developed for President Trump’s re-election campaign, and it is available for download on iOS and Android.

The security vulnerability has been shared with Trump campaign’s information security team and they have responded to the alert within a few hours, Website Planet said.

A security fix was released in a few days.

Facebook launches new voting information centre

As the United States gears up for its presidential elections in the next few months, Facebook is launching an information desk on voting.

The Voting Information Center is said to provide information on voting, how to get registered and posting ballots.

“Our goal is to help register 4 million voters this year using Facebook, Instagram and Messenger, and help them get to the polls so they can hold our leaders accountable,” Naomi Gleit, VP of Product Management and Social Impact said in blog post.

The social network says it has enabled about two million people register for voting in both 2018 and 2016 elections.

Facebook’s information centre was built after the company surveyed potential voters and found about 62% needed more information on how to vote.

The information desk will attempt to answer questions on how to get registered to vote, or how to get set up for an absentee or mail-in ballot voting.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 11:23:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/todays-cache-googles-version-of-pinterest-is-keen-facebook-sues-individual-over-data-scraping-and-more/article31875019.ece

Next Story