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Facebook glitch exposes private photos of 6.8 million users

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London: An Irish regulator said it was investigating Facebook Inc following the company’s disclosure that a bug may have exposed private photos of up to 6.8 million users, the latest in a series of Facebook privacy glitches.

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), the lead regulator of Facebook in the European Union, said it was investigating to determine whether the company had complied with strict new EU privacy rules in its response to a number of breaches, including the one that exposed photos.

Facebook said in a statement that it was in close contact with the Irish regulator and happy to answer any questions.

 

The investigation is the second opened by the DPC into Facebook since the new regulations took effect in May.

Facebook disclosed the photo glitch earlier on Friday, saying it allowed some 1,500 software apps to access private photos for 12 days ending Sept. 25.

“We’re sorry this happened,” Facebook said in a blog.

The European data law requires companies to report data breaches to authorities within 72 hours, giving regulators authority to impose fines of up to 4 percent of annual global revenue for infractions.

Facebook said it would alert users whose photos may have been exposed.

The glitch could undermine Facebook’s efforts to assure users and regulators that it was making progress in bolstering security and privacy after a series of embarrassments, internet analysts said.

They include the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the British political consulting firm harvested data of at least 87 million Facebook users and sold it for political use and a security breach for nearly 30 million users.

“We already have a lot of evidence to reinforce the idea that Facebook is sloppy, prioritizing growth at the expense of other considerations,” Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research, said in an email.

New reports of bugs and breaches raise the likelihood that governments will add regulations on Facebook, said George Salmon, an analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Facebook is sensibly trying hard to regain the trust of its user base, but all that effort will be to no avail if stories like this keep emerging,” Salmon said.

The bug affected users who give third-party applications permission to access their photos.

Facebook typically only grants such apps access to photos shared on a user’s timeline, but the bug potentially gave developers access to other photos, including ones that were uploaded but not posted, and ones shared on Marketplace and Facebook Stories, the company said.


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Income Tax return processing time to reduce from 63 days to just 1 day

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Mumbai:The Union Cabinet approved an integrated income-tax e-filing and centralised processing centre (CPC) portal, which will reduce the return processing time from 63 days to just one day. The new portal is also expected to process the refunds within one day of filing of tax returns, in huge relief for taxpayers. However, one will have to wait for 18 months to see its launch.

“Earlier, taxpayers would face troubles because of delay in refund processing and the CBDT used to spend a lot of money every year as interest on pending refunds, which will be history now,” Union minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after the Cabinet meeting here.

Last month, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra had said a simplified return form and process would be put in place soon in which the department would process the self-declaration made by the taxpayer. The new Rs 4,241-crore project will incorporate these changes.

 

“This is a laudable initiative and will go a long way to ease tax compliance, and enhanced experience for taxpayers. However, the real success of this will be measured when it brings ease to a common man and is accompanied by changes in the culture of the tax authorities at the operational level,” said Neeru Ahuja, partner, Deloitte India.

Currently, the e-filing portal and the CPC work separately. While e-filing is being managed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the CPC is run by Infosys.

In the bids invited by the government, Infosys emerged as the lowest bidder and it would develop the ITR-CPC 2.0 project in 18 months from now, Goyal said.

Under the new system, Infosys will handle end-to-end solution — from e-filing to return assessment to refund processing. The CBDT and Infosys would work in a revenue-sharing model, sources in the know said.

Goyal said ramping up scrutiny was not the mandate of the new portal. Currently, about 0.3 per cent of the I-T returns are scrutinised, he said. The system intends to resolve taxpayer grievances as well as tax demands from the CBDT faster and equitably, he said.

“The decision will ensure horizontal equity by processing returns filed by all categories of taxpayers across the country in a consistent, uniform, rule driven, identity blind manner. This will assure fairness in tax treatment to every taxpayer irrespective of their status,” a government release said.

But even under the new ecosystem, only those applications which are clean would have the chance of getting processed in a day, sources said.

About 23 crore I-T returns have been processed, along with Rs 2.62 trillion worth of refunds, till September 2018 cumulatively. Of this, refunds worth Rs 1.83 trillion have been processed in 2018-19, said Goyal.

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Lenders considering resolution plan for Jet Airways: SBI

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Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday said lenders are considering a resolution plan for Jet Airways to ensure long-term viability of the debt-laden company.

The SBI statement comes a day after the crisis-hit airline said discussions were “progressing well” with stakeholders on a comprehensive resolution plan that also contemplates equity infusion and consequent changes in its board of directors.

There are rising concerns over financial health of Jet Airways, whose shares have also taken a beating at stock exchanges.

 

“We would like to state that lenders are considering a restructuring plan under the RBI framework for resolution of stressed assets that would ensure a long-term viability of the company,” SBI said in a statement.

It said the restructuring plan for the cash-strapped airline would need approval from boards of lenders.

“Any such plan would be subject to approval of boards of the lenders and subject to adherence and clearance, if required, from the RBI and/or Sebi (takeover code, ICDR regulations.) and Ministry of Civil Aviation and in compliance with all regulatory prescriptions,” the statement said.

Shares of the airline are trading 4.24 per cent lower at Rs 259.50 apiece on BSE.

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NGT slams Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore as per its 2018 order

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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) slammed German auto major Volkswagen for not depositing Rs 100 crore in accordance with its November 16, 2018 order and directed it to submit the amount within 24 hours.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel took strong exception to the non-compliance of its order by the automobile giant and asked it to give an undertaking that it will submit the amount by 5 PM Friday.

“Why have you not complied with our order when there is no stay. We will not give you any further time,” the bench, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi, said while asking Volkswagen to submit an affidavit of compliance after deposit.

 

The tribunal deferred the matter for hearing after it was informed that the Supreme Court is also seized of the issue.

On November 16 last year, the tribunal had said that the use of ”cheat device” by Volkswagen in diesel cars in India leads to inference of environmental damage and had asked the German auto major to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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