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Facebook Shadow Profiles: What You Need to Know

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fb shadowFacebook shadow profiles. Surely you’ve seen the term bouncing across tech news the past few days, and you’ve got a sense it’s probably some nefarious privacy violation—or just the first fun feature Facebook has introduced in years.
But seriously, are shadow profiles real? Do I have one? Are they bad?
If you use Facebook, then “yes” to all three.
Let’s take a trip into Facebook’s shadowy recesses.

Why are shadow profiles in the news?

Last Friday, right when most journalists were ready to go home for the weekend, Facebook released some embarrassing news. A bug had exposedthe private email addresses and phone numbers of 6 million of its users.

Though Facebook tried to downplay the significance of the bug, journalists rudely forced to work on a weekend quickly realized there was more to the story than just another data leak: Many of the email addresses and phone numbers exposed were not necessarily ever intentionally given to Facebook.

Instead, they were collected on the sly, stored in Facebook’s secret behind the scenes scaffolding, where it collects troves of data on you you’ve never known about. That data on you that you didn’t know Facebook has? That’s a “shadow profile.”

Who has a shadow profile? Are they real?

Well, potentially everyone who has a Facebook account. They contain a certain amount of information you’re not surprised Facebook knows about you—your name, your interests, your relationship status, how many times you’ve liked your friends posts. But at the same time, Facebook’s been able to smartly collect other data about you. Even if you’ve never told Facebook your phone number, for instance, it might have it. As well as your second and third and fourth email addresses.

So where did Facebook get this data?
Your friends! Or maybe even friends of friends. You can thank anyone who allowed Facebook to scan their mobile phone contacts through the “find friends” feature.
When someone uses this feature, Facebook downloads all of a phone’s contact data to its own servers. This includes mostly emails and phone numbers. At the same time, Facebook is also collecting harder-to track data on how you and all your friends and friends of friends are connected to each other. That’s how it finds people to recommend for its “people you may know” feature.
The company’s mobile app even tells you it will do this:
“Find Friends uploads contacts from your device and stores them on Facebook’s servers where they may be used to help others search for people or to generate friend suggestions for you and others.” (Emphasis added)

Does Facebook have shadow profiles on non-Facebook users?
It makes sense that, with all the contact lists uploaded to its servers every day, Facebook would be able to learn a whole lot of information about people who don’t even have Facebook accounts. But while it has stayed mum on shadow accounts as a whole, the company has asserted it does not collect information on people who don’t actually use Facebook.

Is that legal?
In the United States, probably. Facebook mentioned collecting phone contacts in the Terms of Service that all users must agree to before using the site, so unless the company is collecting additional information it didn’tdisclose, users have already given their consent.
But Europe’s data protection laws are much stronger. Max Schrems, owner of Europe vs. Facebook and privacy rights advocate, launched a complaint against Facebook’s European offices, headquartered in Ireland, citing seven different instances where shadow profiles potentially violate the country’s Data Protection Act (read the PDF here). Schrems asserts that the profiles gathered “excessive amounts of information about data subjects without notice or consent by the data subject. In many cases these information might be embarrassing or intimidating for the data subject.”

How long has this been going on?
Facebook said that its user data has been leaking for over a year. Shadow Profiles have been catalogued at least since August 2011, when Schrems filed his complaint against the company. Facebook has had an iPhone app sinceAugust 2007, and the “Find Friends” feature launched on iPhone and Android in April 2011.

Should I be concerned?
Probably! Especially in light of the recent revelations regarding the National Security Agency’s intrusive spying campaign, PRISM. Facebook was one of nine companies the NSA made deals with to turn over information about users. Since Facebook won’t even confirm it hosts “shadow profiles,” its unclear if that information from shadow profiles could have also been passed along to the NSA. But it’s certainly possible.
In other words, you may have an email address that you’ve never listed anywhere for anyone else to see, but because one of your friends added it totheir contact list, a snooping government agency might just discover it.

Mashable

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Specials/Features

6 Ways to easily access your NSSF account on your phone or computer

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NSSF Go App

You can access NSSF services anywhere, anytime on your mobile phone or computer.

By Our Reporter

Gone are the days when you had to first visit NSSF offices to access their services. NSSF services are now available at your fingertips.

The Fund, over the years, has introduced different platforms to improve their service delivery, and enable members to access NSSF services in an easy and convenient way from anywhere.

Whether you want to register, update your details, or just check your NSSF balance, you can now easily do so using your mobile phone or computer.

The Fund offers a wide range of e-channels that are convenient, user friendly and easy to navigate.

These channels include:

1. NSSFGO App

The NSSFGo app is a fast and convenient way to monitor your account. Through the app, you can view your current balance, check your salary growth rate, make voluntary contributions, know how much of your salary you contribute to NSSF, project retirement payout, see employment history, and see e-statements, claim for your age benefit and so much more. You can also register to become a member of the Fund using the app.

Download the NSSFGo App by clicking here if you’re an Android user or click here if you are an iPhone user , you can also search for “NSSFGo” on both stores.

2. NSSF Web App

The fund also provides the option of experiencing the app functionality without necessarily downloading it.

Access NSSF services on your mobile phone, desktop or laptop by visiting the NSSFGo website.

Log into the web app with your registered phone number or email to access your account and all the features the mobile app provides with the same look and feel.

3. NSSF Corporate Website

You can also easily access NSSF services from the comfort of your office or home via their website. The website has a self-service section where members can see e-statements, make NSSF payments and also leave feedback among others.

It is also the primary online information portal for the Fund where you will find the latest updates, career opportunities, annual reports, to mention but a few.

4. SMS

Can’t connect to the internet? No problem. Access NSSF services using any mobile phone, whether a feature phone or smart phone, by simply sending a text message to 6773.

1. For balance inquiry, send BAL to 6773
2. For mini statement, send MINI to 6773
3. For benefits claim status, send CLAIM to 6773

5. USSD

You can also register yourself for NSSF using your feature phone or access a mini statement and balance using the USSD option. The feature will work on a kabiriti or feature phone or smartphone.

Step 1: Dial *254# and choose your preferred language
Step 2: Select register member and then register self
Step 3: Enter your national ID number (NIN)
Step 4: You will get an SMS with your NSSF number.

6. Toll Free Line

If self-service is not your thing or you prefer speaking to a customer service agent, NSSF offers a toll-free line 0800286773 for any inquiries and requests. You can also contact customer support via WhatsApp on 0784259713 and the support team will reach out to resolve any challenges you might have.

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Tech and Gadgets

Hauwei to accelerate the arrival of the intelligent world

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Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating Chairman, delivers a keynote speech at the 17th annual Global Analyst Summit.

Guo Ping, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman, delivers a keynote speech at the 17th annual Global Analyst Summit.

By Our Reporter

Huawei held its 17th annual Global Analyst Summit in Shenzhen, both onsite and online. At the event, Huawei was joined by over 2,000 analysts, key opinion leaders, and media representatives from a range of industries, including telecoms, the Internet, and finance. Together, they discussed how the industry can work together to weather the difficult times, achieve win-win outcomes, and accelerate the arrival of the intelligent world.

At the opening of the event, Huawei’s Rotating Chairman Guo Ping delivered a keynote speech titled “Huawei: A Year and Beyond”. Guo Ping started by sharing Huawei’s experience and business results of the past year. He said, “Over the past year, many technologies became unavailable to us. Despite this, Huawei struggled to survive and is striving to move forward.”

Huawei has long been an active contributor to the ICT industry. Since it was founded, Huawei has been committed to bringing digital to more people, homes, and organizations, in order to move the world forward.

“In the past 30-plus years, Huawei has deployed over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over 3 billion people worldwide. We also provide smart devices to 600 million consumers. US actions against Huawei will not only harm Huawei, but also harm the experiences of customers and consumers that use Huawei’s products and services.” Guo Ping noted.

ICT infrastructure is the foundation of the intelligent world. By 2025, the digital economy will represent an industry worth 23 trillion US dollars. The ICT industry still has great potential. Huawei says they will continue investing and innovating in three domains: connectivity, computing, and smart devices.

“Today the world is an integrated collaborative system. The trend of globalization shouldn’t and will not likely be reversed. Fragmented standards and supply chains benefit no one, and further fragmentation will have a severe impact on the entire industry. The industry as a whole should work together to strengthen IPR protection, safeguard fair competition, protect unified global standards, and promote a collaborative global supply chain.” He added.

“We will work with customers, partners, standards organizations, and all other industry players in domains like supply chain, standards, and talent cultivation, to encourage open collaboration, promote inclusive industry development, and explore the future together.”He concluded.

The first Huawei Global Analyst Summit took place in 2004, and has been held annually ever since. This year’s summit was held from May 18 to 20, with a series of parallel sessions. Attendees include industry experts from around the world, who discuss and share their insights into industry trends, tech trends, and global collaboration.

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Featured

Meet Uganda’s New Generation of Youtube Vloggers

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By Ian Ortega

As the world becomes more visual, as Facebook gets optimized for videos, there’s also a growing community of Ugandan Youtube Vloggers. This time round, sharing stories not with their words, but with video. Today, we follow up on some of the channels in no order.

1.       I’m Shyla (1.86K Subscribers, 56 Videos)

This lifestyle blogger is one of the most active in the game. She describes her channel as charming, witty and friendly. She’s taken us on Easter celebrations during lockdown. It’s content everyone will relate to, the highs and lows of living alone, and her other life routines such as shopping. She’s been vlogging since 2018.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOHqE84qjiPmidzZeCtBygw/featured

2.       Amito Mitra (8.76K Subscribers, 111 Videos)

Amito has put in the time, she’s taken the vlogging serious. Another lifestyle blogger describing her channel as full of life, and ready to explore Uganda and the world. Her two biggest addictions; Café Javas and Nigeria. Her videos have registered a combined 627K views, impressive. She’s walked us through the Nyege Nyege scenes and various Kampala concerts.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMhf9xsHJ9Mcz-y8gF3k6Gw/featured

3.       B and T Life Lane (6.79K Subscribers, 209 Videos)

This duo promises to take us through their love for fashion and other inspirations. But I must say, it’s their new angle to sharing real estate in Uganda that’s getting many hooked. If you’re looking for cool furnished apartment deals, this duo is a must to keep on your tabs. If you want to hang out with friends and throw a cool party over a weekend, why not book out one of these apartments going for as low as USD 35. The duo boasts of 526K views on their channel. Great job from Betty Benson and Christine Aguti.

Visit their channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDrNbyFUtHmn1bOp2lYjUbQ

4.       Denis Duke Uganda (41.9K Subscribers, 567 Videos)

For many, you’ve seen Denis Duke on your television screens, but did you know, he runs a super Vlog on Youtube. He takes you on a journey of entertainment, lugambo and politics or call it, general affairs. With 3.4 million views, he is evidence of compounded hard work over the years. And in a world of vlogging that’s dominated by ladies in Uganda, he’s proving to be the one holding fort for the men.

Visit his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI82EetZ1SRV-52es7tnTqg/videos

5.       Namuli (1.18K Subscribers, 214 Videos)

Another lifestyle blogger that should take your interest is Namuli. You want to travel Uganda, then travel it through her vlogs, watch her reviews, let her indulge you in some food and hair. You feel like it’s a visual conversation with her, stories of her fighting with a conductor, like all of us have… At 85K views, the sky is the limit for this girl whose totem is a monkey.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfCz9W_mecE_WbyHHDPKNmg/featured

6.       Sheila Basajja (1.44K Subscribers, 35 Videos)

You want to experience Kuala Lumpar or you want a feel of the Ugandan wedding. Sheila got you covered. You will enjoy her travel moments with her girls, perhaps to Bali or to Zanzibar. At 63K Views, an awesome fairing for a Ugandan vlogger.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPfCQdaN9GNlghwRVfmkWKQ/featured

7.       Itsmayabee (714 Subscribers, 119 Videos)

From lifestyle to fashion to beauty, she lets you experience everything in the life of a millennial mother. Wait a minute? Yes, you read it right, millennials are having kids. If you want some product recommendations, be it makeup or fashion, you must be at her youtube door. She stands at 26K views and growing.

Visit her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnHb4M73VYyD9llCKmNuiLA/featured

8.       Nabz Arah (3.43k Subscribers, 144 Videos)  

Don’t be deceived, it’s none other than Aswirah Nabuuma. Her niche is travel and tour. She’s as authentic as they come, sharing experiences of having to shift to a cheaper area, to adjust to life. If you want that and more of these real conversations, Arah is the deal. At 129K Views, there’s pretty good believability.

Visit her channel here : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTKZT31HLJuR7Qn0–Tut7Q

9.       Mr. Musinguzi (58.6K Subscribers, 50 Videos)

It’s an experiential Vlog covering Musinguzi’s life moments in Uganda. A few minutes on his channel and you feel like you want to go out and see more of Uganda. He stands at a combined 85K for his content.

Visit his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC21CacZiFEvmdzkD79-EnQg/featured

So I have broken the rules and stuck to 9 Vloggers. For those wondering what criteria I used to arrive at this names, it’s activity. Recency was a key factor, when the last video was created and the time in between the videos. I also looked at volume of content and somehow at subscribers (but this didn’t matter much). It’s about the time that people put in to create videos. But in case I had to do 10 Vloggers, then I must give Jessica Zziwa’s channel a mention. 

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Lifestyle

Facts you need to know about WhatsApp web

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By Staff Writer

WhatsApp has more than a billion active monthly users. It is the most common messaging app service and the reason for its popularity is that it is available on all major mobile platforms. Whether you have an Android, iOS, java, Nokia or Blackberry, you can use WhatsApp on your mobile.

You only need an active internet connection to do a lot of actions that include sending or receiving written and audio messages, videos, documents, location, and many others. So, it acts as a mirror. Some important facts about WhatsApp web are:

·         The official announcement by WhatsApp included that it would work only on Google Chrome. However, over the years other platforms are also supporting WhatsApp on Web on their browsers.

·         If you are running an older version, you need to update it from the store on your mobile. Once the app is updated on your mobile, you will see the option in your app.

·         On the upper right corner of your screen, you will see three dots. Click on them and a check will be open. Search for the option of “WhatsApp Web” on it and click on it.

·         Once you click on the button, your phone camera will get opened asking you to sync any bar code through it.

·         You need to open web.whatsapp.com on your PC and a QR code will appear.

·         Scan this QR through the camera and after a wait of some seconds, WhatsApp will get opened in your PC.

Remember that once you sync the QR code, the session will be saved in your PC and you will access WhatsApp directly next time without a need to sync the code.

Is the web version secure?

WhatsApp https://heatfeed.com/whatsapp-web/ applies to end encryption on your standard messages on the mobile app. It let no other person see your messages than the sender and the receiver. Many people have the confusion that whether the PC version is also as safe as the mobile version?

Well, you are connected to the Web version from your mobile. Some tips will help you ensure your security on the web version.

·         Go to the menu in the app and logout WhatsApp Web any time you wish.

·         Uncheck the “keep me signed in” option whenever you are on a shared PC.

·         Nothing is stored on your PC, which means no one can attempt to hack it.

 ·         People loved the new web version of the WhatsApp. The reason is that:

·         It gives them great options. You can type a lot faster on your PC keyboard than you can on a mobile pad. Many people loved the web version because of typing convenience.

·         It is secure and you can logout any time.

·         The images, documents, videos, audios can be downloaded and sent directly from your web version. Thus, eliminating the use of the mobile app.

Conclusion

It was very common on mobile, but people had to install quick programs like Blue stacks that were very slow to use it on PC. It was in 2015 when WhatsApp officially launched the Web version of their app. 

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