Facebook has long aimed to keep its users connected with loved ones – and the social media giant just took this goal one step further.

The firm has launched its Portal devices that include a 10-inch model, a miniature version and a device that transforms televisions into a smart display, allowing users to chat with anyone in the world.

However, some question Facebook’s true agenda with wanting to put a camera and microphone in homes, as the social media giant has come under fire over privacy concerns.

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Facebook has launched its Portal devices that include a 10-inch model (left), a miniature version (middle) and a device that transforms televisions into a smart display (right), allowing users to chat with anyone in the world

Facebook has launched its Portal devices that include a 10-inch model (left), a miniature version (middle) and a device that transforms televisions into a smart display (right), allowing users to chat with anyone in the world

Facebook has launched its Portal devices that include a 10-inch model (left), a miniature version (middle) and a device that transforms televisions into a smart display (right), allowing users to chat with anyone in the world

Portal and Portal Mini are set to ship on October 15, while the notepad-sized Portal TV device that turns a television into a smart screen will begin shipping on November 5 at a price of $149.

‘We know the smart device category is packed and competitive; and those devices are great,’ Facebook augmented and virtual reality vice president Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth said while providing a look at the Portal line-up.

‘But, Portal is the only device that is going to connect you with people you care about; and I would contend that any smart device that doesn’t do that isn’t that smart at all.’

Not only are these devices focused on bringing people together, they are also packed with an array of features.

You can listen to music, check who is at your front door, display a slideshow of your favorite pictures, share a story with augment reality (AR) effects and more.

Portal Mini boasts an eight-inch HD display and the Portal has a larger 10-inch display.

PORTAL FEATURES 

Portal Mini boasts an eight-inch HD display and the Portal has a larger 10-inch display.

Portal TV brings smart video-calling to the largest screen in your home.

You can listen to music, check to see who is at your front door, display a slideshow of your favorite pictures, share a story with augment reality (AR) effects and more.

The device sits on near your home television, allowing you to move around while making calls, all while still being heard and seen.

The devices are all designed with an AI-powered Smart Camera that moves based on your own motions.

And Smart Sound automatically enhances your voice while drowning out unwanted background noise.

The devices are all designed with an AI-powered Smart Camera that moves based on your own motions. And Smart Sound automatically enhances your voice while drowning out unwanted background noise

The devices are all designed with an AI-powered Smart Camera that moves based on your own motions. And Smart Sound automatically enhances your voice while drowning out unwanted background noise

The devices are all designed with an AI-powered Smart Camera that moves based on your own motions. And Smart Sound automatically enhances your voice while drowning out unwanted background noise

You can listen to music, check who is at your front door, display a slideshow of your favorite pictures, share a story with augment reality (AR) effects and more

You can listen to music, check who is at your front door, display a slideshow of your favorite pictures, share a story with augment reality (AR) effects and more

You can listen to music, check who is at your front door, display a slideshow of your favorite pictures, share a story with augment reality (AR) effects and more

And Portal TV brings smart video-calling to the largest screen in your home.

The device sits near your home television, allowing you to move around while making calls, all while still being heard and seen.

The devices are all designed with an AI-powered Smart Camera that moves based on your own motions.

And Smart Sound automatically enhances your voice while drowning out unwanted background noise.

Portal family may sound harmless, but some have questioned the social media giant’s motive.

One twitter user shared: ‘Facebook continues to be the most tone deaf company in tech. Here’s a camera for your tv from a company that I definitely would never let put a camera in my home’.

It is no secret that Facebook has been lurking in the shadows of our smartphone and harvesting its users’ data.

Portal family may sound harmless, but some have questioned the social media giant's motive

Portal family may sound harmless, but some have questioned the social media giant's motive

Portal family may sound harmless, but some have questioned the social media giant’s motive

FACEBOOK’S PRIVACY DISASTER 

September 2019: Several databases containing personal information were found online.

They were not encrypted or password protected.

A total of 419 million records were left in an open online server.

The implications of the haul mean people were exposed to potential fraud attempts.

Including, spam calls and SIM-swapping attacks where criminals try and get hold of more personal details by deceiving carrier firms.

Facebook confirmed parts of the report but downplayed the extent of the exposure, saying that the number of accounts so far confirmed was around half of the reported 419 million. 

December 2018: Facebook comes under fire after a bombshell report discovered the firm allowed over 150 companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Bing, to access unprecedented amounts of user data, such as private messages.

Some of these ‘partners’ had the ability to read, write, and delete Facebook users’ private messages and to see all participants on a thread.

It also allowed Microsoft’s search engine, known as Bing, to see the name of all Facebook users’ friends without their consent.

Amazon was allowed to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and Yahoo could view streams of friends’ posts.

As of last year, Sony, Microsoft, and Amazon could all obtain users’ email addresses through their friends.

September 2018: Facebook disclosed that it had been hit by its worst ever data breach, affecting 50 million users – including those of Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Attackers exploited the site’s ‘View As’ feature, which lets people see what their profiles look like to other users.

The unknown attackers took advantage of a feature in the code called ‘Access Tokens,’ to take over people’s accounts, potentially giving hackers access to private messages, photos and posts – although Facebook said there was no evidence that had been done.

The hackers also tried to harvest people’s private information, including name, sex and hometown, from Facebook’s systems.

Facebook said it doesn’t yet know if information from the affected accounts has been misused or accessed, and is working with the FBI to conduct further investigations.

However, Mark Zuckerberg assured users that passwords and credit card information was not accessed.

As a result of the breach, the firm logged roughly 90 million people out of their accounts as a security measure.

March 2018: Facebook made headlines after the data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.

The disclosure has prompted government inquiries into the company’s privacy practices across the world, and fueled a ‘#deleteFacebook’ movement among consumers.

Communications firm Cambridge Analytica had offices in London, New York, Washington, as well as Brazil and Malaysia.

The company boasts it can ‘find your voters and move them to action’ through data-driven campaigns and a team that includes data scientists and behavioral psychologists.

‘Within the United States alone, we have played a pivotal role in winning presidential races as well as congressional and state elections,’ with data on more than 230 million American voters, Cambridge Analytica claims on its website.

The company profited from a feature that meant apps could ask for permission to access your own data as well as the data of all your Facebook friends.

This meant the company was able to mine the information of 87 million Facebook users even though just 270,000 people gave them permission to do so.

This was designed to help them create software that can predict and influence voters’ choices at the ballot box.

The data firm suspended its chief executive, Alexander Nix, after recordings emerged of him making a series of controversial claims, including boasts that Cambridge Analytica had a pivotal role in the election of Donald Trump.

This information is said to have been used to help the Brexit campaign in the UK.

It has also suffered several previous issues.

In 2013, Facebook disclosed a software flaw that exposed 6 million users’ phone numbers and email addresses to unauthorized viewers for a year, while a technical glitch in 2008 revealed confidential birth-dates on 80 million Facebook users’ profiles.

Last year, Facebook made headlines after the data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy.

Following this fiasco, the firm again came under fire after a bombshell report discovered the firm allowed over 150 companies, including Netflix, Spotify and Bing, to access unprecedented amounts of user data, such as private messages.

Just this month, phone numbers linked to more than 400 million Facebook accounts were posted online.

According to TechCrunch, 133 million US accounts, more than 50 million in Vietnam, and 18 million in Britain were among 419 million records left in an open online server that was not secured with a password. 

This includes, according to the person who unearthed the database, profiles and phone numbers of some celebrities.

Facebook has confirmed the report, but said the total number is likely to be around half because of duplicate entries. 

 

Source : Mail Online

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