Saturday Social: Facebook Policy Updates, 4G Rolling Out
Facebook updates data usage policy, man turns tables on spammy telemarketers, BT withdraw dial-up as 4G rolls out further, C4 news in minutes
Facebook this week updated its data usage policy, making a number of updates to its free content ad network and how information for this is used with regard to individuals. This includes more simplified language about information that the social network receives and device details such as OS, IP address and mobile phone number.
According to The Register, the updates still don’t make it clear if mobile numbers are used with or without the owner’s knowledge and the tech site has asked Facebook to clarify this point, which to date, they haven’t.
It’s thought that the updates are to some extent a response to the $20m legal settlement that the site has agreed to over privacy concerns in the US. In order to comply, the social network is required to explain how it came about data used in Sponsored Stories. These used photographs of the site’s users without permission after they had ‘Liked’ a particular Page or product.
The ads are now said to be legal as Facebook users agreed to data usage terms when they joined the site. If you’re an existing user and not happy with this arrangement, it’s just tough it seems, as the only choice you will have is to stop using the site altogether.
“As part of a legal settlement, we agreed to further explain how we may use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with ads or commercial content,” the update explanation said.
“Our goal is to deliver advertising and other commercial or sponsored content that is valuable to our users and advertisers. In order to help us do that, you agree to the following: You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us.”
The Register reports that the social media site also has the right to use photo recognition software to identify people. The site uses this to help tagging when photos are uploaded and for security purposes when an account is logged in at a different location such as abroad.
UK man turns tables of spammy telemarketers
A UK businessman has turned the tables on spammy telemarketers after they ‘targeted’ him with PPI claim calls. Lee Beaumont has made £300 so far from setting up a higher-rate telephone number that charges companies 10p for each call. The 0871 number cost him just £10 + VAT to set up and from it, he receives 7p per call.
Whilst he may not have made much from unscrupulous callers, at least he has got some recompense for his inconvenience. However, the premium rate number regulator, Phone Pay Plus, said that they would “strongly discourage” others from taking similar action.
My Beaumont uses a separate number for friends and family and all calls from others go through the 0871 number, including utility companies. He told BBC’s Radio 4 that he was up front about using the number when he submitted it and that some companies had questioned his reasons, but not disputed the charges.
This has led to Mr Beaumont receiving about half as many calls each month as usual and he admits that he keeps cold callers busy on the line in order to make as much revenue from the calls as possible.
“Premium rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we would strongly discourage any listeners from adopting this idea, as they will be liable under our code for any breaches and subsequent fines that result,” said Phone Pay Plus.
PPI claim calls and texts are the most common complaint, up there with payday loans, when it comes to nuisance calls.
Tempting isn’t it? But most probably not a good idea…
BT withdraw dial up
UK consumers won’t be able to dial up to the internet through BT from now on, as the telecoms company has now withdrawn the service altogether. BT said that its dial up customers have known that the company would take this step since May and that a tiny proportion of its customers dial up to the internet via a 56K modem.
This means that there is not enough people using the service to justify keeping it, even though it’s thought around 1000 people located in remote areas will now be unable to access the internet at all.
It’s thought that the vast majority of people who live in the UK will have access to some form of broadband, even if it’s through mobile or satellite.
A few years ago I was in the position of having to wait 6 weeks for broadband to be installed when I moved property. So frustrating was this that I called BT and asked for a dial up access number. They supplied it and to be fair, the service was so slow on the modern web as to be virtually unusable.
I could just about access my Gmail, in its most basic version, but browsing was pretty much impossible. Now that most of us have enjoyed broadband for so long, the internet has so much more multimedia material, such as streaming video, gaming and imagery, that dial up just isn’t equipped to deal with it. So while it may seem like a bad thing that BT is doing away with the service, in truth, a dial up connection in the modern world is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.
It is just me that misses that dial up modem sound?
4G rolling out further
Just to hammer the last story home a little more, Vodafone and O2 have announced that they are to begin rolling out their own 4G services. These will be available in UK cities such as London (Vodafone), Leeds and Bradford (O2) initially and it’s thought that the service will be in 50 cities by the end of 2014.
It’s thought that Three will also be rolling out 4G and the company is set to offer the lowest prices for the technology. Further to this, Three has also announced that contract customers will now be able to use their phone abroad in seven countries at no additional charge.
“By abolishing expensive roaming charges in select countries, we are allowing our customers to get even more value from their minutes, texts and data abroad by removing the fear associated with staying in touch while travelling,” Three’s marketing director Thomas Malleschitz said in a press release.
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