Facebook is walloped with $5 billion fine (The Daily… Now playing: Watch this: Smart displays let Amazon, Facebook, Google show you answers to your questions Share your voice It’s a big thumbs-up for Facebook when it comes to attracting and keeping users. James Martin/CNET Facebook said Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission opened an antitrust investigation into the company, but the heightened regulatory scrutiny doesn’t appear to have slowed down the social network’s growth.The new investigation came on the same day that the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was hitting Facebook with a record $5 billion fine for its earlier privacy mishaps. It also comes a day after the US Department of Justice said it was looking into anti-competition concerns surrounding “market-leading online platforms,” such as social media firms, suggesting that the review would impact Facebook. Still, Facebook showed that users continue to log into the site in massive numbers. The world’s largest social network said that 2.41 billion people now log into Facebook every month, an 8% increase compared to the same period last year. Facebook reported $16.9 billion in revenue in the second quarter, which ran from April to June. That’s above the $16.5 billion that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected on average.The social network made $2.6 billion in the second quarter. It earned 91 cents per share, falling short of expectations of $1.85. It said that the earnings included several expenses such as the legal costs of the FTC settlement. Facebook FTC Tags Comments Originally published July 24, 1:15 p.m. PTUpdate, 1:21 p.m. PT: Adds background about FTC antitrust investigation and statement from Zuckerberg.Update, 3:36 p.m. PT: Adds comments from earnings call and remarks from analyst. 7:37 5 Facebook revealed little about the new FTC investigation, which it was notified of in June. The FTC didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t address the antitrust concerns in a call with analysts, but vowed to protect user privacy and monitor developers who access data through Facebook’s platform.”This is a major shift for us,” he said. “We’ve built services that billions of people trust every day to communicate with the people they care about. Privacy has always been important to the services we provide and now it’s even more central to our future vision for social networking.”Facebook is expecting people to share more in the social network’s private spaces such as messaging, groups and Stories, a feature that lets you post photos and videos that vanish in 24 hours. At the same time, the company has been expanding into payments, virtual reality, e-commerce, cryptocurrency and other areas. Earlier in the day, Facebook agreed to form a new board committee to help protect user privacy as part of a separate settlement with the FTC. The fine is the largest ever against a company for mishandling of consumer privacy, the FTC said. Lawmakers and advocacy groups argue that the deal didn’t address the core problem: Facebook’s ad business relies on collecting user data.The FTC has been investigating the company since revelations last year that UK political consultant firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their consent. The firm, which worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, got the data through the owner of a quiz app that scraped information from Facebook users and their friends. The deal isn’t the end of the scrutiny that Facebook is facing from regulators in the US and abroad. The social network is also planning to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020, a move that sparked a backlash from lawmakers and nonprofits that think the company should temporarily halt these efforts. Zuckerberg said that the company will work with regulators before launching the cryptocurrency.”We get that these are really important sensitive spaces so our approach has been to try to have a very open dialogue about it,” he said. “Facebook from a few years ago would have probably just showed up and released a product on our own.”Facebook’s stock jumped more than 1% but then dipped after the company’s CFO Dave Wehner said that the company expected revenue growth to slow in the fourth quarter and in 2020 because of a European data protection law, changes to operating systems and product changes that “put privacy more front and center.” The company’s stock is still up less than 1% in after-hours trading to $206.10 per share.Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, said in a statement that advertisers are still on Facebook because of its massive audience and ad targeting. Still, they’re also paying more attention to the social network’s problems. “Today’s FTC settlement doesn’t appear to have direct impact on Facebook’s business, but there is no reason to think that other regulatory or governmental investigations won’t have an impact in the future,” she said. Mobile Tech Industry 14 Photos
Police officers redirect traffic in the eastern Belgian city of Liege on 29 May 2018, near the site where an armed man shot and killed police officers before being subdued by police. Photo: AFPA gunman on Tuesday shot dead two police officers with their own weapons before killing a bystander in a brazen suspected terror attack in Belgium, briefly taking a hostage at a school before being killed by police.The carnage in the gritty eastern industrial city of Liege began around 10:30am (0830 GMT) when the attacker armed with a knife stabbed two police officers repeatedly before using their own firearms to kill them, prosecutors said.Federal prosecutors said they had launched a terrorist investigation into the incident, which comes with Belgium on high alert after a string of attacks including twin suicide bombings in Brussels in 2016 claimed by the Islamic State group.”Armed with a knife, the suspect followed and attacked two police officers, and used their own firearms to kill them,” prosecutor Philippe Dulieu told a news conference.”He continued on foot, attacking a parked vehicle where he opened fire on a 22-year-old man in the passenger seat. The young man died.”He then continued and entered the Leonie de Waha school. He took a woman working there as hostage. Police intervened, he came out firing on the police officers, wounding several before he was killed.”Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, told AFP there were “elements that point in the direction that this is a terrorist act”.According to Belgian broadcaster RTBF, the shooter was released from prison on Monday and was only known for minor infractions with no known links to extremism.Prime minister Charles Michel condemned what he called “cowardly and blind violence”.”All our support for the victims and their loved ones. We are following the situation with the security services and the crisis centre,” Michel tweeted.- ‘Horrible act’ -Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon said Belgium’s Federal Crisis Centre was monitoring the situation.”Our thoughts are with the victims of this horrible act. We are in the process of establishing an overview of exactly what happened,” Jambon wrote on Twitter.A major security cordon was set up around the area, while panicked parents came to collect their children from the school complex.The governor of Liege province said all the children and staff were safe and unhurt.”All the children are fine, those of the primary and kindergarten saw nothing, they were evacuated through the back of the school,” Julie Fernandez, mother of a 7-year-old child at the school, told AFP.”They were cared for by staff and psychologists and high school students were cared for in a nearby park,” added Fernandez, who is also an MP.Belgium has been on high alert since the smashing of a terror cell in the town of Verviers in January 2015 that was planning an attack on police.The cell also had links to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the November 2015 Islamic State attacks on Paris that killed 130 people.Belgium further raised its terror alert level after the Paris attack and placed the capital Brussels on lockdown for a week.The country was then hit by its own IS suicide attacks on Brussels airport and a metro station, which killed 32 people in 2016.In August 2016, a machete-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) attacked two policewomen in the industrial town of Charleroi before being shot dead.The country’s law enforcement agencies and intelligence services came under intense scrutiny for apparently missing a series of leads after the Paris attacks that could have led to the Brussels bombers.
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Transat, Europe, sale, Transat Posted by MONTREAL — There’s still time to book Air Transat’s Find Your Seat Sale, with a focus on the company’s 25 European destinations, all offering savings when booked by Feb. 5.Transat’s packages, guided tours, cruises and à la carte getaways throughout Europe cater to all interests, says the company. Numerous connections offer flexibility to build an itinerary tailored to each client’s needs.Here are more details on Transat’s program for some of Canadians’ top vacation spots.With its flights to Zagreb, Air Transat will be giving Canadians easy access to Croatia, one of the most sought-after destinations right now. Transat is offering three direct flights from Toronto and connecting flights from Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. The tour operator is also featuring five packages to Croatia in addition to à la carte visits, including excursions to Krka National Park’s famous waterfalls.Meanwhile getting to Greece is a breeze with Air Transat offering direct flights to Athens from Montreal and Toronto, with four weekly flights each. From there, it’s easy to get to Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. Packages, guided tours and all‑in-one cruise packages are all offered by Transat in Greece.More news: Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backTo Italy, Transat has direct flights to Venice from Toronto (two times a week) and Montreal (three times a week). And to Rome Air Transat will fly direct from Toronto (daily) and Montreal (six times a week). To the south, in the heart of Calabria, lies Lamezia, known for its coastlines. It’s also the gateway to Sicily and Air Transat will fly twice a week to Lamezia from Toronto, and from Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary with a connecting flight. Vacation options include packages, guided tours and a la carte components as well as Med cruises.Meanwhile with direct flights from Montreal and Toronto to Lisbon (five weekly flights from Montreal and four from Toronto) and Porto (three from Toronto and three from Montreal), Air Transat has never offered so many options for exploring these two must-see Portuguese cities.Clients looking to visit one or more of these destinations will have their pick of two‑ and three-city packages, which can be paired with à la carte visits.More news: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong KongAnd to France Air Transat offers daily direct flights from Montreal year‑round to Paris. The city will also be accessible via direct flights from Toronto (five weekly flights), Vancouver (three weekly flights) and Quebec City (three weekly flights). Transat also offers Bordeaux to Nice, Toulouse, Nantes, Lyon and Marseille.And finally to Ireland and Switzerland Transat has direct flights from Montreal (twice weekly), and departures from Toronto, Quebec City and Vancouver with connecting flights. Travelweek Group Share Transat’s Europe more accessible than ever with Find Your Seat Sale Wednesday, January 23, 2019