If you've been on Facebook or Instagram in the past few weeks, you're likely to have seen people experimenting with FaceApp. Thousands of people have used the app to edit photos and see what they might look like when they're older, or when they were younger. However, some people have raised questions about the company's terms and conditions and how they handle users data and images. FaceApp has said that most images are deleted from its servers within 48 hours and it only ever uploaded photos that users selected. Security expert Ariel Hochstadt explains why the app has raised some people's eyebrows. (Photo: FaceApp edits photos to look subtly different. Credit: FaceApp)
Facebook's plan for a cryptocurrency has come under further attack at a US hearing, with politicians calling the company "delusional" and not trusted.
The Senate Banking Committee had been quizzing Facebook executive David Marcus over the tech giant's intention to launch its Libra digital currency.
The company had showed "through scandal after scandal that it doesn't deserve our trust", said senator Sherrod Brown.
Facebook was told to clean up its house before launching a new business model.
Those hearings continue later today.
North America technology reporter
One of the complex issues at hand here is the difference between Libra – the cryptocurrency platform, which is open source – and Calibra, Facebook’s specific service, known as a wallet, that it is building onto the Libra infrastructure.
David Marcus can honestly tell Senators that Libra is a democratic, open system over which Facebook does not have control.
But that’s not the full picture: Calibra very much is Facebook’s product, and by virtue of the fact it will be backed by the world’s biggest and most powerful social network, it will become the dominant force in global cryptocurrency.
As one Senator put it, “you’re not doing this for fun”. Expect more scrutiny on how Facebook will leverage its power to push Calibra to come soon.
All of the hearings this week are broadly focusing on whether the tech giants have too much power over competitors, freedom of speech and, maybe in future, the global banking system.
One warning put forth by Facebook’s Mr Marcus, and one we will likely hear repeated often in the other hearings, is that if these Silicon Valley giants aren’t allowed to innovate, others will.
By that, he of course means China, where tech companies are said to be eyeing their own cryptocurrency projects.
It may prove to be a good one – Facebook and its Silicon Valley peers may not be held in particularly high esteem by Washington right now, but it could be the lesser of two evils.
Facebook is facing a very busy, and likely contentious, day when it appears in front of the US Senate Banking Committee about its proposed new crypto-currency Libra.
David Marcus, a former president of PayPal who is spearheading Libra, will answer questions on Tuesday against a chorus of doubts about the safety of the crypto-currency, including from US Treasury Steve Mnuchin.
Meanwhile, scammers on Facebook will be targeted with a new tool designed to identify fake adverts on the social networking site.
It has been funded by Facebook as part of a legal settlement with Martin Lewis, founder of the MoneySavingExpert website, who took legal action after his name and photo being used on fake adverts.
As Business Live wrote early this morning, Facebook is due in front of the US senate banking committee to answer questions about Libra, its proposed new cryptocurrency.
For UK Chancellor Philip Hammond, on the one hand he sees it as a "potentially transformative, positive step" but he tells CNBC's Squawk Box: "It also have the potential to deliver great risk into the [financial] system.
"If it is not properly regulated, it could become another channel for money launderers, terrorist financers and organised criminals."
BBC Radio 4
The proposal has prompted a backlash, though it is debatable whether the outcry is about a new cryptocurrency or whether it is because it is Facebook - with its myriad of data privacy problems - that is behind the move.
"I would go as far as to say it is about Facebook, it is only about Facebook, says Ingrid Owen, news editor at TechCrunch.
She says: "The thing about Libra is that Facebook is going to great extents to try to make it into something that is a collaborative effort."
It has secured involvement from the likes of Visa, Uber, eBay and PayPal.
But Ms Owen says: "It is really notable that there are no banks involved at this point and I think that it is the sort of thing that regulators will be scrutinising considering that they very, very heavily regulate how currency exchange and banks work."