175.20 +0.01 (0.01%)
After hours: 4:13PM EDT
|Bid||175.18 x 800|
|Ask||175.13 x 1800|
|Day's range||171.57 - 177.08|
|52-week range||137.10 - 224.20|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.07|
|PE ratio (TTM)||27.25|
|Earnings date||21 Apr 2020 - 26 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||226.53|
First to join is Facebook, which is supplying up to 2,050 of its Portal video-calling devices for free to hospitals, care homes and other settings including hospices, in-patient learning disability and autism units. Facebook and NHSX have agreed that the care homes and care settings involved in the pilot will be able to keep the devices free of charge, and use as they see fit, following the pilot phase.
Basant Gajjar used "cloaking", a technique that hides the true content of ads and presents something different on the surface for users on the platform, which prevented Facebook's review process from identifying improper ads, the company said. Advertisers were able to promote links for deceptive diet pills, cryptocurrency scams, and even misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak through the technique, Facebook added. Gajjar's unregistered business in California, LeadCloak, has been offering cloaking services since 2016, targeting firms including Alphabet Inc's Google, Oath, Wordpress and Shopify Inc , Facebook said.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. sued the founder of a software company for running deceptive advertisements on its social-media platforms, including links to investment scams and bogus information about the coronavirus pandemic.Basant Gajjar’s “LeadCloak” software, designed to circumvent automated review systems in Facebook and Instagram, baits users into clicking on links that are unrelated to the ad, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in California. Facebook said the software pushed deceptive ads for diet pills and drugs and cryptocurrency investment scams.Gajjar, who was named as a defendant in the Facebook suit, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.LeadCloak has also targeted other technology companies including Google, Oath, WordPress and Shopify, according to the lawsuit.Facebook has faced a surge in malicious actors seeking to take advantage of users’ desperation during the outbreak. In mid-March, the company banned deceptive ads touting protective masks. In many cases, the masks were faulty or overpriced or counterfeit versions of what physicians recommended.Still, it’s been difficult for Facebook to remove such ads from its social platforms. The company is relying more on automated systems to solve the problem, because many of its contractors can’t work on the problem from home, for privacy and legal reasons.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- There has been concern for months in Silicon Valley that the eventual Democratic presidential candidate would be someone who wanted to break up large technology companies. Bernie Sanders’s decision Wednesday to end his campaign effectively ends that scenario, leaving a presumptive nominee—former vice president Joe Biden—who is comparatively content with the way Silicon Valley does business.The turn in the primary race corresponds with an upheaval in political priorities due to the Covid-19 crisis. It’s still uncertain how the aftermath of the pandemic will play out, but the political landscape the industry faces in 2020 has almost certainly been transformed over the last six weeks.The primary process first took a hostile turn to the tech industry last spring when Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed a plan to force Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. to spin off parts of their businesses. Sanders, the democratic socialist senator from Vermont, later said he would “absolutely” aim to break up large technology companies if elected. At the same time, multiple investigations into allegations of anticompetitive behavior from large technology companies were accelerating.For his part, Biden has called it “premature” to call for breaking up companies like Facebook. The former vice president has criticized tech companies and their leaders, particularly Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, telling the New York Times editorial board that he had “never been a big Zuckerberg fan.” In the same interview, Biden suggested revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law protecting tech companies from legal liability for what their users post. The industry has made defending the law one of its top political priorities.But Biden’s attacks have never provoked the concerns as those from Sanders and Warren. He has deep ties to the tech industry; his former director of communications, Jay Carney, is now Amazon’s top spokesman. Biden has also repeatedly framed his administration as a continuation of the Obama years, and several former Obama officials have set up shop in Silicon Valley.While the tech industry rank-and-file mostly donated to the industry’s antagonists, its executives seemed most excited about younger moderates Pete Buttigieg and Cory Booker. Biden is a happy consolation prize.An open question is who Biden surrounds himself with now that he seems to have locked up the nomination. Neither Warren nor Sanders has endorsed him, and may hold out to push Biden to pick staff supporting their priorities.The anti-tech momentum may also fade because of the coronavirus pandemic. While state and federal antitrust investigations will continue, new antitrust rules will likely take a back seat to more economic rescue legislation. Tech services seem even more vital when large swaths of the population are confined to their houses. And Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., and others have been quick to offer help in various ways.President Donald Trump has been vocally critical of technology companies, and he’s widely unpopular among tech workers. He has regularly called for crackdowns on social media companies and other perceived enemies in the industry. But his top policy achievement, a major corporate tax cut, helped send tech stock prices soaring. (They have since come back down after coronavirus fears have sunk the entire market.) Trump has also seemed to pick favorites among the tech sector, cozying up to Oracle Corp. and Apple, while repeatedly criticizing Amazon and Facebook.Silicon Valley voters generally lean Democratic. But it’s even harder than usual to predict what the upcoming election will look like. Even basic questions about the mechanics of voting remain unresolved. But for now, the things the tech industry was worried about at the beginning of this year seem like a distant memory.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Portal devices will allow COVID-19 patients and others who are isolated to communicate with loved ones during the lockdown.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday approved Alphabet Inc unit Google's request to use part of an U.S.-Asia undersea telecommunications cable after the company warned it would face significantly higher prices to carry traffic by other means. Google agreed to operate a portion of the 8,000-mile Pacific Light Cable Network System between the United States and Taiwan, but not Hong Kong. Google and Facebook Inc helped pay for construction of the now completed telecommunications link but U.S. regulators have blocked its use.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos made a surprise visit Wednesday to a company warehouse near Dallas, one of more than 100 sites around the U.S. where employees are toiling to meet a surge in online orders from customers sheltering at home.Photos of the world’s wealthiest man donning a face mask, jeans and a button-down shirt circulated on social media. He can be seen walking beneath conveyor belts and beside yellow bins. Some warehouse workers in masks took a moment to get selfies with their boss.Other employees wrote on social media that the executive failed to adhere to social-distancing guidelines put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19. In one image, he is followed closely by another person.Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the photos. Bezos was in the Dallas area Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to disclose Bezos’s location.Read more: Amazon Warehouse Warned Staff Not to Touch Shipments for 24 HoursBezos has maintained a fairly low profile through the crisis compared to other tech CEOs such as Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook. Bezos posted an MSNBC clip to his Instagram account on Wednesday that heralded an Amazon warehouse worker as its “Hero of the Day.” He also recently announced a $100 million donation to Feeding America to help meet demand for food at a time when donations from restaurants and other shuttered businesses are dropping.Amazon has emerged as an indispensable service during the Covid-19 pandemic. Customers can avoid crowded stores by ordering essentials online, though the retailer is taking weeks to deliver some items and many must-have products including toilet paper and hand sanitizer are out of stock. The company in March announced plans to hire 100,000 workers and give temporary pay bumps to meet surging demand.Amazon employees around the country have staged protests and walkouts to highlight their concerns about working conditions, including a lack of social distancing, protective gear, hand sanitizer and not enough time to clean their hands.The company has said it is enforcing social distancing guidelines in its facilities, checking employee temperatures at the start of shifts and stepping up cleaning. Amazon stresses it has enough masks and hand sanitizer for employees at all its facilities and staff can wash their hands without it jeopardizing their performance. Only a small number of workers have participated in protests, the company has also said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Zoom Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan pledged that his company will meet the highest security standards, seeking to put millions of new users at ease after numerous security lapses on the video-meeting application.Zoom Video Communications Inc. is launching a feature called Security that sets all privacy settings to their highest level, including putting passwords on meetings and employing waiting rooms that force meeting hosts to filter conference attendees, Yuan said Wednesday on a webinar. The San Jose, California-based company also is planning to roll out upgraded encryption for its video calls and meeting rooms for large webinars. “Zoom is safe compared to peers,” Yuan said. “We are determined to do better and hold ourselves to the highest standard on security and privacy.”Zoom has never sold user data and never will, he said.The security webinar was part of Yuan’s mea culpa campaign to rebuild trust with the more than 200 million users who’ve turned to Zoom amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Zoom was sued by a shareholder Tuesday who alleged the company fraudulently concealed its lack of end-to-end encryption and its data transmissions to Facebook, just one of several lawsuits that have sprouted during the revelations about the software maker’s privacy problems. The steps to bolster security weren’t enough to allay concerns at Google, which is trying to move employees away from Zoom. The Alphabet Inc. company, which has a rival product called Meet, deactivated the Zoom app on its employees’ work computers.“We have long had a policy of not allowing employees to use unapproved apps for work that are outside of our corporate network,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in an emailed statement. “Recently, our security team informed employees using Zoom Desktop Client that it will no longer run on corporate computers as it does not meet our security standards for apps used by our employees. Employees who have been using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends can continue to do so through a web browser or via mobile.”Google’s policy was reported earlier by Buzzfeed News.Earlier Wednesday, Zoom announced it had hired Facebook Inc.’s former security chief Alex Stamos as an adviser and formed a security council to help guide its next steps. Before its recent surge in popularity, Zoom had focused primarily on corporate communications.“I am attracted to difficult problems, and this creates some doozies,” Stamos, now director at Stanford University’s Internet Observatory, wrote Wednesday in a blog post. “The adaptation of a successful enterprise collaboration tool into virtual classrooms, virtual doctor’s offices and a myriad of other applications (including at least one virtual Cabinet Room) has created privacy, trust and safety challenges that no company has ever faced.”The company, Stamos added, “has some important work to do in core application security, cryptographic design and infrastructure security, and I’m looking forward to working with Zoom’s engineering teams on those projects.”Zoom’s shares had jumped as much as 11% Wednesday before giving back most of those gains on news of Google’s decision. The stock increased 3.6% to $117.81 at the close in New York and has jumped 73% this year.(Updates with Google’s decision to restrict Zoom use for employees in the sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Zoom Video Communications Inc. was accused by a shareholder of hiding flaws in its video-conferencing app, part of a growing backlash against security loopholes that were laid bare after an explosion in worldwide usage.In a complaint filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court, the company and its top officers were accused of concealing the truth about shortcomings in the app’s software encryption, including its alleged vulnerability to hackers, as well as the unauthorized disclosure of personal information to third parties including Facebook Inc.Investor Michael Drieu, who filed the suit as a class action, claims a series of public revelations about the app’s deficiencies starting last year have dented Zoom’s stock price -- though the shares are still up 67% this year as investors bet that the teleconferencing company would be one of the rare winners from the coronavirus pandemic.Read More: Zoom Grapples With Security Flaws That Sour Users on AppFrom Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tesla Inc. to New York City’s Department of Education, agencies around the world have begun to ban usage of an app that’s risen during the coronavirus lockdown as a home for everything from virtual cocktail hours to cabinet meetings and classroom learning. On Tuesday, Taiwan barred all official use of Zoom, becoming one of the first governments to do so.Zoom Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has apologized for the lapses, acknowledging in a blog post last week the company had fallen short of expectations over privacy and security. Cybersecurity researchers warn that hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the software to eavesdrop on meetings or commandeer machines to access secure files. Weak encryption technology has given rise to the phenomenon of “Zoombombing”, where uninvited trolls gain access to a video conference to harass the other participants. Recordings of meetings have also shown up on public internet servers.The company also routed data through servers in China and used developers there, Citizen Lab said in a report last week. Any official data routed through China poses a major risk for Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims as part of its territory. Taiwan’s government rejects China’s assertion, viewing the island as a sovereign nation.“The rapid uptake of teleconference platforms such as Zoom, without proper vetting, potentially puts trade secrets, state secrets, and human rights defenders at risk,” researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab wrote.Read more: Taiwan Bans Official Use of Zoom Over Cybersecurity ConcernsThe company said it had mistakenly sent traffic through Chinese data centers as it was dealing with a “massive increase” in demand. It said it has stopped using that capacity as backup for non-Chinese clients.Zoom is working on adding end-to-end encryption but that’s still months away, Yuan has said. Many of the problems stem from the fact that the app was geared toward enterprise clients with their own IT security teams, instead of the broad consumer app it’s become. The number of daily meeting participants across Zoom’s paid and free services has gone from around 10 million at the end of last year to 200 million now, the company said. Most of those people are using its free service.(Updates with Taiwan’s ban from the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Today, Facebook quietly released a new app for couples. Called Tuned, the new release is a multimedia messaging app designed to help significant others communicate. Tuned was developed and released by Facebook's New Product Experimentation (NPE) team.
The Information, which first reported the news, said the product was made by a small team inside Facebook called New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, which is tasked with building new social media products from scratch. NPE describes the app as "a private space where you and your significant other can just be yourselves". Tuned is currently ranked No. 872 in the United States and No. 550 in Canada in the social networking category, Sensor Tower said.
EU antitrust regulators want to know if Facebook's online marketplace benefits unfairly from its treasure trove of data, according to a questionnaire seen by Reuters, a sign that they are building up a case against the U.S. social media giant. The EU document sent to industry players and other parties is a follow-up to a questionnaire that the European Commission sent to the same parties last August focusing on Facebook's Marketplace. Launched in 2016, Facebook Marketplace is used by 800 million Facebook users in 70 countries to buy and sell items.
Facebook (FB) boosts user location data collection initiatives to help researchers understand and derive measures to combat coronavirus outbreak.
After reading Facebook, Inc.'s (NasdaqGS:FB) most recent earnings announcement (31 December 2019), I found it useful...
(Bloomberg) -- It wasn’t ordered up by Washington, it doesn’t have a catchy name and its members don’t get paid. But the Covid-19 Mobility Data Network could mean the difference between life and death.The network sprang up voluntarily among universities, epidemiologists, public-health departments, database providers, advertising-technology companies and social-media giants like Facebook Inc. Their mission is to fight the pandemic’s spread by testing the effectiveness of stay-at-home and social-distancing policies using a single tool: your cell phone’s physical location.The new data-sharing relationship is just one way companies, academics and public-health officials are teaming up to curb the spread of coronavirus. The network is analyzing the data and sharing insights with governments in states like Massachusetts and California; in cities such as Boston, New York and Miami; and in other countries, including India, Italy and Spain.“A lot of these companies just came out of the woodwork,” said Andrew Schroeder, one of the network’s coordinators. “There’s a lot of location data out there,” he said, which needs to be shaped “into something that’s not just the Wild West, but is passing through an expert filter on what this means for public health.”The data show whether people are complying with stay-at-home and social distancing orders that have spread across the U.S. and countries around the globe.For example, people taking trips outside their neighborhoods in San Francisco decreased 40% to 50%, but dropped only 20% to 30% in other parts of California, Shroeder said.In New York City, residents were more mobile during the week than they were on weekends, and mobility rates were higher on Staten Island than in lower Manhattan, he noted.Facebook on Monday announced that it was expanding the kinds of location data it provides to researchers tracking the pandemic, which has infected more than 1.3 million people and claimed more than 74,000 lives worldwide.The company, which normally uses such data to help sell targeted advertising, has been sharing it with researchers in an anonymized, aggregated form since 2017 to track things like whether people evacuate disaster zones.The data sets are now being used by dozens of organizations studying Covid-19, the disease the virus causes. The expansion of the program means Facebook will also share more nuanced details on whether people are staying at home, or the “probability that people in one area will come in contact with people in another,” the company wrote on its blog.The network is also working with Camber Systems, a Washington-based data-analytics company, and will soon team up with Cuebiq Inc., a New York-based data-collection company, to provide reports to “decision-makers who are implementing social distancing interventions,” according to the network’s website.It’s in talks with Alphabet Inc.’s Google about using data from the search giant. Google is posting “mobility reports” to show how traffic to places such as parks and transportation hubs has declined.The mobility data project, which started in early March, is similar to work that Schroeder, along with others such as Caroline Buckee, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard University, had been doing to analyze mobility rates in disaster situations.Schroeder, vice president of research and analysis for public-health nonprofit Direct Relief, had worked with Buckee on travel trends in Mozambique after a cyclone tore through the country in 2019. He’s taken on similar initiatives for Houston after a tropical storm hit last year and for California after wildfires ravaged the state, Schroeder said.Once they realized the need for data would probably be greater than in previous natural disasters, Schroeder, Buckee and Satchit Balsari, another Harvard professor and medical doctor, came up with the network idea. They recruited others who had done similar work and reached out to government contacts to ask how they could help, Schroeder said.“All of these various public-health departments around the country were making these pretty big calls on shutting down big chunks of the economy and society,” said Schroeder. “Nobody had any visibility at all” into the question: “Are people listening to you when you say that everyone should stay home? Do they stay home?”Camber Systems is processing anonymized geo-location data from millions of U.S. cell phones and passing it to the mobility network, Schroeder said. The company receives the data from firms in the advertising-technology industry, and then strips it of any names, addresses or other personal identifying details before handing it to researchers in a digestible format. The data are refreshed every few hours to track how devices are moving throughout a region. Camber Systems declined to comment.The increased ability of mobile-app providers and digital-advertising companies to track cell-phone owners’ positions has made such projects possible -- and elicited criticism from consumer advocates concerned about privacy violations.Some fear that an emphasis on health over privacy could undermine the protection of civil liberties, similar to what happened after 9/11, when the U.S. secretly began collecting mass amounts of data on its own citizens in an effort to track down terrorists.Earlier: Pandemic Data-Sharing Puts New Pressure on Privacy ProtectionsFacebook and the mobility network insist that no one’s privacy is being jeopardized, and that no governments are receiving raw data. “We’re not aware of any active conversations or asks with the U.S. or other governments at this point asking for access to that data directly,” Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said March 18.Since May 2019, Facebook has offered what it calls “disease prevention maps” to researchers and nonprofits. It hands over anonymous user-movement data that is aggregated into 0.6 kilometer-sized grids and updated every 8 hours, according to Schroeder.The researchers use that information to calculate changes in the number of trips Facebook users in a specific region take outside their homes in a day. Facebook said it only shares data from users who have opted in to the company’s location-tracking settings.In the coronavirus outbreak, the maps have found multiple uses. Direct Relief, the humanitarian aid group that Schroeder works for, has used them to help determine where to distribute medical supplies, he said. Researchers at Taiwan’s National Tsing-Hua University are using the data to model possible outbreaks of the disease on the island, said Hsiao-Han Chang, a professor at the university.Harvard researchers are also using Facebook’s data sets to study the effects of government social-distancing advisories. “We have no idea what they actually do in terms of subsequent epidemiology of the disease,” said Harvard’s Buckee. “Policy makers want to know things like, ‘Which of these policies actually work? And how long are we going to have to do them?’”“We are acting as an intermediary to help make sure that this information is processed together correctly,” Schroeder said. “We can help people make sense of it and not just dump a bunch of raw data on them.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
WhatsApp is imposing additional restriction on how frequently a message can be shared on its platform in its latest effort to curtail the spread of misinformation. The Facebook -owned instant messaging service said today that any message that has been forwarded five or more times will now face a new limit that will prevent a user from forwarding it to more than one chat (contact) at a time. A spokesperson told TechCrunch that WhatsApp will roll out this change to users worldwide today.
Facebook Inc said on Monday it would start surveying some U.S. users about their health as part of a Carnegie Mellon University research project aimed at generating "heat maps" of self-reported coronavirus infections. Facebook said it may make surveys available to users in other countries too, if the approach is successful. Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook's rival in mobile advertising, began querying users for the Carnegie Mellon project last month through its Opinion Rewards app, which exchanges responses to surveys from Google and its clients for app store credit.
Starting today, some U.S. Facebook users will see a new pop-up on the app asking them to complete a survey about COVID-19. The survey, from Carnegie Mellon University's Delphi epidemiological research center, is one of many new symptom mapping projects that seek to anticipate where the next wave of the virus will hit as COVID-19 sweeps through populations the world over. Carnegie Mellon's research effort will get a big leg up from Facebook, which may promote similar surveys in different parts of the world if this one goes well.