173.99 -0.29 (-0.17%)
After hours: 7:15PM EDT
|Bid||173.66 x 800|
|Ask||174.10 x 1800|
|Day's range||167.74 - 175.00|
|52-week range||137.10 - 224.20|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.07|
|PE ratio (TTM)||27.10|
|Earnings date||21 Apr 2020 - 26 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||226.53|
Nervous about all of the security and privacy issues facing Zoom? These 4 alternatives will help.
(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.
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.
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.
Foursquare, a pioneer in consumer check-ins a decade ago that pivoted into location data services for ad targeting, is merging with a competitor, Factual. The tie-up — the terms of which was not disclosed — pairs two already strong players in location data advertising services, and strengthens them as an alternative to Google and Facebook […]
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is expanding the user location data that the company offers to researchers and non-profits trying to study the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.The world’s largest social network shares anonymized, aggregated location information as part of an effort to study disease outbreaks, and more than 150 organizations partner with the company to use that data for research. Facebook is adding new data points for researchers fighting Covid-19, including information about whether people are staying at home, and other material that details “the probability that people in one area will come in contact with people in another,” the company said Monday.At Harvard University, researchers are using the information to measure whether government recommended “social-distancing” measures are actually helping to decrease spread of the virus, which has already infected a confirmed 1.3 million people worldwide.“We are putting in social distancing policies and currently we have no idea what they actually do in terms of subsequent epidemiology of the disease,” said Caroline Buckee, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard. “Policy makers want to know things like, ‘Which of these policies actually work? And how long are we going to have to do them?’”Facebook will also put a post atop users’ feeds in the U.S. directing them to a Carnegie Mellon University survey that will ask users, among other things, to self-report possible Covid-19 symptoms. Facebook says the survey is intended to “help health researchers better monitor and forecast the spread of Covid-19.”“[Researchers] won’t share individual survey responses with Facebook, and Facebook won’t share information about who you are with the researchers,” the company said. Only those 18-years-old or older will see the survey prompt.Alphabet Inc.’s Google said last week it would publicly release mobility reports that show anonymized data about where people are traveling to help researchers better track the disease. The company’s Maps app is used by more than 1 billion people worldwide.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) -- Telecom masts that enable the next generation of wireless communication were set on fire in the U.K. in recent days, apparently by people motivated by a theory that the technology helps spread the coronavirus. Investors are taking note.“Most will laugh at this scientifically unproven claim, but we should not underestimate public worry about potentially adverse health impacts of 5G due to radiation, and thus a possible drag on the 5G progress in democratic countries,” analysts led by Edison Lee at Jefferies Financial Group Inc. said in a note on Sunday.While there’s no evidence to support the idea that 5G airwaves contribute to Covid-19’s spread, the conspiracy is being shared widely on social media. Mast fires were reported in Belfast, Liverpool and Birmingham, according to local media. A video of a telecom tower on fire was circulated on a Birmingham community web page, and Facebook removed a group which encouraged users to share footage of equipment being destroyed, the Guardian reported Friday.At least 20 masts have been attacked in the last few days, according to trade body Mobile U.K.“It’s diverting resources from emergency services dealing with the pandemic, and from the industry ensuring the country remains connected” said Gareth Elliott, head of policy and spokesman for Mobile U.K. “It’s putting people’s lives at risk.”5G is being rolled out by all four U.K. mobile carriers: BT Group Plc, Vodafone Group Plc, Telefonica SA’s O2, and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd.’s Three U.K.The networks denounced the mast attacks in a joint statement on Sunday. Britain’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweeted that criminal acts inspired by “crackpot conspiracy theories circulating online” will “face the full force of the law.”Counter-terrorism police are investigating, according to Vodafone U.K. Chief Executive Officer Nick Jeffery.The government has set up special units to combat misinformation about the virus, and says it’s pressing social media companies “for further action to stem the spread of falsehoods and rumors which could cost lives.” Media regulator Ofcom last week sanctioned a small radio station for featuring a guest who claimed 5G caused the pandemic. Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson shared the theory on his Instagram account last week.Concerns about links between 5G and cancer were already slowing its roll-out in countries including Switzerland, Bloomberg Businessweek previously reported, despite a lack of scientific support for the claims. Last month the independent global health body, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, deemed 5G to be safe.“Public fear, even if not fact-based, can pressure governments to act if it is big enough,” the Jefferies analysts wrote. “With so many unknowns as to the nature of COVID-19, it is not surprising that people might believe any theories, no matter how baseless.”(Updates with number of attacks and wireless industry comment from 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Myanmar said it’s considering whether to tap emergency financing from multilateral lenders including the International Monetary Fund to cushion the blow of the coronavirus outbreak.The government has held discussions with the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others, Aung Naing Oo, secretary of the government panel set up to tackle the economic impact of the virus, said in an interview.“We may seek emergency funds in the future, if things lead to the need for that,” Aung Naing Oo said Friday. “Our plan is to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.”Multilateral lenders have pledged to mobilize huge amounts to help countries grappling with the damage caused by the pathogen. The IMF has said it’s ready to deploy all of its $1 trillion lending capacity, while the World Bank expects to make as much as $160 billion available over the next 15 months.Factory closures, especially in the labor-intensive garment industry, are already leading to job losses in Myanmar. Economic growth is set to slow sharply to 2%-3% this year, compared with an earlier expectation of 6.4%, according to the World Bank.The Southeast Asian nation had 21 confirmed infections and one death as of Monday morning. There are fears the disease known as Covid-19 is more widespread than official numbers suggest because of limited testing, and that a major outbreak would overwhelm health care facilities.Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has so far announced a $70 million lending program to help businesses, but this is fraction of the country’s $71 billion gross domestic product. The central bank has also lowered borrowing costs.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.