Facebook allegedly tried to buy Pegasus spyware to secretly track iPhone users

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Facebook Onavo Protect iOS
Facebook’s Onavo Protect did the opposite of protecting users. And it could have been more effective with Pegasus spyware.
Photo: Facebook

NSO Group accuses Facebook of trying to buy access to its Pegasus surveillance software so it could better track the activities of iPhone users.

The spyware supposedly would have gone into Onavo Protect, a VPN app Facebook pulled off the App Store back in 2018 for violating Apple’s data-collection policies.

Facebook’s brand-new Messenger app available to all on Mac

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Facebook-Messenger-Mac
Grab it now from the Mac App Store.
Photo: Facebook

The all-new Facebook Messenger app for macOS made its official Mac App Store debut on Thursday at a perfect time for those working and interacting more from home.

Messenger for the desktop first appeared in early March, almost a year after Facebook announced it at its F8 conference, but was then on offer in only a handful of countries. It is now open to all — and free to download.

Facebook boxes out Apple on AR displays

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Plessy
Plessy has been at the forefront of micro LED display development.
Photo: Plessy

Apple’s long-rumored augmented reality glasses project may have suffered a serious setback thanks to Facebook.

The social network company reportedly reached a licensing deal with Plessey, a British firm that makes displays specifically for augmented reality displays. Apple supposedly was looking into acquiring Plessey. But Facebook rushed in and struck an exclusive supply deal with the company, effectively shutting out Cupertino.

Zoom removes controversial code that shares data with Facebook

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Zoom
Get the latest update today.
Photo: Zoom

Video conferencing app Zoom has removed controversial code that shared user data to Facebook — even when those users didn’t have a Facebook account.

Zoom insists the data collected did not include personal information, but rather anonymous information about a user’s device. It has apologized for the “oversight” and made changes to the Facebook login process to prevent it.

Zoom shares data with Facebook even about non-Facebook users [Updated]

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Zoom video conferencing for Mac
Zoom became very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has some sketchy privacy practices.
Photo: Zoom

The Zoom video conferencing app has been a lifesaver for many people unexpectedly forced to work from home during the coronavirus outbreak. But privacy experts have raised concerns that this app shares more user data than many might realize. That includes the iOS version reportedly sending information to Facebook, even about users who don’t have a Facebook account.

Update: Zoom has removed this controversial code.

Facebook Messenger has a brand-new app for Mac

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Facebook-Messenger-Mac
It's finally here, almost a year after it was confirmed.
Photo: Mac Generation

A brand-new Facebook Messenger app has finally landed on Mac. It gives users the ability to more easily keep on top of their conversations across different devices, and it supports a whole host of useful Messenger features — including group video chat.

You might not be able to download it where you live just yet, however.

Facebook Messenger for iOS goes light and fast

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Facebook Messenger video chat includes augmented reality.
Not all of the silly features were stripped out of Facebook Messenger.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook shrunk the size of its Messenger app, and stripped out some features, intending to make it faster to load and simpler to navigate.

Some of the missing features will be back, though.

Facebook cancels F8 conference due to coronavirus, putting WWDC 2020 in question

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Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
Coronavirus killed Facebook's big event.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The coronavirus killed another major tech event today as Facebook revealed the in-person component of its annual F8 developers’ conference is canceled due to concerns around the coronavirus COVID-19.

Facebook’s move comes close to the time when Apple normally announces the dates for its Worldwide Developers Conference. The iPhone-maker revealed WWDC 2019 dates on March 14 last year, but with more and more tech events getting shut down, it could change Apple’s plans for its biggest conference of the year.

Apple plunged Facebook into chaos when it broke its internal apps, new book reveals

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Facebook owns 4 of the top 10 apps of the past decade
Situation brought Facebook to a near-standstill for employees.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple triggered a “hot war” that compounded ongoing tensions with Facebook when it pulled the social media giant’s enterprise certificate last year. The decision, which temporarily broke all of Facebook’s internal apps, coincided almost exactly with Facebook’s earnings call.

“As [Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg] spoke [on the call], people on Facebook’s campus could not test new products and were canceling meetings because they could not get the shuttle,” writes author Steven Levy in his new book, Facebook: The Inside Story, which is published in hardcover today.