Collaborating Authors

Facebook taps Whatsapp user data to target ads


Two years after its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp is changing its privacy policy to allow it to share more information about its mobile app users with its owner. There's no risk of your WhatsApp messages appearing on your Facebook timeline, or status updates being sent to your WhatsApp friends, the companies say--but they will be sharing more user data behind the scenes in order to better target advertising and suggest new contacts across the two services. WhatsApp has long promoted itself as a strong protector of user privacy. The changes will also help WhatsApp users better communicate with businesses, the company said in a blog post. In all the examples WhatsApp gave, the businesses were doing the talking, not the listening.

These apps and Twitter accounts will help you prepare for Hurricane Matthew


The number of ways people communicate has exploded since 2005, when Florida was last hit with a major hurricane. Now there are an array of ways to stay on top of where Hurricane Matthew is headed as it barrels toward the coast. SEE ALSO: Hurricane Matthew could render areas'uninhabitable for weeks' We've rounded up the best ways to collect important information about the storm, public announcements, and more, below. Workers put plywood over windows of a home in preparation for Hurricane Matthew in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. If you've got an iPhone and access to enough electricity to use some on an app, Hurricane Tracker may be a good one to download.

Twitter promises 'meaningful' safety updates next month


Twitter is a real time platform for news and conversation, but sometimes that conversation can get quite nasty. The company's laissez faire attitude toward freedom of expression has seen it develop a reputation for toxicity that's scared off several potential buyers, including Disney. That's why, Twitter is now pledging to deal with its cultural problems by making "meaningful" changes to its "safety policy, product, and enforcement strategy." The prevalence of Twitter trolls is often blamed for the site's slow user growth and difficulty with advertisers. It's hoped that this new strategy will give people "more control over their Twitter experience" and offer the "most important safety features" to users.

Will A.I. usher in a new era of hacking?


It may take several years or even decades, but hackers won't necessarily always be human. Artificial intelligence -- a technology that also promises to revolutionize cybersecurity -- could one day become the go-to hacking tool. Organizers of the Cyber Grand Challenge, a contest sponsored by the U.S. defense agency DARPA, gave a glimpse of the power of AI during their August event. Seven supercomputers battled each other to show that machines can indeed find and patch software vulnerabilities. Theoretically, the technology can be used to perfect any coding, ridding it of exploitable flaws.

AubreyAdams: How AI will change cybersecurity forever


Over the years, society has become more dependent on digital technologies. Today, nearly every person, business, and government agency uses the internet to transmit and store data. As a result of that dependence, there is no shortage of hackers who try to access that data. We see this at every level. Celebrities have had their phones hacked and their personal photographs stolen and dispersed online.