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Technology

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After weeks of remaining conspicuously out of sight, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told NPR's Steve Inskeep that she doesn't know if companies other than Cambridge Analytica exploited users' private data without their consent.

"We don't know," she said, leaning into a black leather swivel chair at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Thursday.

Sandberg said Facebook has launched an investigation and audit to determine whether user information has been compromised by other firms.

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Eighty-seven million - Facebook says that's how many people might have had their Facebook data shared improperly with Cambridge Analytica.

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Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Australia is investigating whether Facebook violated national privacy laws by exposing users' information to the data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook has acknowledged that data from more than 300,000 Australians may have been improperly shared with the analysis company — out of some 87 million users worldwide.

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President Trump has ordered the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The Department of Homeland Security says it has seen activity in Washington, D.C., of what appear to be rogue surveillance devices that could be used to hijack cellphones, listen to calls and read texts.

But it says it's not able to actually track down where they are, because that would require more funding.

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Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Personal information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the United States — may have been "improperly shared" with Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics firm used by the Trump campaign that has recently come under fire.

There is a red light flashing in professor Albert Ponce's cubby-sized office. The light comes from an old-fashioned answering machine.

Lately, he doesn't like to listen to the messages by himself. When he presses play, it's obvious why:

"Albert Ponce, you are a piece of s*** f****** gutter slug that needs his neck snapped, OK? Call me if you need me. I'll do it for ya."

"F****** race-baiting f****** piece of trash."

Following its successful public listing yesterday, the music streaming service Spotify is now worth around $25 billion, making it the largest music company in the world — but when Spotify first débuted, back in 2008, it was reasonable to think it would fail.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify on Capitol Hill on April 10 and 11 before the a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees, followed by one before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to answer questions about how the company protects its users' data.

Dan Shefet is an unlikely tech revolutionary. He's not a young math geek who builds driverless cars, nor does he promise to make a tech product for the masses. His crusade is different. The 63-year-old year old Shefet has staged an astonishingly effective campaign in Europe to thwart the torrent of fake news and damaging personal attacks that course through the Internet by taking on the tech giants.

Editor's note on April 11, 2018: NPR has retracted the story that was previously on this page because it did not meet our standards. "Fairness" is one of our guiding principles, and to that end we have pledged to "make every effort to gather responses from those who are the subjects of criticism." In this instance, that did not happen. The story referred to one individual as the "author" of a website that another person said had posted defamatory information about him.

The world's most popular music streaming service, Spotify, went public today. Shares were expected to start trading around $130 each, but ranges for the opening price went as high as $169, and at the time of this writing its stocks were trading at $155, making the company worth about $27.4 billion. (You could safely expect these figures to fluctuate widely over the coming hours, days, weeks and months.)

Dozens of cameras meet visitors to the Beijing headquarters of SenseTime, China's largest artificial intelligence company. One of them determines whether the door will open for you; another tracks your movements.

The one that marketing assistant Katherine Xue is gazing into, in the company's showroom, broadcasts an image of my face with white lines emanating from my eyes, nose and corners of my mouth. It estimates I am a 37-year-old male (I'm 44) with an attractiveness score of 98.

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Type your name into Google...

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPING)

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

The same-sex dating app Grindr says it will stop sharing its users' HIV status with other companies, after it was discovered the app was allowing third parties to access encrypted forms of the sensitive data.

Grindr acknowledged that information on users' HIV status, including the date they were last tested for the virus, was provided to two companies, Apptimize and Localytics, that were paid to monitor and analyze how the app was being used.

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Facial recognition technology is becoming more common here in the U.S. as anyone who uses Facebook or an iPhone 10 knows. But it's far more widespread in China. We take a look in this week's All Tech Considered.

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Amid all the talk of fake news, the technologies to create fake audio and video are quickly evolving. NPR's Tim Mak has been looking into this, and he brings us this report of how these technologies could impact our politics.

Over the past few months, Charlie Manning has gotten complaints about Facebook advertisements, requests for assistance in recovering lost passwords and demands to speak to Mark Zuckerberg. She doesn't work for Facebook, though: Manning is a senior 911 dispatcher for the Menlo Park, Calif., police department. She regularly gets 911 calls from Facebook users around the world.

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Mark Zuckerberg has taken an apologetic tone, saying he didn't do enough to shield user data from political strategy group Cambridge Analytica. Here he is on CNN last week.

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Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Shots are joining in to probe the science of why we act the way we do. In Episode 4, they're asking: are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? - a question increasingly relevant in an age when algorithms are trying to predict everything about our behavior. Here's an excerpt from the episode.

Atlanta city officials are not saying whether they were strong-armed into paying the $51,000 ransom to hackers holding many of the municipality's online services hostage, but they did announce progress in restoring networks on Thursday.

Police officers are once again able to file reports electronically and some investigative databases thought to have been corrupted by the ransomware attack have turned out to be unscathed, the city says. The city's 311 system — which deals with things such as trash pickup and reporting of potholes — is also back in operation.

We Need To Talk About YouTube

Mar 29, 2018

With guest host John Donvan.

How did YouTube go from this, its first video …

With guest host John Donvan.

Uber’s self-driving car program is still in the testing phase … but it has had to contend with a lot of negative press recently.

Updated at 12:10 a.m. ET Friday with additional comment from Weber Shandwick

Michigan State University spent more than $500,000 to keep tabs on the online activities of former Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's victims and journalists covering the case, according to the Lansing State Journal.

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