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Messenger Launches WHO ‘Health Alert’ Bot to Provide COVID-19 Information

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Facebook has partnered with the World Health Organization to launch a new chatbot on Messenger which will provide users with accurate, timely info about the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO Messenger bot

As explained by Messenger:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched an interactive experience on Messenger, with support from Sprinklr, to help provide accurate and timely information on the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO will be leveraging Messenger’s reach to more than 1.3 billion monthly active users who will now be able to ask questions and get quick answers from the WHO’s “Health Alert” interactive service on Messenger, which is free to use.”

The new chatbot, which can be accessed via the WHO Facebook Page or via Messenger link, will make it easier for users to get up to the minute information, direct from the WHO, at any time. 

It’s essentially the same tool that WhatsApp launched with the WHO last month, which is also being used to provide data to government agencies to distribute key updates about the pandemic.

WhatsApp WHO bot

With messaging volume increasing by more than 50% in some of the hardest hit regions, and messaging apps being a key connective tool in many remote areas, adding new tools to facilitate the flow of accurate information about the pandemic could play a key role in controlling the outbreak, while having official information on hand, at any time, could also help to dispel misinformation which has been gaining traction through messaging platforms

The tool is relatively basic, but it will help to connect billions of people to critical updates – and Facebook notes that 12 million people have already used the WhatsApp WHO bot.

The new WHO “Health Alert” service is now available in Messenger.

Socialmediatoday.com

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UK eyes big TikTok fine over child privacy lapse

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Image: – © AFP Kazuhiro NOGI

Britain on Monday warned it could fine TikTok £27 million ($29 million) over a potential failure to protect children’s privacy on the Chinese-owned video app.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the social media company “may have processed the data of children under the age of 13 without appropriate parental consent”.

The ICO also found that the short-form video platform may have “failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent and easily understood way”.

The watchdog has served the group with a notice of intent — which is a legal document that precedes a possible fine — over the possible breach of UK data protection law.

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections,” said Information Commissioner John Edwards.

“Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement.”

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In response, TikTok said it disagreed with the ICO’s provisional views and stressed that no final conclusions had been reached.

“While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the UK, we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO in due course,” TikTok said in a statement.

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