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Alleged Fraud, Data Breaches, and Bias, Plague Facebook

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In an unfortunate break for Facebook, the true nature of its data breach is more troubling than previously believed. The social media giant revealed that its headline-topping security breach, which affected 29 million accounts, compromised personal information and seemingly confidential contact information. The FBI is said to be investigating. In September 2018, the story broke that user content, email, and phone numbers, along with personal profile information, was swiped from the site. Facebook has admitted the problem, but stopped short of offering users an apology. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Irish Data Protection Commission have questioned Facebook on the matter.

Access Tokens

At the root of the breach were Facebook “access tokens.” These are digital keys that give sites access to keep users logged in and to recognize them upon entry. Unknown hackers reportedly stole these access tokens for 400,000 people. They then used “friends lists” to steal tokens from their networks. Facebook did not shy away from noting that unauthorized access “included username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches.” This is, clearly, a staggering amount of personal information and a black eye for the corporation.

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Japan’s GPIF Awards Nissay Asset Management with ESG Disclosure Mandate

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Increasingly asset owners across the Asia-Pacific region are studying the impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on listed companies. As more Japanese pensions augment asset allocation to listed equities, the importance of corporate non-financial disclosures and practices becomes clear. These disclosures can have a material impression on company stock prices. In addition, Japanʼs Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code in 2014 and 2015 were launched, respectively. These codes helped the (environmental, social, and governance) ESG concept gain momentum in Japan.

Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the largest public pension fund in the world, awarded a research mandate to Nissay Asset Management Corporation. The mandate entails studying ESG disclosures. The study will conduct a comparable analysis on ESG standards and practices, while taking into account input from both investors and companies. With around US$ 110.5 billion in assets under management, Nissay Asset Management is owned by Japanese life insurance giant Nippon Life Insurance Company.

As GPIF boosted its allocation to domestic equities, the asset owner took a deeper look into the impact of ESG on equity investing. GPIF is keen on improving efficiencies in Japan’s capital markets. GPIF is a universal owner of stocks, similar in some aspects to what Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) does.

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management Buys Central Paris Property

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Norges Bank Real Estate Management, the real estate unit of Norges Bank Investment Management (oversees Norway Global Pension Fund Global), has signed an agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an office property located on 54-56 rue la Boétie in central Paris.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Schlumberger Gets Closer to Eurasia Drilling Company

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Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and American oilfield services giant Schlumberger (SLB) have planned a deal to invest in Russia’s Eurasia Drilling Company Limited. RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev made the announcement. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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