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Facebook sparks more privacy fears with talk it might buy a drone company

For those hard to reach areas
Tue Mar 04 2014, 10:42
Google has bought drone company Titan Aerospace quashing Facebook purchase rumours

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook apparently is in talks to acquire a drone company, according to a report.

Techcrunch reported that Facebook rather fancies buying Titan Aerospace, a company that promises "a network anywhere", and that talks are in advanced stages.

One of the firm's unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is called the Solara 60, and Techcrunch imagined that Facebook will use UAVs to throw a blanket of coverage over the hardest to reach places in the world. Africa was mentioned, and 11,000 UAVs was the quoted number.

Titan is led by CEO Vern Raburn, and he confirmed to the website that talks are underway. The report speculated that the firm would make a good fit for Facebook and slot nicely into its role in the 'internet for all' outfit was announced by Mark Zuckerberg last year, with the Facebook CEO saying that he wants to get another five billion people online.

"For nine years, we've been on a mission to connect the world. We now connect more than [one] billion people, but to connect the next [five] billion we must solve a much bigger problem: the vast majority of people don't have access to the internet," he wrote in a Facebook post.

"I'm focused on this because I think it's one of the greatest challenges of our generation. I've attached a rough plan I've written outlining the work Facebook is doing to solve this and how our industry can work together to connect the next [five] billion people."

Facebook's drone ambition could match that of Google's project Loon, a balloon-based broadband network that failed to impress Bill Gates.

Both firms will be hoping that such moves are filed with 'Benevolent' and 'Altruistic' tags, but the truth is that people remain very sceptical about drones and their possible impact on privacy.

Their use is largely unregulated, and increasingly popular, and might through their ubiquity lead to oversharing. µ


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