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Germans Reopen Investigation on Facebook Privacy (The New York Times)
Data protection officials in Germany reopened an investigation into Facebook’s facial recognition technology Wednesday, saying that the social networking giant was illegally compiling a huge database of members’ photos without their consent. The data protection commissioner in Hamburg, Johannes Caspar, suspended the inquiry in June, but said he reopened it after attempts to persuade Facebook to change its policies had failed. ZDNET The agency’s main concern is that Facebook does not notify its users that the facial recognition technology is being used and claims that a biometrics database containing millions of faces carries has “immense potential” for being misused. Caspar wants Facebook to delete all the data already gathered, or at least ensure that the users actively consent to their data being used in this way. PC Magazine The German probe kicked off in mid-2011, but as The New York Times noted, that investigation was closed in June after Caspar’s office believed Facebook was complying with German demands. Now it appears that was not the case. AllFacebook When the Internet’s wide collection of pranksters decides to get together, it can be a nightmare for Facebook page administrators. Whoever runs Subway’s Facebook page is certainly earning their paycheck this week, as the page was bombarded Wednesday with animated pornographic images featuring the company’s logo and sandwiches. CNET Drawing upon a little-known California law, Facebook is reportedly looking to hasten the payout of its Instagram purchase. Typically with deals like this companies have to first register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but if the social network is able to use the California law it could save the company time and money.

Google+ Apps Updated: iOS Version Gets First Safari Workaround (The Verge)
Google has released updates for its Google+ apps for iOS and Android, with the former including an intriguing workaround to Apple’s prohibition on default browsers other than Mobile Safari. Google+ for iOS now offers the option of opening external links in either Safari or Chrome, using URL schemes to pop up a choice dialog. The Next Web It seems like a given, at this point, that all of Google’s apps on iOS will eventually allow Chrome to display links. If you have Chrome and all of Google’s apps installed, you’ll be living in a pocket universe on iOS, populated by all Google properties.

Spotify and Pandora to Help Digital Music Overtake Physical in 2012 (ars technica)
Digital music sales will overtake physical sales in the United States before the year is out, according to data from Strategy Analytics. The growth of digital revenue is driven largely by subscription services, such as Spotify and Pandora, which have experienced rapid growth recently as downloads have started to level off.

Stubhub Founder Jeff Fluhr Wants You to Know That Spreecast is Way, Way Better Than Google Hangouts (VentureBeat)
Jeff Fluhr, the serial entrepreneur who sold StubHub to eBay for $310 million, thinks there are far better options than Google Hangouts when you want to connect, engage and communicate with groups of people. Not surprisingly, high up on the list is his new startup, Spreecast, which is designed for real, deep engagement with tens, hundreds or thousands of users.

How to Schedule YouTube Videos to Post at a Later Date or Time (SocialTimes)
This summer, YouTube has quietly rolled out a new scheduling feature to all YouTubers that have at least one monetized video. Scheduling has been available to YouTube partners for a while now, but since YouTube opened up its partner program to everyone, they’ve been rolling out partner features (like monetization) to everyone with an account in good standing.

Another Top Googler Jumps to Social Network Badoo (TechCrunch)
After losing long-time Googler Benjamin Ling to social network Badoo, the search giant is seeing another exec head to the United Kingdom site. This time, Jeff Hardy, who was head of global partnerships for Google+ Local, is leaving the company to join Badoo as vice president of partnerships and mergers and acquisitions.

How ‘Anderson Live’ is Socializing the Talk Show (Mashable)
When Anderson Cooper’s talk show returns next month as “Anderson Live,” producers will monitor feedback from Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and incorporate it within the show. It will be using hashtag #AndersonLive.

Student Cites Facebook Bullying in Suicide Note (The Daily Dot)
A woman in India has committed suicide, writing in a final note that it was being bullied on Facebook that drove her over the edge. Raksha Sharma, either 18 or 20 years old — reports are mixed — was a computer engineering student at Mehr Chand Polytechnic College in Punjab, India, whose parents were reportedly killed by militants.

Social Media is Making a Big Impact on Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC] (AllTwitter)
Did you know that 73 percent of small businesses are now using social media? Facebook leads the way, with 82 percent of social small businesses utilizing this platform, ahead of YouTube (73 percent), Twitter (47 percent) and LinkedIn (47 percent).

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