Facebook Deals With IPO, Timeline and Phishing Scandals

Rumors of Facebook’s impending IPO were fortified when trading for shares in secondary markets was suspended for three days – an act done by companies to ensure that investors can’t buy or sell until all information has been made public.

According to people familiar with the matter, Facebook is choosing between  Morgan Stanley and  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to lead the deal.  The coveted “lead left” could yield tens of millions of dollars in banker fees, potential new business and bragging rights.

A spokesperson from Facebook, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs has yet to comment.

Though reports are saying that as early as Wednesday, Facebook could file documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission, some sources are saying that it could be delayed for a few more weeks, and other sources stated that Facebook is targeting an IPO sometime between April and June.

A recent report from AllThingsD regarding Facebook’s IPO focused on three things. First, they deem that the company’s valuation projected at $100 billion is too high; their ticker symbol on NASDAQ or the New York Stock Exchange will be FB (though a fun article tackles possible ticker contenders); and third, Facebook is pissed at both Morgan Stanley for leaking info about the IPO and Goldman Sachs for screwing up a previous private investment placement.

The Expected Timeline Issues

As expected, many Facebook users are not happy with the Facebook Timeline and pissed at the mandatory roll out.  A report from Time TechLand stated that Security researcher Sophos conducted a poll asking Facebook users their thoughts on the Timeline where 7.96% said they liked it, 8.39% said they’d “get used to it” for a total of 16.35% in favor or is positive about the change while 51.29 % found the Facebook Timeline worrisome and 32.36% said they weren’t sure why they were still using the service. That’s 83.65% with a negative take.

“Now, we can’t claim that the poll was scientific – and the kind of people who participate in our polls might be more conscious of privacy and security-related issues than the average man in the street,” wrote Graham Cluley of Sophos.  “Nevertheless, it does seem to me that there are some genuine reasons to pause before embracing the Facebook Timeline as an entirely positive thing.”

Cluley was so bothered by the Timeline that he just deleted his Facebook account.

The Unexpected

In a twisted turn of events, Facebook partnered with Google, its known nemesis, along with 11 others and formed an alliance called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance or DMARC for short.  The point of DMARC is to stop phishing – the act of tricking web and e-mail users into giving sensitive information like credit card numbers.

“One of the worst experiences for a user is being phished,” Adam Dawes, a Google product manager and DMARC representative stated in an interview with Wired. “The best way to protect them is to make sure the email never reaches the spam folder at all.”

Almost two years ago, PayPal began working with Google and Yahoo, setting standards for Gmail and Yahoo! Mail to prevent fake PayPal messages from hitting a user’s inbox.  Soon, they’ve asked other companies to join in and help protect their users.  PayPal’s security manager Brett McDowell is now the chairman of DMARC.

Mike Adkins, a Facebook messaging engineer, stated that this news is not a “Coming soon” announcement. “You’ve been protected by DMARC for a while,” Adkins said.