Policy

Senators aim to give internet companies doctor-like duties to protect our data

Consumers are increasingly entrusting online services with all kinds of personal data — but that trust has been repeatedly abused or taken for granted. If a doctor or a lawyer did that, they’d

Huawei CFO accused of fraud is granted $7.5M bail

The decision concludes a three-days-long court hearing in which the judge and the public prosecutor debated whether Wanzhou would breach her bail conditions.

Proof of use: A new crowdfunding threshold for passionate users

Instead of a standard based on wealth, or even knowledge -- one based on users’ contributions of time and attention.

Huawei, Google and the tiring politics of tech

The defining question of the 21st century is pretty simple: who owns what? Who owns the telecommunications infrastructure that powers our mobile devices? Who owns the OS that powers those devices? Who

Watch Google CEO Sundar Pichai testify in Congress — on bias, China and more

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has managed to avoid the public political grillings that have come for tech leaders at Facebook and Twitter this year. But not today. Today he will be in front of the House Ju

Why you need a supercomputer to build a house

When the hell did building a house become so complicated? Don’t let the folks on HGTV fool you. The process of building a home nowadays is incredibly painful. Just applying for the necessary permits

The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, Decembe

Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new conte

Seized cache of Facebook docs raise competition and consent questions

A UK parliamentary committee has published the cache of Facebook documents it dramatically seized last week. The documents were obtained by a legal discovery process by a startup that’s suing t

Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise

Update, 12/6: The bill has now passed after the Labor party agreed to drop its proposed amendments — you can read full details of the bill here. Australia’s controversial anti-encryption

Facebook ends platform policy banning apps that copy its features

Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1, which stipulates “Add somethi

New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approves minimum wage rules for app-based drivers

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved new rules designed to provide a minimum hourly wage of $17.22 (after expenses) for drivers who work with app-based services like Uber, Lyft

Tim Cook addresses white supremacists in ADL address

Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t mince words when he took to the stage to accept the Anti-Defamation League’s first Courage Against Hate Award at an event in New York City today. The executive used the k

Investors still don’t understand the fundamentals of US/China relations

This weekend, Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to something of a détente around American tariffs on Chinese goods. Stocks across Asia swooned, for reasons that make no sense to me. Plus,

Now you can read the controversial Definers research about George Soros and Facebook

Facebook is still dealing with the fallout from a New York Times report outlining the company’s strategy to fight back against criticism, particularly its work with Definers Public Affairs, an o

The economics and trade-offs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy and politicized process. Third-parties are helping buil

The White House will meet with tech execs to talk ‘transformational ideas’

Top tech executives from Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Oracle will head to the White House next Thursday to discuss “bold, transformational ideas” focused on U.S. innovation. The meeting, framed

Facebook exempts news outlets from political ads transparency labels

Facebook pissed off journalists earlier this year when it announced that ads run by news publishers to promote their articles involving elected officials, candidates and national issues would have to

Germany’s competition regulator to investigate Amazon’s marketplace

Germany’s competition regulator (Bundeskartellamt) is opening an investigation against Amazon . In particular, the regulator is going to look at the relationship between Amazon and third-party selle

Facebook staff discussed selling API access to apps in 2012-2014

Following a flopped IPO in 2012, Facebook desperately brainstormed new ways to earn money. An employee of unknown rank sent an internal email suggesting Facebook charge developers $250,000 per year fo
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