Policy

Transparency-seeking OPEN Government Data Act signed into law

The federal government produces one hell of a lot of data, but despite desultory lurches towards usability there's little guarantee that it's available in a way that makes it useful to anyone. That ma

Instagram caught selling ads to follower-buying services it banned

Instagram has been earning money from businesses flooding its social network with spam notifications. Instagram hypocritically continues to sell ad space to services that charge clients for fake follo

How do you fight an algorithm you cannot see?

That question in the headline was the challenge posed by a group of open knowledge junkies in Germany who wanted to understand how a person’s Schufa was calculated. Schufa is a credit bureau that ge

Geoengineering could solve our climate problems if anyone allowed it

This weekend, I finished reading Oliver Morton’s The Planet Remade (thanks to reader Eliot Peper for recommending it). Morton has a multitude of goals with the book, but there were two I think are d

The US continues to hammer Chinese tech

It’s another week, and another bevy of hits on Chinese tech by the U.S. government. Let’s get up to speed, plus a request for startup lawyer recommendations. TechCrunch is experimenting with new c

Microsoft Bing not only shows child pornography, it suggests it

Illegal child exploitation imagery is easy to find on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. But even more alarming is that Bing will suggest related keywords and images that provide pedophiles with

Daily Crunch: How the government shutdown is damaging cybersecurity and future IPOs

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe her

The rise of (societal) resilience tech

If you follow millennials on Twitter (and god help you), then you know that Anne Helen Petersen’s piece this past weekend “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” struck a deep chord for

Zuckerberg’s 2019 challenge is to hold public talks on tech & society

Rather than just focus on Facebook’s problems like his 2018 challenge, this year Mark Zuckerberg wants to give transparency to his deliberations and invite the views of others. Today he announce

HQ2 fight continues as New York City and Seattle officials hold anti-Amazon summit

The heated debate around Amazon’s recently announced Long Island City “HQ2” is showing no signs of cooling down. On Monday morning, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) hoste

The end of China’s ridesharing gig

Over the last few years, millions of Chinese workers managed to earn extra money by being ride-hailing drivers. Many picked the gig because of its flexible schedule. For those who could not otherwise

Are rightsholders ready for public domain day?

On January 1, 2019, the New Year will ring in untold numbers of additions to the public domain in the U.S., including hundreds and maybe thousands of works with at least a small public reputation.

Google & Facebook fed ad dollars to child porn discovery apps

Google has scrambled to remove third-party apps that led users to child porn sharing groups on WhatsApp in the wake of TechCrunch’s report about the problem last week. We contacted Google with the n

Facebook is not equipped to stop the spread of authoritarianism

Facebook isn't responsible for government decisions to clamp down on free expression. But the question remains: How can companies stop assisting authoritarian governments, inadvertently or otherwise?

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul

Winter is ending: China to restart game approvals

As 2018 draws to a close, China’s gaming industry — which has been beaten by a nine-month-long freeze in license approvals — woke up to exhilarating news as officials announced that

WhatsApp has an encrypted child porn problem

WhatsApp chat groups are being used to spread illegal child pornography, cloaked by the app’s end-to-end encryption. Without the necessary number of human moderators, the disturbing content is s

French data protection watchdog fines Uber $460,000 for data breach

One by one, European countries are slapping Uber with a penalty for the way it handled its 2016 data breach. Today, France’s data protection watchdog, the CNIL, announced it was fining Uber $460,000

Consumer advocacy groups call on FTC to investigate kids’ apps on Google Play

A coalition of 22 consumer and public health advocacy groups, led by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), have today filed a complaint with the Feder

How Russia’s online influence campaign engaged with millions for years

Russian efforts to influence U.S. politics and sway public opinion were consistent and, as far as engaging with target audiences, largely successful, according to a report from Oxford's Computational
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