Category: Policy

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February 20, 2019

Highlights & transcript from Zuckerberg’s 20K-word ethics talk

Mark Zuckerberg says it might be right for Facebook to let people pay to not see ads, but that it would feel wrong to charge users for extra privacy controls. That’s just one of the fascinating philosophical views the CEO shared during the first of...


by Josh Constine in Advertising Tech
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February 12, 2019

Apple fails to block porn & gambling “Enterprise” apps

Facebook and Google were far from the only developers openly abusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate program meant for companies offering employee-only apps. A TechCrunch investigation uncovered a dozen hardcore pornography apps and a dozen real-money gambling apps that escaped Apple’s oversight. The developers passed Apple’s weak...


by Josh Constine in Apple
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February 6, 2019

Facebook will reveal who uploaded your contact info for ad targeting

Facebook’s crack down on non-consensual ad targeting last year will finally produce results. In March, TechCrunch discovered Facebook planned to require advertisers pledge that they had permission to upload someone’s phone number or email address for ad targeting. That tool debuted in June, though there...


by Josh Constine in Advertising Tech
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February 5, 2019

Facebook now lets everyone unsend messages for 10 minutes

Facebook has finally made good on its promise to let users unsend chats after TechCrunch discovered Mark Zuckerberg had secretly retracted some of his Facebook Messages from recipients. Today Facebook Messenger globally rolls out “Remove for everyone” to help you pull back typos, poor choices,...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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January 30, 2019

Senator Warner calls on Zuckerberg to support market research consent rules

In response to TechCrunch’s investigation of Facebook paying teens and adults to install a VPN that lets it analyze all their phone’s traffic, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg. It admonishes Facebook for not spelling out exactly which data the...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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January 30, 2019

Apple bans Facebook’s Research app that paid users for data

In the wake of TechCrunch’s investigation yesterday, Apple blocked Facebook’s Research VPN app before the social network could voluntarily shut it down. The Research app asked users for root network access to all data passing through their phone in exchange for $20 per month. Apple...


by Josh Constine in Apple
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January 29, 2019

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them

Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity, similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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January 29, 2019

Huawei ‘disappointed,’ denies charges

The long-simmering battle between the U.S. government and Huawei heated up last night when the U.S. DOJ announced that it is pursuing criminal charges against the Chinese hardware maker. Huawei has, unsurprisingly, denied all wrongdoing, issuing a statement to the press that wonders aloud why...


by Brian Heater in huawei
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January 15, 2019

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 followers or that automatically follow/unfollow other people to get them to follow the client back. This is...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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December 27, 2018

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 name of one these apps and evidence that it and others offered...


by Josh Constine in admob