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Investing in the hidden generation

While it’s no secret U.S. Hispanics represent unparalleled growth opportunities for the U.S. economy, most startups don’t realize this Hispanic youth means an abundance of prime spending years.

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WhatsApp to pilot projects to deliver credit, insurance and pension to users in India

WhatsApp plans to offer credit, insurance and pension products to lower-income individuals and those in rural areas in India and help digitize local small and medium-sized businesses as the Facebook service looks to make a digital payments push in its biggest market by users. The instant messaging app maker has been working with banks — […]

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Messenger’s new privacy controls let you secure your chats via Face ID or Touch ID

Facebook’s messaging app is adding new privacy controls, the company announced this morning. Initially, this will include today’s launch of App Lock for iOS, which allows users to lock access to their private chats by way of the device’s built-in security mechanisms, including Touch ID and Face ID. A second privacy feature, which involves new […]

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Bangladesh regulator orders telcos to stop providing free access to social media

Bangladesh’s regulator has ordered telecom operators and other internet providers in the nation to stop providing free access to social media services, becoming the latest market in Asia to take a partial stand against zero-rating deals. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the local regulator, said late last week that it had moved to take this decision […]

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Tech watchdog calls on Facebook Oversight Board members to demand real power or resign

A new policy-focused nonprofit that emerged from the recent wave of big tech scrutiny is calling for members of Facebook’s Oversight Board to either step up or step down. In an open letter, Accountable Tech urges the five U.S.-based Facebook Oversight Board members to “demand the Board be given real authority” or quit their positions. […]

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Google invests $4.5 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms

Google has become the latest high-profile firm to back India’s Reliance Jio Platforms. The search giant is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday. The investment today from Google is one of the rare instances when the Android-maker has joined its […]

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Snap turns on Minis, bite-sized third-party apps in Snapchat

A set of mini apps has gone live on Snapchat platform, marking the beginning of a new chapter for the Los Angeles-headquartered firm as it aims to emulate aspects of the popular Chinese “super-app” model. Unveiled last month, Snap Minis are lightweight, simplified versions of apps that live within Snap’s Chat section. These apps — […]

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Marketing, PR and brand building, oh my! TechCrunch Early Stage goes down July 21 and 22

Your product may solve problems. It may cost less and do more. It may very well change the world. But unless you can get the word out, ensuring the right group of people know about it and are willing to use it, pay for it and evangelize it, then your hard work is in vain. […]

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Legal clouds gather over US cloud services, after CJEU ruling

In the wake of yesterday’s landmark ruling by Europe’s top court — striking down a flagship transatlantic data transfer framework called Privacy Shield, and cranking up the legal uncertainty around processing EU citizens’ data in the U.S. in the process — Europe’s lead data protection regulator has fired its own warning shot at the region’s […]

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Federal court rules WhatsApp and Facebook’s malware exploit case against NSO Group can proceed

A U.S. federal court judge ruled on Thursday that WhatsApp and parent company Facebook’s lawsuit against Israeli mobile surveillance software company NSO Group can go forward. Phyllis Hamilton, Chief Judge of the United States District Court of the Northern District of California, denied most of the arguments NSO Group made when it filed a motion […]

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Amazon Influencer Program opens to live streamers for broadcasting to Amazon Live

Amazon is giving live streamers a new way to earn commissions on purchases of products showcased in their streams. The company is today adding live streaming to its existing Amazon Influencer Program, which before today, allowed social media influencers to earn money by pointing fans to their favorite Amazon products through posts on Facebook, Twitter, […]

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On Facebook, Trump’s next false voting claim will come with an info label

As part of its effort to steel its platform against threats to the 2020 election, Facebook will try surfacing accurate voting info in a new place — on politicians’ own posts. Starting today, Facebook posts by federal elected officials and candidates — including presidential candidates — will be accompanied by an info label prompting anyone […]

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Instagram confirms its TikTok rival, Reels, will launch in the US in early August

Instagram confirmed it’s preparing to soon launch its TikTok competitor, known as Reels, in the U.S. The company expects to bring the new video feature — which is designed specifically for short-form, creative content — to its platform in early August, according to a spokesperson. The U.S. launch comes shortly after Reels’ arrival in India […]

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Instagram launches its redesigned Shop, now powered by Facebook Pay

Earlier this month, Instagram began testing new navigation in its app that gave its shopping destination a more prominent position. Today, the company is moving forward with its plans to promote Instagram as a place to shop with the launch of its new Instagram Shop, a place to shop from inside Instagram Explore, as well […]

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Europe’s top court strikes down flagship EU-US data transfer mechanism

A highly anticipated ruling by Europe’s top court has just landed — striking down a flagship EU-US data flows arrangement called Privacy Shield. “The Court of Justice invalidates Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield,” it wrote in a press release. The CJEU’s finding is that “the […]

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Lawsuits allege Microsoft, Amazon and Google violated Illinois facial recognition privacy law

In a set of new lawsuits, two Illinois residents argue that three tech giants violated state laws prohibiting the use of personal biometric data without permission. Illinois residents Steven Vance and Tim Janecyk allege that images of their faces appeared in IBM’s “Diversity in Faces” database without their consent and were used to train facial […]

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Facebook to launch officially licensed music videos in the US next month

Facebook is preparing to launch officially licensed music videos on its social network in the U.S. next month, in a direct challenge to YouTube. In materials reviewed by TechCrunch, Facebook informed Page owners linked to artists they’ll need to toggle on a new setting to add their music videos to their page ahead of an […]

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WhatsApp hit by brief outage, leaving users unable to send or receive messages

WhatsApp was briefly down Tuesday, with users unable to send or receive messages on the Facebook-owned end-to-end encrypted messaging app. Affected users may have seen that WhatsApp was “connecting” to the service when trying to send a message. The outage started at about 4 p.m. ET but appeared to be working again by 4:30 p.m. […]

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Decrypted: As tech giants rally against Hong Kong security law, Apple holds out

It’s not often Silicon Valley gets behind a single cause. Supporting net neutrality was one, reforming government surveillance another. Last week, Big Tech took up its latest: halting any cooperation with Hong Kong police. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and even China-headquartered TikTok said last week they would no longer respond to demands for user data […]

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India seeks new regulator for nonpersonal data

India should set up a data regulator to oversee how companies collect, process, store, monetize and even destroy nonpersonal data (or data that has been anonymized), a panel tasked by New Delhi has recommended in a draft report. The eight-person panel said that companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Uber have benefited from a […]

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Facebook code change caused outage for Spotify, Pinterest and Waze apps

If you’re an iPhone user, odds are fairly good you spent a frustrating portion of the morning attempting to reopen apps. I know my morning walk was dampened by the inability to fire up Spotify. Plenty of other users reported similar issues with a number of apps, including Pinterest and Waze. The issue has since […]

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Ban or no ban, Facebook wins in US threats against TikTok

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including the Chinese-owned company TikTok, comparing it to other Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE that have been deemed national security threats by the current administration. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, […]

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Daily Crunch: Facebook faces blistering civil rights audit

Auditors were not impressed by Facebook’s civil rights work, Tinder tests video chat and a new nasal spray could reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Here’s your Daily Crunch for July 8, 2020. The big story: Facebook faces blistering civil rights audit The results are out in a multi-year audit of Facebook’s approach to civil […]

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Facebook and Instagram boot close Trump ally Roger Stone for network of fake accounts

Facebook released today its latest report detailing disinformation campaigns operating on its massive social network, and this one came with a few surprises. In the new report, Facebook disclosed that it had removed a network of accounts linked to close Trump ally and former campaign advisor Roger Stone for “inauthentic” activity and coordinated fake accounts […]

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Blistering civil rights audit raises alarms about Facebook’s ongoing policy failures

The results of a multiyear investigation into Facebook’s policies and their consequences for the civil liberties of its more than 2.5 billion users are out. The audit, conducted by former ACLU director Laura W. Murphy and lawyers from law firm Relman Colfax set out by collecting concerns from a broad swath of civil rights organizations […]

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Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India amid TikTok ban

As scores of startups look to cash in on the video content void that ban on TikTok and other Chinese apps has created in India, a big challenger is ready to try its hand. Instagram said on Wednesday it is officially rolling out Reels — a feature that allows users to create short-form videos (up […]

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Too little, too late: Facebook’s Oversight Board won’t launch until ‘late fall’

Facebook has announced that the limp “Oversight Board” intended to help make difficult content and policy decisions will not launch until “late fall,” which is to say, almost certainly after the election. You know, the election everyone is worried Facebook’s inability to police itself will serious affect. On Twitter, the board explained that as much […]

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Facebook boycott leaders say meeting with Zuckerberg, Sandberg was a ‘disappointment’

What began as a relatively small effort by activist organizations to hold Facebook accountable for perceived policy failings has snowballed into a mass corporate backlash—and a rare moment of discomfort for a company that enjoys its status as one of tech’s untouchable giants. As the #StopHateforProfit campaign continues to attract surprisingly mainstream corporations to its […]

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US tech giants halt Hong Kong police help

Facebook and Twitter have confirmed they have suspended processing demands for user data from Hong Kong authorities following the introduction of a new Beijing-imposed national security law. A spokesperson for Facebook told TechCrunch it will “pause” the processing of data demands until it can better understand the new national security law, “including formal human rights […]

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Facebook makes education push in India

Facebook, which reaches more users than any other international firm in India, has identified a new area of opportunity to further spread its tentacles in the world’s second largest internet market. On Sunday, the social juggernaut announced it had partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education, a government body that oversees education in private […]