Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Natasha Lomas



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Recent articles by Natasha:

No Google-Fitbit merger without human rights remedies, says Amnesty to EU –

Human rights NGO, Amnesty International, has written to the EU’s competition regulator calling for Google’s acquisition of wearable maker Fitbit to be blocked — unless meaningful safeguards can be baked in. The tech giant announced its intent to splash $2.1BN to acquire Fitbit a year ago but has yet to gain regulatory approval for the […] → Read More

UK to set up ‘pro-competition’ regulator to put limits on big tech –

The UK is moving ahead with a plan to regulate big tech, responding to competition concerns over a ‘winner takes all’ dynamic in digital markets. It will set up a new Digital Market Unit (DMU) to oversee a “pro-competition” regime for Internet platforms — including those funded by online advertising, such as Facebook and Google […] → Read More

Facebook’s latest ad tool fail puts another dent in its reputation –

Reset yer counters: Facebook has had to ‘fess up to yet another major ad reporting fail. This one looks like it could be costly for the tech giant to put right — not least because it’s another dent in its reputation for self reporting. (For past Facebook ad metric errors check out our reports from […] → Read More

GDPR enforcement must level up to catch big tech, report warns –

A new report by European consumer protection umbrella group Beuc, reflecting on the barriers to effective cross-border enforcement of the EU’s flagship data protection framework, makes awkward reading for the regional lawmakers and regulators as they seek to shape the next decades of digital oversight across the bloc. Beuc’s members filed a series of complaints […] → Read More

Europe sets out the rules of the road for its data reuse plan –

European Union lawmakers have laid out a major legislative proposal today to encourage the reuse of industrial data across the Single Market by creating a standardized framework of trusted tools and techniques to ensure what they dub “secure and privacy-compliant conditions” for sharing data. Enabling a network of trusted and neutral data intermediaries, and an […] → Read More

F3, a Stories-style Q&A app for Gen Z teens, raises $3.9M –

F3, an anonymous Q&A app targeting Gen Z teens which blends a Tinder-style swipe-to-friend gamification mechanic, Stories-esque rich media responses and eye-wateringly expensive subscriptions to unlock a ‘Plus’ version that actually lets you see who wants to friend you — has raised a $3.9M seed round, including for a planned push on the US market. […] → Read More

Europe’s data strategy aims to tip the scales away from big tech –

Google wants to organize the world’s information but European lawmakers are in a rush to organize the local digital sphere and make Europe “the most data-empowered continent in the world”, internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said today, setting out the thinking behind the bloc’s data strategy during a livestreamed discussion organized by the Brussels-based economic think tank, […] → Read More

Gift Guide: 22 STEM toy gift ideas for every little builder –

In 2020, parents and guardians are super spoilt for choice in the STEM toys gift department — which is great news in the midst of a pandemic that’s supercharging homeschooling needs. The category has matured to offer an interesting range of options for children across a wide span of ages, shedding some of its earlier […] → Read More

Uber refused permission to dismiss 11 staff at its EMEA HQ –

Uber has been refused permission to dismiss 11 people at its EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam by the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), the ride hailing company has confirmed. The affected individuals did not take up an earlier severance offer as part of wider Uber layoffs earlier this year. Uber announced major global layoffs of around […] → Read More

Brexit’s data compliance burden could cost UK firms up to £1.6BN, says think tank –

An analysis of the total cost to UK businesses if the country fails to gain an adequacy agreement from the European Commission once it leaves the bloc at the end of the year — creating barriers to inbound data flows from the EU — suggests the price in pure compliance terms could be between £1BN […] → Read More

Digital marketing firms file UK competition complaint against Google’s Privacy Sandbox –

Google’s push to phase out third party tracking cookies — aka its ‘Privacy Sandbox’ initiative — is facing a competition challenge in Europe. A coalition of digital marketing companies announced today that it’s filed a complaint with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), calling for the regulator to block implementation of the Sandbox. The […] → Read More

Xesto is a foot scanning app that simplifies shoe gifting –

You wait ages for foot scanning startups to help with the tricky fit issue that troubles online shoe shopping and then two come along at once: Launching today in time for Black Friday sprees is Xesto — which like Neatsy, which we wrote about earlier today, also makes use of the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera to […] → Read More

Neatsy wants to reduce sneaker returns with 3D foot scans –

U.S.-based startup Neatsy AI is using the iPhone’s depth-sensing FaceID selfie camera as a foot scanner to capture 3D models for predicting a comfortable sneaker fit. Its app, currently soft launched for iOS but due to launch officially next month, asks the user a few basic questions about sneaker fit preference before walking through a […] → Read More

How four European cities are embracing micromobility to drive out cars –

The coronavirus pandemic is acting as a catalyst for urban transformation across Europe as city authorities grapple with how to manage urban mobility without risking citizens’ health or inviting gridlock by letting cars flood in. Micromobility and local commerce are being seen as both short and long-term solutions for urban revival in a number of […] → Read More

UK to invest in AI and cyber as part of major defense spending hike –

The UK has announced a massive boost in defense spending — £16.5 billion ($21.8BN) over four years, the biggest such spending bump for 30 years — in what prime minister Boris Johnson has described as a “once in a generation modernization” of the UK’s armed forces and “the end of the era of retreat” on […] → Read More

Go Jauntly applies AI to seek scale via ‘greener’ walking routes –

Unless you’ve been on very extended digital detox, you’ll have noticed algorithms don’t exactly have the greatest reputation these days, saddled as they are with pervasive questions of bias and inequity. Not to mention the dubious content amplification choices of social media platforms. Nor has 2020 helped their automated cause — with, in just one […] → Read More

Apple’s IDFA gets targeted in strategic EU privacy complaints –

A unique device identifier that Apple assigns to each iPhone for third parties to track users for ad targeting — aka the IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) — is itself now the target of two new complaints filed by European privacy campaign not-for-profit, noyb. The complaints, lodged with German and Spanish data protection authorities, contend that […] → Read More

Act now before Google kills us, 135-strong coalition of startups warns EU antitrust chief –

A coalition of 135 startups and tech companies with services in verticals including travel, accommodation and jobs have written to the European Commission to urge antitrust action against Google — warning that swift enforcement is needed or some of their businesses may not survive. They also argue the Commission needs to act now or it […] → Read More

Facebook loses final appeal in defamation takedown case, must remove same and similar hate posts globally –

Austria’s Supreme Court has dismissed Facebook’s appeal in a long running speech takedown case — ruling it must remove references to defamatory comments made about a local politician worldwide for as long as the injunction lasts. The Austrian Supreme Court has now delivered its final judgment in the #Glawischnig-Piesczek case. #Facebook has to remove the […] → Read More

On-demand delivery app Glovo is spinning up a b2b logistics unit for super speedy urban delivery –

Spain’s on-demand delivery app, Glovo, is gearing up to be able to deliver a much wider range of products within a 30-minute timeframe by rolling out a b2b logistics play — drawing on a network of city centre warehouses that it plans to massively expand over the next twelve months. It’s just announced the launch […] → Read More