Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Natasha Lomas



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Recent articles by Natasha:

Reddit links UK-US trade talk leak to Russian influence campaign –

Reddit has linked account activity involving the leak and amplification of sensitive UK-US trade talks on its platform during the ongoing UK election campaign to a suspected Russian political influence operation. Or, to put it more plainly, the social network suspects that Russian operatives are behind the leak of sensitive trade data — likely with […] → Read More

No Libra style digital currencies without rules, say EU finance ministers –

European Union finance ministers have agreed a defacto ban on the launch in the region of so-called global ‘stablecoins’ such as Facebook’s planned Libra digital currency until the bloc has a common approach to regulation that can mitigate the risks posed by the technology. In a joint statement the European Council and Commission write that […] → Read More

Facebook launches a photo portability tool, starting in Ireland –

It’s not friend portability, but Facebook has announced the launch today of a photo transfer tool to enable users of its social network to port their photos directly to Google’s photo storage service, via encrypted transfer. The photo portability feature is initially being offered to Facebook users in Ireland, where the company’s international HQ is […] → Read More

European parliament’s NationBuilder contract under investigation by data regulator –

Europe’s lead data regulator has issued its first ever sanction of an EU institution — taking enforcement action against the European parliament over its use of US-based digital campaign company, NationBuilder, to process citizens’ voter data ahead of the spring elections. NationBuilder is a veteran of the digital campaign space — indeed, we first covered […] → Read More

Brexit ad blitz data firm paid by Vote Leave broke privacy laws, watchdogs find –

A joint investigation by watchdogs in Canada and British Columbia has found that Cambridge Analytica-linked data firm, Aggregate IQ, broke privacy laws in Facebook ad-targeting work it undertook for the official Vote Leave Brexit campaign in the UK’s 2016 EU referendum. A quick reminder: Vote Leave was the official leave campaign in the referendum on the […] → Read More

Gift Guide: STEM toys for your builders-in-training –

We've refreshed our annual STEM toy gift guide with the latest wares clamoring to entice and inspire kids with coding tricks and electronic wizardry. Yes folks! Another year, another clutch of shiny gizmos making grand claims of computing smarts in child-friendly packaging. → Read More

Uber has again been denied licence renewal in London over safety risks –

Two months after being given a two-month reprieve on its licence to operate in London, Uber has once again been denied a full renewal by the city’s transport regulator — which said today that it had found a “pattern of failures” which put “passenger safety and security at risk”. Uber has confirmed it will appeal […] → Read More

Watch Sacha Baron Cohen skewer Zuckerberg’s “twisted logic” on hate speech and fakes –

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has waded into the debate about social media regulation. In an award-acceptance speech to the Anti Defamation League yesterday the creator of Ali G and Borat delivered a precision takedown of what he called Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “bullshit” arguments against regulating his platform. The speech is well worth watching in […] → Read More

Amnesty International latest to slam surveillance giants Facebook and Google as “incompatible” with human rights –

Human rights charity Amnesty International is the latest to call for reform of surveillance capitalism — blasting the business models of “surveillance giants” Facebook and Google in a new report which warns the pair’s market dominating platforms are “enabling human rights harm at a population scale”. “despite the real value of the services they provide, […] → Read More

VEnvirotech transforms organic waste into bioplastics –

After a year of testing out environmental technologies for a private company, co-founder Patricia Ayma developed a process for bioplastic production using bacteria. The system turns organic matter, such as food waste, into a product that can be used as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastics. “I realized that it was a simple technology for […] → Read More

Invasive scheme spotted that foxes tracker blockers –

Online privacy is facing a new challenge: A first-party tracker that appears to be unblockable with standard privacy tools such as adblockers. The tracker in question was spotted being deployed by French national newspaper, Liberation, which in October promised subscribers an entirely tracker-free experience. That promise garnered it a bunch of attention from privacy experts […] → Read More

Sweden drops rape investigation into Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange –

Sweden has dropped an investigation into Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, on allegations of suspected rape. In a statement today the country’s prosecution authority said the evidence has “weakened considerably” in the almost a decade that’s elapsed since the events in question. “I would like to emphasise that the injured party has submitted a credible and […] → Read More

A 10-point plan to reboot the data industrial complex for the common good –

A posthumous manifesto by Giovanni Buttarelli, who until his death this summer was Europe’s chief data protection regulator, seeks to join the dots of surveillance capitalism’s rapacious colonization of human spaces, via increasingly pervasive and intrusive mapping and modelling of our data, with the existential threat posed to life on earth by manmade climate change. […] → Read More

Microsoft announces changes to cloud contract terms following EU privacy probe –

Chalk up another win for European data protection: Microsoft has announced changes to commercial cloud contracts following privacy concerns raised by European Union data protection authorities. The changes to contactual terms will apply globally and to all its commercial customers — whether public or private sector entity, or large or small business, it said today. […] → Read More

Fertility startup Mojo wants to take the trial and error out of IVF –

Fertility tech startup Mojo is coming out of stealth to announce a €1.7 million (~$1.8M) seed round of funding led by Nordic seed fund Inventure. Also participating are Doberman and Privilege Ventures (an investor in Ava), plus a number of angel investors including Josefin Landgard (founder and ex-CEO of Kry) and Hampus Jakobsson (partner at […] → Read More

More layoffs at pivoting London edtech startup pi-top –

London edtech startup pi-top has gone through another round of layoffs, TechCrunch has learned. pi-top confirmed that eight jobs have been cut in the London office, saying the job losses resulted from a “restructuring our business to focus on the U.S. education market”. In August we broke the news that the STEM hardware focused company […] → Read More

This ride-hailing PR pitch shows platforms and digital campaign ‘dark arts’ want democracy to be pay to play –

A UK PR firm pitching to run an account for Ola has proposed running a campaign to politicize ride-hailing as a tactic to shift regulations in its favor. The approach suggests that, despite the appearance of ride-hailing platforms taking a more conciliatory position with regulators that are now wise to earlier startup tactics in this […] → Read More

Messaging app Wire confirms $8.2M raise, responds to privacy concerns after moving holding company to the US –

Big changes are afoot for Wire, an enterprise-focused end-to-end encrypted messaging app and service that advertises itself as “the most secure collaboration platform”. In February, Wire quietly raised $8.2 million from Morpheus Ventures and others, we’ve confirmed — the first funding amount it has ever disclosed — and alongside that external financing, it moved its […] → Read More

Dutch court orders Facebook to ban celebrity crypto scam ads after another lawsuit –

A Dutch court has ruled that Facebook can be required to use filter technologies to identify and pre-emptively take down fake ads linked to crypto currency scams that carry the image of a media personality, John de Mol. The Dutch celerity filed a lawsuit against Facebook in April over the misappropriation of his likeness to […] → Read More

Deliveroo launches food orders for pick up –

Don’t Deliveroo . The UK-based on-demand food delivery service has expanded into not actually delivering orders by offering users a pick-up option, called ‘Pickup’, as an alternative to paying a delivery fee and waiting in for lunch to arrive. The new ‘click & collection’ service is live for 700+ eateries in 13 UK cities at […] → Read More