SoftBank-backed Getaround is raising $200M at a $1.5B+ valuation

Getaround, a car-sharing platform and winner of TechCrunch Disrupt New York Battlefield 2011, will enter the unicorn club with a roughly $200 million equity financing. The deal values Getaround, founded in 2009, at $1.7 billion, according to an estimate provided by PitchBook. Getaround declined to comment, citing internal policy on “funding speculation.” “Getaround and our […]

Mental health websites in Europe found sharing user data for ads

Research by a privacy rights advocacy group has found popular mental health websites in the EU are sharing users’ sensitive personal data with advertisers. Europeans going online to seek support with mental health issues are having sensitive health data tracked and passed to third parties, according to Privacy International’s findings — including depression websites passing […]

Facebook succeeds in blocking German FCO’s privacy-minded order against combining user data

Facebook has succeeded in blocking a pioneering order by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office earlier this year that would have banned it from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — without their consent. Pioneering because the antitrust regulator had liaised with EU privacy authorities during a […]

Minecraft to get big lighting, shadow and color upgrades through Nvidia ray tracing

Minecraft is getting a free update that brings much-improved lighting and color to the game’s blocky graphics using real-time ray tracing running on Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics hardware. The new look is a dramatic change in the atmospherics of the game, and manages to be eerily realistic while retaining Minecraft’s pixelated charm. The ray tracing […]

Launching out of YC, Blair is aiming to reshape the financing of college tuition

It’s generally agreed that Higher Education in the United States has gradually become more and more unaffordable. Students are dependent on external financial resources for which many of them do not even qualify. Students that are able to secure a loan, often have to take on debts they can’t really afford. And if they don’t […]

Deliveroo is exiting the German market

UK on-demand food delivery startup Deliveroo is pulling the plug on its service in Germany. The startup expanded into the market more than four years ago. But in an email sent to users it writes that — “regrettably” — it will be exiting Germany on August 16. “This was not an easy decision and one […]

Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds

New research into how European consumers interact with the cookie consent mechanisms which have proliferated since a major update to the bloc’s online privacy rules last year casts an unflattering light on widespread manipulation of a system that’s supposed to protect consumer rights. As Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May […]

Amazon’s lead EU data regulator is asking questions about Alexa privacy

Amazon’s lead data regulator in Europe, Luxembourg’s National Commission for Data Protection, has raised privacy concerns about its use of manual human reviews of Alexa AI voice assistant recordings. A spokesman for the regulator confirmed in an email to TechCrunch it is discussing the matter with Amazon, adding: “At this stage, we cannot comment further […]

Google ordered to halt human review of voice AI recordings over privacy risks

A German privacy watchdog has ordered Google to cease manual reviews of audio snippets generated by its voice AI.  This follows a leak last month of scores of audio snippets from the Google Assistant service. A contractor working as a Dutch language reviewer handed more than 1,000 recordings to the Belgian news site VRT which […]

Save with group discounts and bring your team to TechCrunch’s first-ever Enterprise event Sept. 5 in SF

Get ready to dive into the fiercely competitive waters of enterprise software. Join more than 1,000 attendees for TC Sessions Enterprise 2019 on September 5 to navigate this rapidly evolving category with the industry’s brightest minds, biggest names and exciting startups. Our $249 early-bird ticket price remains in play, which saves you $100. But one […]