No, Tencent isn’t about to burn Reddit down

Ahoy, it’s doom and gloom for Reddit after the company welcomed investment from Chinese censorship overlord Tencent. Well, not quite. The reality is, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. In recruiting the company behind one of the internet’s largest and vibrant social networks — chat app WeChat — and countless blockbuster games, Reddit has pulled off […]

Apple reactivates Facebook’s employee apps after punishment for Research spying

After TechCrunch caught Facebook violating Apple’s employee-only app distribution policy to pay people for all their phone data, Apple invalidated the social network’s Enterprise Certificate as punishment. That deactivated not only this Facebook Research app VPN, but also all of Facebook’s internal iOS apps for workplace collaboration, beta testing and even getting the company lunch or […]

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 Facebook Research app was collecting or giving users adequate information […]

Facebook’s VPN app puts spotlight on kids’ consent

Facebook could face fresh scrutiny in Europe following a TechCrunch report on its use of a VPN app to monitor people’s smartphone activity — including teenagers as young as 13. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) told us it’s asked Facebook to provide more information on what data is collected via the market research program, codenamed ‘Project […]

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 tells TechCrunch that yesterday evening it revoked the Enterprise Certificate […]

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 was removed in August. Facebook sidesteps the App Store and […]

LinkedIn now requires phone number verification for all users in China

LinkedIn’s China site looks and functions just like LinkedIn everywhere else, except now it asks users in the country to verify their identities through phone numbers. The American company is requiring both new and existing users with a Chinese IP address to link mobile phone numbers to their accounts, TechCrunch noticed this week. LinkedIn had […]

Seized cache of Facebook docs raise competition and consent questions

A UK parliamentary committee has published the cache of Facebook documents it dramatically seized last week. The documents were obtained by a legal discovery process by a startup that’s suing the social network in a California court in a case related to Facebook changing data access permissions back in 2014/15. The court had sealed the documents […]

China reaches 800 million internet users

China’s internet population has now grown beyond 800 million, according to the latest data from the Chinese government. A new report [in Chinese] issued by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) put the number of people in China with access to the internet at 802 million. The agency — which is a branch of the […]

Apple cracks down on gambling apps in China

Apple is cracking down on illegal content in China after it removed potentially thousands of apps related to gambling, including ‘lottery’ services. The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. phone-maker purged as many as 25,000 apps — that’s a figure that was first cited by state-owned broadcaster CCTV [link in Chinese]. Apple didn’t comment […]