13 ways to screw over your internet provider

Internet providers are real bastards: they have captive audiences whom they squeeze for every last penny while they fight against regulation like net neutrality and donate immense amounts of money to keep on lawmakers’ good sides. So why not turn the tables? Here are 13 ways to make sure your ISP has a hard time […]

Facebook collected device data on 187,000 users using banned snooping app

Facebook obtained personal and sensitive device data on about 187,000 users of its now-defunct Research app, which Apple banned earlier this year after the app violated its rules. The social media giant said in a letter to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office — which TechCrunch obtained — that it collected data on 31,000 users in the […]

Meet the tech boss, same as the old boss

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It seems darkly funny, now, that anyone ever dared to dream that tech would be different. But we did, once. We would build new companies in new ways, was the thinking, not like the amoral industrial behemoths of old. The corporate villains of 90s cyberpunk were fresh in […]

Facebook will shut down its spyware VPN app Onavo

Facebook will end its unpaid market research programs and proactively take its Onavo VPN app off the Google Play store in the wake of backlash following TechCrunch’s investigation about Onavo code being used in a Facebook Research app the sucked up data about teens. The Onavo Protect app will eventually shut down, and will immediately […]

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 […]