Facebook presses data on harmful children
The latest news and commentary on the most pressing issues in the tech industry. Delivered every day of the week.
This article is an on-site version of our #techFT newsletter. Register now here to receive the complete newsletter directly to your inbox every day of the week
Facebook has come under pressure from U.S. senators to publish all of its internal research on how its products affect users, after a spate of revelations about the damage some of its platforms are doing to vulnerable groups, including children.
U.S. Commerce Commission senators lobbied Antigone Davis, the head of global security for the social media company, over the research Thursday, in a hearing examining the protection of children and adolescents online, report Kiran Stacey and Hannah Murphy.
In recent days, the Wall Street Journal published whistleblower documents showing that Facebook has data on how its products may impact the mental health of young users, for example by deepening teenage girls’ concern for body image.
Facebook posted two of those articles on Wednesday, but senators have asked it to go further and publish any studies it has on the potential damage its platforms can cause and the data behind them.
Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic chairman of the Senate consumer protection subcommittee, accused the company of hiding “powerful, gripping and fascinating evidence” about the damage its platform is doing to children. He told Davis: “I ask that you commit to fully disclosing all of the thousands of pages of documents available to the whistleblower and more that may be made available. ”
Facebook shares have fallen nearly 10% this month as it grapples with its biggest public relations crisis since the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the fallout from Apple’s recent changes in its policies. advertising targeting. Madhumita Murgia comments that Facebook also gives its users little control over how ads target them.
The Internet of (five) things
1. The United States on the lookout for national security and cryptography
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the United States and Europe to improve information sharing on companies that pose a risk to national security. His comments to the FT go further than the terms agreed this week by the White House and the European Commission at an inaugural trade and technology summit in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler told an FT conference that cryptocurrency platforms that promise returns to investors are wrong to think they can avoid Securities regulation and Exchange Commission.
2. Activist Elliott takes Toshiba’s stake
Hedge fund Elliott Management has made a “significant” stake in Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, adding to what those close to the company have described as a “wolf pack” of activist shareholders. Elliott has been eyeing the Japanese market avidly since taking a large stake in technology investment group SoftBank last year.
#techFT brings you news, commentary and analysis on the big companies, technologies and issues shaping this fastest moving industry from specialists around the world. Click here to receive #techFT in your inbox.
3. Eutelsat rejects Drahi offer, Oxford Nanopore soars
Paris-based satellite operator Eutelsat has rejected as too weak an unsolicited takeover offer from French telecommunications billionaire Patrick Drahi. The offer pushed its shares up 15 percent on Thursday to put the value of the company near the offer at 2.4 billion euros. Drahi, which owns telecommunications and cable assets in France, recently took a 12.1 percent stake in Britain’s BT. During this time, Oxford Nanopore shares jumped more than 40% after its London IPO, surpassing an 18-month period of transformation for the UK genomics firm that has helped researchers track the pandemic.
4. The battle for financing British women entrepreneurs
Data shows that businesses run by women have a harder time raising initial funds than businesses run by men and face other hurdles in convincing investors to support their growth. It’s still possible. Here are 30 founders who built fast-growing businesses despite insurmountable obstacles. Helen Thomas also reflects on how the venture capital industry remains remarkably undiversified. Only 12 percent of decision-makers in US funds are women.
5. Deliveroo hops to fast grocery stores
Restaurant delivery service Deliveroo is embarking on ‘fast’ grocery deliveries, opening its own ‘dark store’ in partnership with UK supermarket chain Wm Morrison. Deliveroo Hop will deliver orders to residents of South London within 10 to 15 minutes. In case you missed it, Tim Bradshaw took a look at the new generation of European grocery delivery startups including Flink, Getir, Gorillas and Zapp, and there’s more to Sifted and Tech Tools below.
Forwarded from Sifted – European start-up week
Earlier this month, Aston Villa beat Everton 3-0 in the English Premier League. At first glance, it wasn’t a particularly remarkable game – unless you are a staunch supporter of either club. But what was striking was that the two kits were featuring Cazoo logos, the rapidly growing used car market that in just three years has grown from an idea to a $ 7 billion company. The match has been dubbed the “Cazoo Derby”. This is part of a trend of fast growing European tech start-ups – which have been supported by record amounts of funding and are under tremendous pressure to achieve hyper-growth – start sponsoring big events that affect millions of people. Many start-ups are replacing old non-tech companies, marking a transition of power from the old economy to the new one.
Tech Tools – Attack on Snack Apps
Ajesh Patalay in How To Spend It confesses his addiction to fast grocery delivery services: “I’m getting insatiable. After Getir, I am drawn to Gorillas, which has a slightly more prestigious offer. This includes jars of Vegan Bol’s noodles (surprisingly good with a hint of hot sauce) and a ‘local London’ collection that includes London Fields beer, Howdah Indian snacks, and Hackney Gelato. The service comes into its own, however, one morning when I imagine an English breakfast of Bury black pudding, Clarence Court eggs, HG Walter sausage and unsmoked back bacon while I was still in bed and take delivery of the ingredients in my dressing gown 10 minutes later. Now if only they could cook it for me too. Read more