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Facebook will give academic researchers access to 2020 election ad targeting data - techcrunch

Facebook will give academic researchers access to 2020 election ad targeting data

Starting next month, Facebook will open up academic access to a dataset of 1.3 million political and social issue ads, including those that ran between August 3 and November 3, 2020 — Election Day in the U.S. Facebook’s Ad Library, launched in 2019, offers a searchable database of all ads running on Facebook and Instagram. […]
techcrunch - 49 minutes ago
Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut - techcrunch

Qualtrics raises IPO pricing ahead of debut

This morning, Qualtrics, a software company that tracks customer and employee sentiment, filed a new S-1 document. The new filing raises Qualtrics’ expected IPO price range, providing the Utah-based unicorn with a higher potential valuation in its impending debut. Qualtrics previously sold to SAP for $8 billion while on the path to going public; after […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom - techcrunch

Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC for Sunlight Financial is another sign of a renewables boom

Former Facebook employee and current enfant terrible of high finance Chamath Palihapitiya is making news again with a $1.3 billion twofer SPAC and PIPE deal into the solar energy financing company, Sunlight Financial. Sunlight Financial is essentially a lending company that gives solar installers a way to provide loans to homeowners to finance solar power […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Twitter’s Birdwatch fights misinformation with community notes - techcrunch

Twitter’s Birdwatch fights misinformation with community notes

Twitter is launching what it calls “a community-based approach to misinformation.” The Birdwatch project first came to light last fall thanks to product sleuth Jane Manchun Wong. Now Twitter has launched a pilot version via the Birdwatch website. The goal, as explained in a blog post by Twitter’s Vice President of Product Keith Coleman, is […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3 - techcrunch

Hear leading voices discuss workplace organizing in tech at TC Sessions: Justice on March 3

In a year defined by economic and civil unrest, it should come as little surprise that workplace organizing has been on the upswing. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular (coupled with the ever-present effects of late capitalism) has brought longstanding questions of employment stability and safety to the forefront of many. Of course, much of this […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Calling Swedish VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC - techcrunch

Calling Swedish VCs: Be featured in The Great TechCrunch Survey of European VC

TechCrunch is embarking on a major project to survey the venture capital investors of Europe, and their cities. Our <a href=”https://forms.gle/k4Ji2Ch7zdrn7o2p6”>survey of VCs in Stockholm, and Sweden generally, will capture how the country is faring, and what changes are being wrought amongst investors by the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline is the end of this week. […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Unpacking Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC deals for Latch and Sunlight Financial - techcrunch

Unpacking Chamath Palihapitiya’s SPAC deals for Latch and Sunlight Financial

Latch is an enterprise SaaS company that makes keyless entry systems for buildings; Sunlight Financial offers point of sale financing for residential solar systems.
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Goalsetter raises $3.9 million to teach financial literacy to kids - techcrunch

Goalsetter raises $3.9 million to teach financial literacy to kids

Goalsetter, a platform that helps parents teach their kids financial literacy, announced the raise of a $3.9 million seed round this morning, led by Astia. PNC Bank, Mastercard, US. Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s First Step and Rising America Fund and Pipeline Angels also participated in the round. The round also saw […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
As it hits $100 million run rate, The Pill Club adds former Uber exec Liz Meyerdirk as CEO - techcrunch

As it hits $100 million run rate, The Pill Club adds former Uber exec Liz Meyerdirk as CEO

Liz Meyerdirk made a name for herself at Uber as the Senior Director & Global Head of Business Development for the company’s Uber Eats business and she’s now turning her attention to women’s health as the new chief executive of The Pill Club. The move comes at a perilous time for the remote delivery of […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities - techcrunch

Virgin Orbit will launch first Dutch defense satellite in mission that will demo rapid response capabilities

Virgin Orbit isn’t slowing down after joining the exclusive club of small launch companies that have made it to orbit – the company just announced that it’s flying a payload on behalf of customer the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF). This is the first ever satellite being put up by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Equity Monday: Clubhouse, Taboola, and why the SPAC wave will get worse - techcrunch

Equity Monday: Clubhouse, Taboola, and why the SPAC wave will get worse

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. This is Equity Monday,  our weekly kickoff that tracks the latest private market news, talks about the coming week, digs into some recent funding rounds and mulls over a larger theme or narrative from the private markets. You […]
techcrunch - 5 hours ago
Moderna says it’s making variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines, but its existing vaccine should still work - techcrunch

Moderna says it’s making variant-specific COVID-19 vaccines, but its existing vaccine should still work

Moderna has detailed some of the steps it’s taking to ensure that its vaccine remains effective in the face of emerging strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that leads to COVID-19. These include testing how adding a second booster, for a total of three shots, works with its existing COVID-19 vaccine, and also developing a strain-specific […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Apple hit with another European class action over throttled iPhones - techcrunch

Apple hit with another European class action over throttled iPhones

A third class action lawsuit has been filed in Europe against Apple seeking compensation — for what Italy’s Altroconsumo consumer protection agency dubs “planned obsolescence” of a number of iPhone 6 models. The action relates to performance throttling Apple applied several years ago to affected iPhones when the health of the device’s battery had deteriorated […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Proving voicemail doesn’t have to be wack, the Slack-backed startup Yac raises $7.5 million - techcrunch

Proving voicemail doesn’t have to be wack, the Slack-backed startup Yac raises $7.5 million

Yac, the Orlando, Fla.-based startup that’s digitizing voice messages for remote offices, has raised $7.5 million in a new round of funding. The company’s service has garnered enough attention to pick up a pretty sizable new round from investors led by GGV Capital and a return investment from the Slack Fund. Apparently, reinventing voicemail is a […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Wolt closes $530M round to continue expanding beyond restaurant delivery - techcrunch

Wolt closes $530M round to continue expanding beyond restaurant delivery

Wolt, the Helsinki-based online ordering and delivery company that initially focused on restaurants but has since expanded to other verticals, has raised $530 million in new funding. The round was led by Iconiq Growth, with participation from Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue. Previous backers 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Taboola is going public via SPAC - techcrunch

Taboola is going public via SPAC

Taboola is the latest company seeking to go public via special purpose acquisition corporation — more commonly known as a SPAC. To achieve this, it will merge with ION Acquisition Corp, which went public in 2020 with the aim of funding an Israeli tech acquisition (Haaretz reported last month that Taboola was in talks with […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Google pledges grants and facilities for COVID-19 vaccine programs - techcrunch

Google pledges grants and facilities for COVID-19 vaccine programs

Google said today it is taking several steps to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the United States, including grants and opening its facilities to vaccination programs. The tech giant is among several other large corporations, including Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and Microsoft, that have pledged support to local government agencies and medical providers to help […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others - techcrunch

Virtual social network IMVU raises $35M from China’s NetEase and others

The line between social networking and gaming is increasingly blurring, and internet incumbents are taking notice. NetEase, the second-largest gaming company in China behind Tencent, is among a group of investors who just backed IMVU, an avatar-focused social network operating out of California. Menlo Park-based Structural Capital among other institutions also joined in the strategic […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Sano Genetics, a startup helping with Long Covid research, raises £2.5M in seed funding - techcrunch

Sano Genetics, a startup helping with Long Covid research, raises £2.5M in seed funding

Sano Genetics, a startup with a broad mission to support personalised medicine research by increasing participation in clinical trials, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Episode1 Ventures, alongside Seedcamp, Cambridge Enterprise, January Ventures, and several Europe and U S.-based angel investors. It adds to £500,000 in pre-seed funding in […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
Alma raises $59.4 million for its Klarna-like payment option - techcrunch

Alma raises $59.4 million for its Klarna-like payment option

French startup Alma is raising a $59.4 million Series B funding round (€49 million). The company has been building a new payment option for expensive good. You can choose to pay over three or four installments. This product sounds familiar if you’ve used Klarna in the past. But Klarna isn’t available in France. Cathay Innovation, […]
techcrunch - 12 hours ago
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techcrunch
Massachusetts lawmakers vote to pass a statewide police ban on facial recognition

Massachusetts lawmakers vote to pass a statewide police ban on facial recognition

techcrunch - 1 month ago

Massachusetts lawmakers have voted to pass a new police reform bill that will ban police departments and public agencies from using facial recognition technology across the state.

The bill was passed by both the state’s House and Senate on Tuesday, a day after senior lawmakers announced an agreement that ended months of deadlock.

The police reform bill also bans the use of chokeholds and rubber bullets, and limits the use of chemical agents like tear gas, and also allows police officers to intervene to prevent the use of excessive and unreasonable force. But the bill does not remove qualified immunity for police, a controversial measure that shields serving police from legal action for misconduct, following objections from police groups.

Lawmakers brought the bill to the state legislature in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, since charged with his murder.

Critics have for years complained that facial recognition technology is flawed, biased, and disproportionately misidentifies people and communities of color. But the bill grants police an exception to run facial recognition searches against the state’s driver’s license database with a warrant. In granting that exception, the state will have to publish annual transparency figures on the number of searches made by officers.

The Massachusetts Senate voted 28-12 to pass, and the House voted 92-67. The bill will now be sent to Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker for his signature.

In the absence of privacy legislation from the federal government, laws curtailing the use of facial recognition are popping up on a state and city level. The patchwork nature of that legislation means that state and city laws have room to experiment, creating an array of blueprints for future laws that can be replicated elsewhere.

Portland, Oregon passed a broad ban on facial recognition tech this September. The ban, one of the most aggressive in the nation, blocks city bureaus from using the technology but will also prohibit private companies from deploying facial recognition systems in public spaces. Months of clashes between protesters and aggressive law enforcement in that city raised the stakes on Portland’s ban.

Earlier bans in Oakland, San Francisco, and Boston focused on forbidding their city governments from using the technology but, like Massachusetts, stopped short of limiting its use by private companies. San Francisco’s ban passed in May of last year, making the international tech hub the first major city to ban the use of facial recognition by city agencies and police departments.

At the same time that cities across the U.S. are acting to limit the creep of biometric surveillance, those same systems are spreading at the federal level. In August, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) signed a contract for access to a facial recognition database created by Clearview AI, a deeply controversial company that scrapes facial images from online sources, including social media sites.

While most activism against facial recognition only pertains to local issues, at least one state law has proven powerful enough to make waves on a national scale. In Illinois, the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) has ensnared major tech companies including Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet for training facial recognition systems on Illinois residents without permission.

sauce: techcrunch
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