Category Archives: Privacy

Passbase is building a full-stack identity engine with privacy baked in

Digital identity startup Passbase has bagged $600,000 in pre-seed funding led by a group of business angel investors from Alphabet, Stanford, Kleiner Perkins and EY, as well as seed fund investment from Chicago-based Upheaval Investments and Seedcamp. The 2018-founded Silicon Valley-based startup — whose co-founder we chatted to briefly on camera at Disrupt Berlin — is building what it dubs an “identity engine” to simplify identity verification online. Passbase offers a set of SDKs to developers to integrate into their service facial recognition, liveness detection, ID authenticity […]

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Competition policy must change to help startups fight ‘winner takes all’ platforms, says UK report

A independent report commissioned by the UK government to examine how competition policy needs to adapt itself for the digital age has concluded that tech giants don’t face adequate competition and the law needs updating to address what it dubs the “novel” challenges of ‘winner takes all’ platforms. The panel also recommends more policy interventions to actively support startups, including a code of conduct for “the most significant digital platforms”; and measures to foster data portability, open standards and interoperability to help generate competitive momentum for rival […]

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The other smartphone business

With the smartphone operating system market sewn up by Google’s Android platform, which has a close to 90% share globally, leaving Apple’s iOS a slender (but lucrative) premium top-slice, a little company called Jolla and its Linux-based Sailfish OS is a rare sight indeed: A self-styled ‘independent alternative’ that’s still somehow in business. The Finnish startup’s b2b licensing sales pitch is intended to appeal to corporates and governments that want to be able to control their own destiny where device software is concerned. And in a world […]

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Has the fight over privacy changed at all in 2019?

Few issues divide the tech community quite like privacy. Much of Silicon Valley’s wealth has been built on data-driven advertising platforms, and yet, there remain constant concerns about the invasiveness of those platforms. Such concerns have intensified in just the last few weeks as France’s privacy regulator placed a record fine on Google under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules which the company now plans to appeal. Yet with global platform usage and service sales continuing to tick up, we asked a panel of eight privacy experts: “Has anything […]

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Keepsafe launches My Number Lookup, so you can see the public data tied to your mobile number

Ever wonder how much of your personal information is accessible to marketers? Well, there’s a new service called My Number Lookup that makes it easy (and free) for you to check the data that’s publicly available and tied to your mobile phone number. The service was created by Keepsafe, maker of privacy-centric products. While there is a My Number Lookup website, the service actually operates over SMS — you just text HELLO to (855) 228-4539 and it will start sending you a report. Keepsafe co-founder and CEO […]

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The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed, and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, December 6, 2018. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. The dilemma of continuous background checks My colleague John Biggs covered the Series A round for Israel-based Intelligo, a startup that provides […]

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Journal raises $1.5 million to bring Google-like search to your personal life

In today’s world of Slack, email and a gazillion other web apps and services, it’s become increasingly hard to search for information. Did your boss Slack you or email you that information about your bonus? Or did they share it via a Google Doc? Who knows? Clearly not you, but Journal knows. Journal, a machine learning and natural language processing-powered platform designed to search across all your web services and tools, today announced a $1.5 million seed round led by Social Capital. Since receiving the funding about […]

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Tim Berners-Lee is on a mission to decentralize the web

“I’ve always believed the web is for everyone,” wrote Tim Berners-Lee, the well-known (and knighted) creator of the World Wide Web. “The web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas,” he added. “Today, I believe we’ve reached a critical tipping point, and that powerful change for the better is possible — and necessary.” Late last month, he published the above in a blog post announcing inrupt, a startup that would finally execute on his […]

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George Church’s genetics on the blockchain startup just raised $4.3 million from Khosla

Nebula Genomics, the startup that wants to put your whole genome on the blockchain, has announced the raise of $4.3 million in Series A from Khosla Ventures and other leading tech VC’s such as Arch Venture Partners, Fenbushi Capital, Mayfield, F-Prime Capital Partners, Great Point Ventures, Windham Venture Partners, Hemi Ventures, Mirae Asset, Hikma Ventures and Heartbeat Labs. Nebula has also has forged a partnership with genome sequencing company Veritas Genetics. Veritas was one of the first companies to sequence the entire human genome for less than $1,000 in 2015, later […]

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Openbook is the latest dream of a digital life beyond Facebook

As tech’s social giants wrestle with antisocial demons that appear to be both an emergent property of their platform power, and a consequence of specific leadership and values failures (evident as they publicly fail to enforce even the standards they claim to have), there are still people dreaming of a better way. Of social networking beyond outrage-fuelled adtech giants like Facebook and Twitter. There have been many such attempts to build a ‘better’ social network of course. Most have ended in the deadpool. A few are still around with […]

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