Federal Trade Commission

Banning digital political ads gives extremists a distinct advantage

Jessica Alter Contributor Share on Twitter Jessica Alter is co-founder and chairman of Tech for Campaigns, an organization building the lasting tech and digital arm for Democrats and has helped over 200 campaigns on this front since 2017. Jack Dorsey’s announcement that Twitter will no longer run political ads because “political messages reach should be earned, not bought” has been welcomed as a thoughtful and statesmanlike contrast to Mark Zuckerberg’s and Facebook’s greedy acceptance of “political ads that lie.” While the 240-character policy sounds compelling, it’s both flawed in principle and, I fear, counterproductive in practice.  First: like it or hate it, the U.S. political system is drowning in money. In 2018, a non-presidential year, it is estimated that over $9B was spent on the...

California accuses Facebook of ignoring subpoenas in state’s Cambridge Analytica investigation

California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra has accused Facebook of “continuing to drag its feet” by failing to provide documents to the state’s investigation into Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. The attorney general said in a court filing Wednesday that Facebook had provided a “patently deficient” response to two sets of subpoenas for the previously undisclosed investigation started more than a year ago. “Facebook has provided no answers for nineteen interrogatories and produced no documents in response to six document requests,” the filing said. Among the documents sought are communications by executives, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, and documentation relating to the company’...

EU-US Privacy Shield passes third Commission ‘health check’ — but litigation looms

The third annual review of the EU-US Privacy Shield data transfer mechanism has once again been nodded through by Europe’s executive. This despite the EU parliament calling last year for the mechanism to be suspended. The European Commission also issued US counterparts with a compliance deadline last December — saying the US must appoint a permanent ombudsperson to handle EU citizens’ complaints, as required by the arrangement, and do so by February. This summer the US senate finally confirmed Keith Krach — under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment — in the ombudsperson role. The Privacy Shield arrangement was struck between EU and US negotiators back in 2016 — as a rushed replacement for the prior Safe Harbor data transfe...

Week in Review: Regulation boogaloo

Hello, weekenders. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how services like Instagram had moved beyond letting their algorithms take over the curation process as they tested minimizing key user metrics such as “like” counts on the platform. John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images The big story The big news stories this week intimately involved the government poking its head into the tech industry. What was clear between the two biggest stories, the DoJ approving the Sprint/T -Mobile merger and the FTC giving Facebook a $5 billion slap on the wrist, is th...

Week in Review: Regulation boogaloo

Hello, weekenders. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about how services like Instagram had moved beyond letting their algorithms take over the curation process as they tested minimizing key user metrics such as “like” counts on the platform. John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images The big story The big news stories this week intimately involved the government poking its head into the tech industry. What was clear between the two biggest stories, the DoJ approving the Sprint/T -Mobile merger and the FTC giving Facebook a $5 billion slap on the wrist, is th...