Techmeme
July 20, 2021, 2:55 PM

Top News

Mark Gurman / Bloomberg:
Sources: Apple is delaying return to office deadline by at least a month to October amid rising COVID cases, will give employees a month's notice before return  —  - The iPhone maker is now eyeing an October return for workers  — Covid-19 variants continue to spread across many countries
Washington Post:
Phone numbers belonging to ten prime ministers, three presidents, and a king were among the list of 50K potential NSO targets, leaked to Amnesty International  —  Spies for centuries have trained their sights on those who shape destinies of nations: presidents, prime ministers, kings.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
The Guardian:
Dave Gershgorn / The Verge:
DuckDuckGo launches a new Email Protection service that forwards emails from a free “@duck.com” address to users' regular inbox after scanning them for trackers  —  This is your chance to get an ‘@duck.com’ email address  —  DuckDuckGo is launching a new email privacy service meant …
Ina Fried / Axios:
US, EU, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and NATO blame China for cyberattacks, including the massive attack on Microsoft's Exchange Servers in March  —  The U.S., NATO and other allies are collectively calling out China for malicious cyberattacks, including a March attack that exploited a flaw in Microsoft's Exchange Server.
Chance Miller / 9to5Mac:
Twitter begins rolling out a preview of a revamped TweetDeck in the US, Canada, and Australia, featuring an option for wider columns, an Explore column, more  —  Twitter is beginning to test a completely redesigned version of TweetDeck, the company announced today.
Sheera Frenkel / New York Times:
Sources: a group of Facebook data scientists asked for resources to measure COVID misinfo on Facebook at the start of the pandemic, but execs denied the request  —  The company doesn't know some specifics about how falsehoods about Covid-19 and vaccines for the virus spread on its social network.
Forbes:
BlockFi CEO confirms it received an order from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to stop accepting new Interest Accounts; existing users won't be impacted  —  I write about how digital assets are going to change the world  —  According to a draft press release from the New Jersey Office …
Manish Singh / TechCrunch:
YouTube acquires India-based social commerce startup Simsim, sources say for over $70M; Simsim raised $17M to date and was last valued at $50.1M  —  YouTube has acquired social commerce startup Simsim, the Google-owned firm said on Tuesday.  Neither of the firms disclosed the terms of the deal …
Dieter Bohn / The Verge:
Verizon joins AT&T and T-Mobile in switching Android Messages default to RCS, raising questions about when or if Apple will swap its SMS default with RCS  —  That's all three big US carriers, is Apple next?  —  Beginning next year, Verizon will join AT&T and T-Mobile in preloading Android Messages …
Keith Barry / Consumer Reports:
Videos of Tesla customers using Full Self-Driving beta 9, rolled out to select users, show a system that seems dangerous for users to be testing on public roads  —  Consumer Reports' car safety experts worry that Tesla continues to use vehicle owners as beta testers for its new features, putting others on the road at risk
Danny Nelson / CoinDesk:
OpenSea, one of the largest marketplaces for NFTs, raises $100M Series B led by a16z at a $1.5B valuation; OpenSea had $160M in digital asset sales in June  —  The NFT venue has crossed into the rarefied air of crypto unicorns.  —  OpenSea, one of the largest digital art marketplaces …
Alexander Osipovich / Wall Street Journal:
Cryptocurrency exchange FTX raises $900M from SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, others, valuing it at $18B; CryptoCompare: FTX handles $10B+ in trades on an avg. day  —  Investors include SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and Daniel Loeb's Third Point hedge fund  —  Cryptocurrency exchange FTX has raised money …
Jennifer Surane / Bloomberg:
Venmo says it is ditching its global social feed, making it so users can no longer see payments between people they don't know  —  - App, owned by PayPal, is removing its global transactions feed  — For years, Venmo has faced criticism for its privacy controls
GOV.UK:
UK proposes new pro-competition rules for digital economy, including allowing its Digital Markets Unit to suspend, block, and reverse decisions by tech giants  —  Digital firms with deep-rooted market power to be subject to mandatory code to drive up competition
Globe and Mail:
Ottawa used facial recognition on ~2.95M travelers at Toronto's Pearson airport between July and Dec. 2016, experts say with no public discussion in advance  —  In an effort to identify potential deportees, the federal government quietly tested facial recognition technology on millions …
Coco Feng / South China Morning Post:
China calls out 145 apps, including those from Amazon and ByteDance, alleging that they illegally collected user info, and gives them until July 26 to stop  —  The 145 named apps have until July 26 to take corrective measures or face punishment, the Ministry of Information Technology (MIIT) …
Sara Fischer / Axios:

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