Techmeme
July 20, 2021, 1:55 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
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Amnesty International researchers published a toolkit to help anyone scan their iPhone and Android devices for evidence of compromise by NSO's Pegasus spyware  —  Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico …
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.
The Guardian:
Nina Lakhani / 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 …
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.
Andrew Restuccia / Wall Street Journal:
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Mural, which offers a whiteboard-like digital environment for users to collaborate, raises $50M Series C, valuing it at $2B+, says it's tripled ARR in last year  —  This morning Mural, a startup that builds digital collaboration software with a focus on visual presentation …
More: FinSMEs
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
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
Jordyn Holman / Bloomberg:
Fabric, which helps companies build their own e-commerce sites, raises $100M, source says at a valuation of $850M  —  - Funding gives the platform developer a value of $850 million  —  Fabric, a startup specializing in e-commerce platform development, raised $100 million in new funding …
More: GeekWireThanks:@dstickler_01
Sara Fischer / Axios:
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) …
Bloomberg:
White House official says Biden will name Jonathan Kanter, a long-time foe of Google, as the DOJ's antitrust chief  —  - Kanter has represented Microsoft, Yelp in anti-Google push  — Biden's appointments signal aggressive antitrust agenda  —  President Joe Biden plans …
Tweets: @willoremus
noyb.eu:
Austria's top court asks CJEU if Facebook “undermines” GDPR by confusing consent with an alleged “contract” to deliver targeted ads, after Max Schrems' request  —  BREAKING: Austrian Supreme Court asks CJEU if Facebook “undermines” the GDPR by confusing ‘consent’ with an alleged ‘contract’.
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
More: TechCrunch

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Allison Johnson / The Verge: