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Europe’s top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins

Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region. The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site […]
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Europe’s top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins – TechCrunch

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Europe’s top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins

Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region.

The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site visitors prior to data being transferred to Facebook, or be able to demonstrate a legitimate interest legal basis for processing this data.

The ruling is significant because, as currently seems to be the case, Facebook’s Like buttons transfer personal data automatically, when a webpage loads — without the user even needing to interact with the plug-in — which means if websites are relying on visitors’ ‘consenting’ to their data being shared with Facebook they will likely need to change how the plug-in functions to ensure no data is sent to Facebook prior to visitors being asked if they want their browsing to be tracked by the adtech giant.

The background to the case is a complaint against online clothes retailer, Fashion ID, by a German consumer protection association, Verbraucherzentrale NRW — which took legal action in 2015 seeking an injunction against Fashion ID’s use of the plug-in which it claimed breached European data protection law.

Like ’em or loath ’em, Facebook’s ‘Like’ buttons are an impossible-to-miss component of the mainstream web. Though most Internet users are likely unaware that the social plug-ins are used by Facebook to track what other websites they’re visiting for ad targeting purposes.

Last year the company told the UK parliament that between April 9 and April 16 the button had appeared on 8.4M websites, while its Share button social plug-in appeared on 931K sites. (Facebook also admitted to 2.2M instances of another tracking tool it uses to harvest non-Facebook browsing activity — called a Facebook Pixel — being invisibly embedded on third party websites.)

The Fashion ID case predates the introduction of the EU’s updated privacy framework, GDPR, which further toughens the rules around obtaining consent — meaning it must be purpose specific, informed and freely given.

Today’s CJEU decision also follows another ruling a year ago, in a case related to Facebook fan pages, when the court took a broad view of privacy responsibilities around platforms — saying both fan page administrators and host platforms could be data controllers. Though it also said joint controllership does not necessarily imply equal responsibility for each party.

In the latest decision the CJEU has sought to draw some limits on the scope of joint responsibility, finding that a website where the Facebook Like button is embedded cannot be considered a data controller for any subsequent processing, i.e. after the data has been transmitted to Facebook Ireland (the data controller for Facebook’s European users).

The joint responsibility specifically covers the collection and transmission of Facebook Like data to Facebook Ireland.

“It seems, at the outset, impossible that Fashion ID determines the purposes and means of those operations,” the court writes in a press release announcing the decision.

“By contrast, Fashion ID can be considered to be a controller jointly with Facebook Ireland in respect of the operations involving the collection and disclosure by transmission to Facebook Ireland of the data at issue, since it can be concluded (subject to the investigations that it is for the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf [German regional court] to carry out) that Fashion ID and Facebook Ireland determine jointly the means and purposes of those operations.”

Responding the judgement in a statement attributed to its associate general counsel, Jack Gilbert, Facebook told us:

Website plugins are common and important features of the modern Internet. We welcome the clarity that today’s decision brings to both websites and providers of plugins and similar tools. We are carefully reviewing the court’s decision and will work closely with our partners to ensure they can continue to benefit from our social plugins and other business tools in full compliance with the law.

The company said it may make changes to the Like button to ensure websites that use it are able to comply with Europe’s GDPR.

Though it’s not clear what specific changes these could be, such as — for example — whether Facebook will change the code of its social plug-ins to ensure no data is transferred at the point a page loads. (We’ve asked Facebook and will update this report with any response.)

Facebook also points out that other tech giants, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, deploy similar social plug-ins — suggesting the CJEU ruling will apply to other social platforms, as well as to thousands of websites across the EU where these sorts of plug-ins crop up.

“Sites with the button should make sure that they are sufficiently transparent to site visitors, and must make sure that they have a lawful basis for the transfer of the user’s personal data (e.g. if just the user’s IP address and other data stored on the user’s device by Facebook cookies) to Facebook,” Neil Brown, a telecoms, tech and internet lawyer at U.K. law firm Decoded Legal, told TechCrunch.

“If their lawful basis is consent, then they’ll need to get consent before deploying the button for it to be valid — otherwise, they’ll have done the transfer before the visitor has consented

“If relying on legitimate interests — which might scrape by — then they’ll need to have done a legitimate interests assessment, and kept it on file (against the (admittedly unlikely) day that a regulator asks to see it), and they’ll need to have a mechanism by which a site visitor can object to the transfer.”

“Basically, if organisations are taking on board the recent guidance from the ICO and CNIL on cookie compliance, wrapping in Facebook ‘Like’ and other similar things in with that work would be sensible,” Brown added.

Luca Tosoni, a research fellow at the University of Oslo’s Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law who has been following the case, said the court has not clarified what interests may be considered ‘legitimate’ in this context — only that both the website operator and the plug-in provider must pursue a legitimate interest.

“After today’s judgment, all website operators that insert third-party plug-ins (such as Facebook ‘Like’ buttons) in their websites should carefully reassess their compliance with EU data protection law,” he agreed. “In particular, they should verify whether their privacy policies cover data processing operations involving the collection and transmission of visitors’ personal data by means of third-party plug-ins. Many of today’s policies are unlikely to cover such operations.

Website operators should also assess what is the appropriate legal basis for the collection and transmission of personal data by means of the plug-ins embedded in their websites, and if consent applies, they should ensure that they obtain the user’s consent before the data collection takes place, which may often prove challenging in practice.  In this regard, the use of pre-ticked checkboxes is not advisable, as it tends to be considered insufficient to fulfil the criteria for valid consent under European data protection law.”

Also commenting on the judgement, Michael Veale, a UK-based researcher in tech and privacy law/policy, said it raises questions about how Facebook will comply with Europe’s data protection framework for any further processing it carries out of the social plug-in data.

“The whole judgement to me leaves open the question ‘on what grounds can Facebook justify further processing of data from their web tracking code?’” he told us. “If they have to provide transparency for this further processing, which would take them out of joint controllership into sole controllership, to whom and when is it provided?

“If they have to demonstrate they would win a legitimate interests test, how will that be affected by the difficulty in delivering that transparency to data subjects?’

“Can Facebook do a backflip and say that for users of their service, their terms of service on their platform justifies the further use of data for which individuals must have separately been made aware of by the website where it was collected?

“The question then quite clearly boils down to non-users, or to users who are effectively non-users to Facebook through effective use of technologies such as Mozilla’s browser tab isolation.”

How far a tracking pixel could be considered a ‘similar device’ to a cookie is another question to consider, he said.

The tracking of non-Facebook users via social plug-ins certainly continues to be a hot-button legal issue for Facebook in Europe — where the company has twice lost in court to Belgium’s privacy watchdog on this issue. (Facebook has continued to appeal.)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also faced questions about tracking non-users last year, from MEPs in the European Parliament — who pressed him on whether Facebook uses data on non-users for any other uses vs the security purpose of “keeping bad content out” that he claimed requires Facebook to track everyone on the mainstream Internet.

MEPs also wanted to know how non-users can stop their data being transferred to Facebook? Zuckerberg gave no answer, likely because there’s currently no way for non-users to stop their data being sucked up by Facebook’s servers — short of staying off the mainstream Internet.

This report was updated with additional comment 

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IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement furthers IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired Red Hat in the first place, of course, so this doesn’t come as a major surprise, though most industry watchers probably didn’t expect this to happen this fast.

n

Specifically, IBM is announcing that it is bringing its software portfolio to Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat’s Kubernetes-based container platform that is essentially available on any cloud that allows its customers to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

n

In total, IBM has already optimized more than 100 products for OpenShift and bundled them into what it calls “Cloud Paks.” There are currently five of these Paks: Cloud Pak for Data, Application, Integration, Automation and Multicloud Management. These technologies, which IBM’s customers can now run on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform or IBM’s own cloud, among others, include DB2, WebSphere, API Connect, Watson Studio and Cognos Analytics.

n

“Red Hat is unlocking innovation with Linux-based technologies, including containers and Kubernetes, which have become the fundamental building blocks of hybrid cloud environments,” said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, in today’s announcement. “This open hybrid cloud foundation is what enables the vision of any app, anywhere, anytime. Combined with IBMu2019s strong industry expertise and supported by a vast ecosystem of passionate developers and partners, customers can create modern apps with the technologies of their choice and the flexibility to deploy in the best environment for the app – whether that is on-premises or across multiple public clouds.”

n

IBM argues that a lot of the early innovation on the cloud was about bringing modern, customer-facing applications to market, with a focus on basic cloud infrastructure. Now, however, enterprises are looking at how they can take their mission-critical applications to the cloud, too. For that, they want access to an open stack that works across clouds.

n

In addition, IBM also today announced the launch of a fully managed Red Hat OpenShift service on its own public cloud, as well as OpenShift on IBM Systems, including the IBM Z and LinuxONE mainframes, as well as the launch of its new Red Hat consulting and technology services.

n

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

IBM’s massive $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat closed a few weeks ago and today, the two companies are now announcing the first fruits of this process. For the most part, today’s announcement furthers IBM’s ambitions to bring its products to any public and private cloud. That was very much the reason why IBM acquired […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1475769824/k1kkyeeoiyvoajpzbtgv.png”,”twitter”:”fredericl”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/34511731″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”replies”:[[{“id”:670076,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Brian Lawe”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-08-01T06:59:34″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

My prediction: Within 3 quarters, IBM will incur a massive stock hit because of “loose” or “inappropriate” accounting practices at Red Hat.

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/01/with-the-acquisition-closed-ibm-goes-all-in-on-red-hat/#comment-670076″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/654ecb15c7f833caa7830fb368daa237?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/654ecb15c7f833caa7830fb368daa237?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/654ecb15c7f833caa7830fb368daa237?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”techcrunch”:{“avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”AB7YKHFK2JTZZOFTOCHZBLRZ4U”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/670076″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1863071″}]}},{“id”:670080,”parent”:0,”author”:0,”author_name”:”Piotr Laube”,”author_url”:””,”date”:”2019-08-01T09:24:56″,”content”:{“rendered”:”

This quarter is the most important quarter in your life and the next quarter is the most important quarter of your life… (IBM management principle)

n”},”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/01/with-the-acquisition-closed-ibm-goes-all-in-on-red-hat/#comment-670080″,”type”:”comment”,”author_avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0d944c4457606c4a7d08b21cc69a441e?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0d944c4457606c4a7d08b21cc69a441e?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/0d944c4457606c4a7d08b21cc69a441e?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”techcrunch”:{“avatar”:”https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg”,”company”:”(no company found)”,”title”:”(no title found)”,”user”:”DLJ66GM6JF3TD2XD4WYEHAULME”},”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/670080″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments”}],”up”:[{“embeddable”:true,”post_type”:”post”,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1863071″}]}}]],”author”:[{“id”:34511731,”name”:”Frederic Lardinois”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/frederic-lardinois/”,”slug”:”frederic-lardinois”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/55542aa717199728948f628edc1170b1?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/55542aa717199728948f628edc1170b1?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/55542aa717199728948f628edc1170b1?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“homepage”:”http://www.siliconfilter.com”,”facebook”:”https://www.facebook.com/frederic”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/fredericl”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/fredericlardinois”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/frederic-lardinois”},”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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closes $15.7B Tableau deal”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

In an amazingly quick turn-around for a deal of this scope, Salesforce announced today that it has closed the $15.7 billion Tableau deal announced in June. The deal is by far the biggest acquisition in Salesforce history, a company known for being highly acquisitive.

n

A deal of this size usually faces a high level of regulatory scrutiny and it can take six months or longer to close, but this one breezed through the process and closed in under two months.

n

With Tableau, and Mulesoft, a company it bought last year for $6.5 billion, in the fold, Salesforce has a much broader view of the enterprise than it could as a pure cloud company. It has access to data wherever it lives, whether on premises or in the cloud, and with Tableau, it enables customers to bring that data to life by visualizing it.

n

This was a prospect that excited Salesforce chairman Marc Benioff. “Tableau will make Salesforce Customer 360, including Salesforce’s analytics capabilities, stronger than ever, enabling our customers to accelerate innovation and make smarter decisions across every part of their business,” Benioff said in a statement.

n

As with any large acquisition involving two enormous organizations, combining them could prove challenging, and the real test of this deal, once the dust has settled, will be how smoothly that transition happens and how well the companies can work together and become a single entity under the Salesforce umbrella.

n

In theory, having Tableau gives Salesforce another broad path into larger and more expansive enterprise sales, but the success of the deal will really hinge on how well it folds Tableau into the Salesforce sales machine.

n

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

In an amazingly quick turn-around for a deal of this scope, Salesforce announced today that it has closed the $15.7 billion Tableau deal announced in June. The deal is by far the biggest acquisition in Salesforce history, a company known for being highly acquisitive. A deal of this size usually faces a high level of […]

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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Ron Miller has been writing about the enterprise at TechCrunch since 2014.

nn

Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

nn

Disclosures:

nn

Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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food delivery startup Deliveroo acquires Edinburgh software studio Cultivate”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

As two of the largest players in online-food ordering and delivery in Europe work on a $10 billion merger to expand their footprint and economies of scale, one of its biggest rivals has made an acquisition to expand its own tech muscle.

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Deliveroo, the London-based food delivery startup backed by Amazon that is itself valued in the billions, has acquired a small Scottish startup called Cultivate, a software development and user experience design house that has worked with a number of big names, including Deliveroo itself.

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Deliveroo — which today has 80,000 restaurants and 60,000 riders on its books across 500 cities in 14 markets in Europe and beyond (Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and the United Kingdom) — is subsequently creating a new fintech hub in Edinburgh, where Cultivate is headquartered. It will be run by Andy Robinson, currently chief commercial officer for Cultivate.

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u201cWe have a fantastic relationship with Deliveroo, supporting them through an amazing period of growth. We were attracted by the array of interesting problems being tackled by their team, and how they are addressing them using modern and emerging technology,” Robinson said in a statement. “Weu2019re proud to have built such a great team here in Edinburgh, and todayu2019s announcement is a testament to their hard work and expertise in building world-class software. We are excited to continue this work, create highly skilled jobs, and build a centre of tech excellence here in Edinburgh.u201d

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The plan will be to expand the team to 50 in the next three years, hiring engineers, product managers, user researchers, and designers and data scientists. (It’s worth pointing out too that Amazon has been a major employer in Edinburgh, where it also has a key R&D operation working in various areas including AI and search.)

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Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but it’s likely to be a modest deal.

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Cultivate itself was a small (likely around only 15 employees) but profitable business, from the looks of its filings with Companies House. It was also off the radar somewhat as a startup. Originally founded in 2007, Cultivate was initially acquired in 2009 ago by Texas firm EdgeCase, which was then itself acquired by Canadian web firm GroupByu00a0in 2017 in a bid to take on Shopify and rebranded to become Neo. Subsequent to that, Cultivate was amicably spun out again. In that time it had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from unnamed investors.

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Deliveroo, foundedu00a0in 2013 by William Shu and Greg Orlowski, was most recently valued at over $2 billion, although that was before Amazon put $575 million into the company earlier this year. It has raised around $1.5 billion in funding to date.

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Cultivate — which had worked for many of clients — will now be working for just one, its owner. The two had already built Deliveroo’s payments technology, but as Deliveroo continues to work on ways to differentiate itself from its competitors through tech, it will be investing more in this area.

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In addition to building new (not yet launched) services, some of the other areas of focus for the new Edinburgh operation will be to create more efficient payment systems for riders (which today use a Cash Out feature to access earnings quickly) and restaurants; to expand Deliveroo’s analytics for restaurants to figure out how to better plan for surges and to figure out what is popular and what is not; and (for both restaurants and riders) to better manage finances.

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Cultivate had been involved in a number of social enterprise community initiatives to promote technology education alongside its paid work and Deliveroo said these efforts will continue.

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u201cCultivate have always been at the centre of the tech scene in Edinburgh and have supported events and initiatives across the board,” said Stephen Coleman, CEO of CodeBase, the tech campus in Edinburgh where Cultivate was based. “We are really pleased for the Cultivate team and Deliveroou2019s plans to grow here in Scotland and are looking forward to having one of Europeu2019s top tech companies based here at CodeBase.u201d

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News of this acquisition comes in the same week that Takeaway.com and Just Eat announced that their respective boards had agreed on the basic terms of a merger to create an expanded footprint across Europe.

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The deal, if it completes, will not only give the two more economies of scale, and thus a better return on their own tech investment, but the aim will be to help them compete better against the likes of Uber Eats (a major priority for now-public Uber) as well as Deliveroo, which is now continuing its growth now with the might and will of Amazon behind it.

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In that context, the Cultivate acquisition is demonstration not just of Deliveroo’s own investments into its tech, but specifically into what is a sizeable and important tech hub in the region, where Amazon has also been very active.

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u201cDeliveroo is proud to be investing in Edinburgh and creating more high skilled jobs in the UK,” said Dan Winn, Deliveroo VP of engineering, in a statement. “Edinburgh is one of the UKu2019s fastest growing tech hubs, with access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled people and university graduates. Deliveroo is committed to offering riders flexible, well-paid work and helping restaurants to grow their businesses. Building on Cultivateu2019s expertise, we are excited to create new products and services that will help us achieve this.u201d

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Notes to Editors

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Deliveroo is one of the UKu2019s leading tech unicorns and a British tech success story. Its investment in world-leading proprietary technology yields substantial benefits for customers, restaurants and riders. The Frank algorithm – which finds the optimal way to deliver food from restaurant to customer – has cut the average delivery time by nearly 20%, significantly reducing customer wait times. Franku2019s machine-learning capabilities improves the allocation of orders and reduces restaurant waiting times for riders, helping them to earn higher fees without riding longer hours. And Deliveroou2019s innovative products and tools give restaurants unique insights into their customer base, allows them to provide in-app offers to customers and improves their efficiency when preparing meals.

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A photo of Andy Robinson (Chief Commercial Officer, Cultivate), Dan Winn (VP of Engineering, Deliveroo) and Paul Wilson (Managing Director, Cultivate) is available here.

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

As two of the largest players in online-food ordering and delivery in Europe work on a $10 billion merger to expand their footprint and economies of scale, one of its biggest rivals has made an acquisition to expand its own tech muscle. Deliveroo, the London-based food delivery startup backed by Amazon that is itself valued […]

n”,”protected”:false},”author”:13119829,”featured_media”:1829017,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:{“outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:”Amazon-backed food delivery startup Deliveroo acquires Edinburgh software studio Cultivate https://tcrn.ch/2Yv8e9P by @ingridlunden”},”categories”:[449557100,576602980,447971118,449560964,20429],”tags”:[],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/deliveroo2.jpg”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2Yv8e9P”,”rapidData”:{“pt”:””,”pct”:””},”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[13119829],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1863157″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”}],”about”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”}],”version-history”:[{“count”:1,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1863157/revisions”}],”predecessor-version”:[{“id”:1863178,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1863157/revisions/1863178″}],”authors”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/13119829″}],”replies”:[{“embeddable”:true,”count”:0,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1863157&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”}],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1863157&action=edit”}],”author”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/13119829″}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1829017″}],”wp:attachment”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1863157″}],”wp:term”:[{“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1863157″},{“taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1863157″},{“taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1863157″},{“taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1863157″},{“taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1863157″}],”curies”:[{“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/{rel}”,”templated”:true}]},”_embedded”:{“authors”:[{“id”:13119829,”name”:”Ingrid Lunden”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ingrid-lunden/”,”slug”:”ingrid-lunden”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“facebook”:”https://www.facebook.com/ingridlunden”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/ingridlunden”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/ingridlunden”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ingrid-lunden”},”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London.

nn

Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

nn

When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1421351035/tbebbexwnizrc5qurxt4.jpg”,”twitter”:”ingridlunden”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/13119829″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”author”:[{“id”:13119829,”name”:”Ingrid Lunden”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/ingrid-lunden/”,”slug”:”ingrid-lunden”,”avatar_urls”:{“24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/6648ec93043f0f368091adece63c6d52?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”},”links”:{“facebook”:”https://www.facebook.com/ingridlunden”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/ingridlunden”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/ingridlunden”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ingrid-lunden”},”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

Ingrid is a writer and editor for TechCrunch, joining February 2012, based out of London.

nn

Before TechCrunch, Ingrid worked at paidContent.org, where she was a staff writer, and has in the past also written freelance regularly for other publications such as the Financial Times. Ingrid covers mobile, digital media, advertising and the spaces where these intersect.

nn

When it comes to work, she feels most comfortable speaking in English but can also speak Russian, Spanish and French (in descending order of competence).

“,”cbAvatar”:”https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1421351035/tbebbexwnizrc5qurxt4.jpg”,”twitter”:”ingridlunden”,”_links”:{“self”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/13119829″}],”collection”:[{“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users”}]}}],”wp:featuredmedia”:[{“id”:1829017,”date”:”2019-05-16T23:47:25″,”slug”:”wales-daily-life-2″,”type”:”attachment”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/16/amazon-takes-a-bite-into-deliveroo/wales-daily-life-2/”,”title”:{“rendered”:”deliveroo”},”author”:5956050,”license”:{“source_key”:”getty images”,”person”:”Matthew Horwood”,”cropped”:”true”},”authors”:[5956050],”caption”:{“rendered”:”

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 22: A Deliveroo rider at work at night on December 22, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

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happened to the sharing economy?”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround.

n

When you retrospectively look at the sharing economy boom of the early 2010s, many of the principles that defined that generation of startups have slowly disappeared. Instead of a huge societal shift, the sharing economy is slowly fading away.

n

What is the sharing economy?

n

In the past, if you wanted to buy a good or a service, you would ask a company or a professional to provide it.

n

Youu2019d buy something from a company in particular because you knew it would be the exact thing you need. Thatu2019s why plenty of companies spent huge amounts of money to build a brand and a reputation. If you just bought a car, chances are youu2019ll see thousands of ads for cars before you buy your next car.

n

And thatu2019s also why distribution channels have been key, especially in commoditized markets with low brand differentiation. For instance, when you buy a new printer, chances are you just head to an electronics store or type u201cprinteru201d on your favorite e-commerce website. If HP doesnu2019t have a distribution deal with those stores, youu2019ll just buy an Epson printer.

n

If your neighbor wants a new printer in a couple of years, you might recommend the same printer, but you may have forgotten where you bought it. Thereu2019s little differentiation between distribution channels in that case.

n

The marketplace model

n

The sharing economy happened because a group of entrepreneurs wanted to invent new distribution channels. Sure, some traditional distribution channels secured exclusive rights to sell specific products.

n

But those startups made a radical change. They wanted to work on a completely new inventory of goods or services.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround. When you retrospectively look at the […]

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

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He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

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He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Airbnb Luxe 1

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‘world’s largest internet restaurant company’ quietly raised $125 million this month”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

In May, venture capitalist Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital warned in a Financial Times column that Amazon’s recent $575 million investment in the London-based delivery service Deliveroo could prove ominous for local restaurants. Wrote Moritz: “Amazon is now one step away from becoming a multi-brand restaurant company u2014 and that could mean doomsday for many dining haunts.”

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Moritz was right to attract more attention to the deal. Deliveroo has begun operating shared kitchens from which it will not simply transport food to customers but eventually prepare it, too. His warning may even have played a role in the recent decision of Britainu2019s competition regulator to halt work on Amazon’s investment so it can first investigate whether the deal poses competitive concerns.

n

Moritz knows the playbook because of Sequoia’s early investment in Rebel Foods, formerly known as Faasos, a once-small Pune, India-based company that now prepares a variety of foods in its cloud kitchens. As he says in the same column, Faasos largely pioneered the trend.

n

The growth of the nine-year-old company is a bit breathtaking — and instructive. According to Bloomberg, Rebel — which this month raised $125 million in fresh capital from the Indonesian delivery service Go-Jek, Coatue Management and Goldman Sachs — now operates 235 kitchens across 20 Indian cities. And it’s processing two million orders a month. (It calls itself the “world’s largest internet restaurant company.”)

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While it began life as a chain of kebab restaurants, that original concept, Faasos, is now just one of eight other brands that Rebel operates, including a tea brand called Kettle & Kegs; a Chinese concept called Mandarin Oak; a pizza brand called Oven Story; and a brand called Behrouz, through which Rebel makes and sells slow-cooked biryani rice dishes.

n

Rebel Foods isn’t the only fast-moving operator using cloud kitchens to offer every kind of cuisine imaginable under one roof. Competitors of the company — which tells Bloomberg it is now valued at $525 million — include UberEats and the food delivery company Zomato, which itself has plans to open more than 100 cloud kitchens by the end of this year.

n

Zomato says it isn’t getting into the food preparation business — yet — but rather renting facilities, kitchen equipment and software to restaurants.

n

Still, it’s little wonder that Rebel is racing headlong into new markets as fast as it can. According to Bloomberg, the company is currently planning to build 100 cloud kitchens in Indonesia over the next 18 months, with Go-Jek’s help. It also expects to open 20 cloud kitchen facilities in the United Arab Emirates by December.

n

Rebel was founded by Jaydeep Barman, a native of Mumbai with an MBA from INSEAD who spent nearly four years with McKinsey before joining forces with business school classmate Kallol Banerjee to launch Faasos.

n

Despite raising money early on from Sequoia, the company was once at risk of going out of business, in part owing to high rents and employee turnover. As Moritz tells the story, things turned around dramatically when the duo closed their restaurants and opened their first centralized kitchen.

n

That decision would prove pivotal. Not only did Rebel survive, but today, the company tells Bloomberg, the entire operation runs the equivalent of 1,600 restaurants.

n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

In May, venture capitalist Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital warned in a Financial Times column that Amazon’s recent $575 million investment in the London-based delivery service Deliveroo could prove ominous for local restaurants. Wrote Moritz: “Amazon is now one step away from becoming a multi-brand restaurant company u2014 and that could mean doomsday for many […]

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Loizos has been reporting on Silicon Valley since the late ’90s, when she joined the original Red Herring magazine. She is currently the Silicon Valley Editor of TechCrunch. She’s also the founder of StrictlyVC, a daily e-newsletter and lecture series.

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Loizos has been reporting on Silicon Valley since the late ’90s, when she joined the original Red Herring magazine. She is currently the Silicon Valley Editor of TechCrunch. She’s also the founder of StrictlyVC, a daily e-newsletter and lecture series.

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Exit: The acquisition charting Salesforce’s future”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money.

n

Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand why the entire tech industry took notice when the cloud CRM giant announced its priciest acquisition ever last month.

n

The deal to acquire the Seattle-based data visualization powerhouse Tableau was substantial enough that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff publicly announced it was turning Seattle into its second HQ. Tableau’s acquisition doesn’t just mean big things for Salesforce. With the deal taking place just days after Google announced it was paying $2.6 billion for Looker, the acquisition showcases just how intense the cloud wars are getting for the enterprise tech companies out to win it all.

n

The Exit is a new series at TechCrunch. Itu2019s an exit interview of sorts with a VC who was in the right place at the right time but made the right call on an investment that paid off. [Have feedback? Shoot me an email at lucas@techcrunch.com]

n

Scott Sandell, a general partner at NEA (New Enterprise Associates) who has now been at the firm for 25 years, was one of those investors arguing with two of Tableau’s co-founders, Chris Stolte and Christian Chabot. Desperate to close the 2004 deal over their lunch meeting, he went on to agree to the Tableau founders’ demands of a higher $20 million valuation, though Sandell tells me it still feels like he got a pretty good deal.

n

NEA went on to invest further in subsequent rounds and went on to hold over 38% of the company at the time of its IPO in 2013 according to public financial docs.

n

I had a long chat with Sandell, who also invested in Salesforce, about the importance of the Tableau deal, his rise from associate to general partner at NEA, who he sees as the biggest challenger to Salesforce, and why he thinks scooter companies are “the worst business in the known universe.”

n

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.u00a0

n


n

Lucas Matney: You’ve been at this investing thing for quite a while, but taking a trip down memory lane, how did you get into VC in the first place?u00a0

n

Scott Sandell: The way I got into venture capital is a little bit of a circuitous route. I had an opportunity to get into venture capital coming out of Stanford Business School in 1992, but it wasn’t quite the right fit. And so I had an interest, but I didn’t have the right opportunity.

n

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Before Tableau was the $15.7 billion key to Salesforce’s problems, it was a couple of founders arguing with a couple of venture capitalists over lunch about why its Series A valuation should be higher than $12 million pre-money. Salesforce has generally been one to signify corporate strategy shifts through their acquisitions, so you can understand […]

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Lucas Matney is a reporter at TechCrunch and has been covering emerging technologies and startups since 2015. He lives in San Francisco and can be reached via email at lucas@techcrunch.com

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – SEPTEMBER 19: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff delivers the keynote address during the Dreamforce 2012 conference at the Moscone Center on September 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California. A reported 90,000 people registered to attend the cloud computing industry conference Dreamforce 2012 that runs through September 21. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The AWS DeepRacer is an almost toylike 1/18th scale race car. It comes with all of the sensors and software tools to help developers build machine learning models to drive the car around a course u2014 or really do anything else they want it to do. The $399 DeepRacer launched at AWS’s massive re:Invent show in late 2018.

n

At the time, it seemed like a bit of a gimmick, but AWS has put a lot of its weight behind it and is currently running a DeepRacer league at its various events around the world. At these events, developers can pit their models against each other and learn more about building a specific kind of machine learning model in the process.

n

Why bother, though? It’s not like DeepRacer cars are likely to add to AWS’s bottom line anytime soon. DeepRacer, however, is part of a line of hardware products from AWS that started with DeepLens, a smart camera for developers.

n

“It really comes from the same place,” AWS general manager for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning marketing Ryan Gavin told me. “When you think about the stimulus for something like DeepLens, it was really about how do we put machine learning into the hands of every developer and data scientist. That’s our mission and we’re very consistent about that.”

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

The AWS DeepRacer is an almost toylike 1/18th scale race car. It comes with all of the sensors and software tools to help developers build machine learning models to drive the car around a course u2014 or really do anything else they want it to do. The $399 DeepRacer launched at AWS’s massive re:Invent show […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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BURBANK, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 22: The AWS DeepRacer demo at AT&T SHAPE at Warner Bros. Studios on June 22, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for AT&T)

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dreaded 10x, or, how to handle exceptional employees”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony.

n

I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of your startup success significantly” and then going on to address, in his opinion, “How do you spot a 10x engineer?”

n

The resulting scorn was tsunami-like. The very concept of a 10x engineer seems so… five years ago. Since then, the Valley has largely come to the collective conclusion that 1) there is no such thing as a 10x engineer 2) even if there were, you wouldn’t want to hire one, because they play so poorly with others.

n

The anti-10x squad raises many important and valid u2014 frankly, obvious and inarguable u2014 points. Go down that Twitter thread and you’ll find that 10x engineers are identified as: people who eschew meetings, work alone, rarely look at documentation, don’t write much themselves, are poor mentors, and view process, meetings, or training as reasons to abandon their employer. In short, they are unbelievably terrible team members.

n

Is software a field like the arts, or sports, in which exceptional performers can exist? Sure. Absolutely. Software is Extremistan, not Mediocristan, as Nassim Taleb puts it.

n

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The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony. I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of […]

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happened to the sharing economy?”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround.

n

When you retrospectively look at the sharing economy boom of the early 2010s, many of the principles that defined that generation of startups have slowly disappeared. Instead of a huge societal shift, the sharing economy is slowly fading away.

n

What is the sharing economy?

n

In the past, if you wanted to buy a good or a service, you would ask a company or a professional to provide it.

n

Youu2019d buy something from a company in particular because you knew it would be the exact thing you need. Thatu2019s why plenty of companies spent huge amounts of money to build a brand and a reputation. If you just bought a car, chances are youu2019ll see thousands of ads for cars before you buy your next car.

n

And thatu2019s also why distribution channels have been key, especially in commoditized markets with low brand differentiation. For instance, when you buy a new printer, chances are you just head to an electronics store or type u201cprinteru201d on your favorite e-commerce website. If HP doesnu2019t have a distribution deal with those stores, youu2019ll just buy an Epson printer.

n

If your neighbor wants a new printer in a couple of years, you might recommend the same printer, but you may have forgotten where you bought it. Thereu2019s little differentiation between distribution channels in that case.

n

The marketplace model

n

The sharing economy happened because a group of entrepreneurs wanted to invent new distribution channels. Sure, some traditional distribution channels secured exclusive rights to sell specific products.

n

But those startups made a radical change. They wanted to work on a completely new inventory of goods or services.

n

“,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:{“rendered”:”

A few years ago, Silicon Valley couldnu2019t stop using a trendy buzzword u2014 the sharing economy. The good old top-down economic model with a clear separation between service providers and clients was falling apart. And huge tech companies disrupted entire industries, from Airbnb to Taskrabbit, Uber, Etsy and Getaround. When you retrospectively look at the […]

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nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he’s not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Airbnb Luxe 1

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top VCs view the new future of micromobility”},”content”:{“rendered”:”

Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its annual Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles.

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Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts key panels and conversations from the event, including our panel on micromobility where TechCrunch VC reporter Kate Clark was joined by investors Sarah Smith of Bain Capital Ventures, Michael Granoff of Maniv Mobility, and Ted Serbinski of TechStars Detroit.

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The panelists walk through their mobility investment theses and how they’ve changed over the last few years. The group also compares the business models of scooters, e-bikes, e-motorcycles, rideshare and more, while discussing Uber and Lyft’s role in tomorrow’s mobility ecosystem.

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Sarah Smith: It was very clear last summer, that there was essentially a near-vertical demand curve developing with consumer adoption of scooters. E-bikes had been around, but scooters, for Lime just to give you perspective, had only hit the road in February. So by the time we were really looking at things, they only had really six months of data. But we could look at the traction and the adoption, and really just what this was doing for consumers.

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At the time, consumers had learned through Uber and Lyft and others that you can just grab your cell phone and press a button, and that equates to transportation. And then we see through the sharing economy like Airbnb, people don’t necessarily expect to own every single asset that they use throughout the day. So there’s this confluence of a lot of different consumer trends that suggested that this wasn’t just a fad. This wasn’t something that was going to go away.

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For access to the full transcription below and for the opportunity to read through additional event transcripts and recaps, become a member of Extra Crunch.u00a0Learn more and try it for free.u00a0

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Kate Clark: One of the first panels of the day, I think we should take a moment to define mobility. As VCs in this space, how do you define this always-evolving sector?

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Michael Granoff: Well, the way I like to put it is that there have been four eras in mobility. The first was walking and we did that for thousands of years. Then we harnessed animal power for thousands of years.

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And then there was a date u2014 and I saw Ken Washington from Ford here u2014 September 1st, 1908, which was when the Model T came out. And through the next 100 years, mobility is really defined as the personally owned and operated individual operated internal combustion engine car.

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And what’s interesting is to go exactly 100 years later, September 2008, the financial crisis that affects the auto industry tremendously, but also a time where we had the first third-party apps, and you had Waze and you had Uber, and then you had Lime and Bird, and so forth. And really, I think what we’re in now is the age of digital mobility and I think that’s what defines what this day is about.

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Ted Serbinski: Yeah, I think just to add to that, I think mobility is the movement of people and goods. But that last part of digital mobility, I really look at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds. And it’s really that intersection, which is enabling all these new ways to move around.

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GettyImages 1129827591

Image via Getty Images / Jackie Niam

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Clark: So Ted you run TechStars Detroit, but it was once known as TechStars Mobility. So why did you decide to drop the mobility?

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Serbinski: So Iu2019m at a mobility conference, and we no longer call ourselves mobility. So five years ago, when we launched the mobility program at TechStars, we were working very closely with Ford’s group and at the time, five years ago, 2014, where it started with the connected car, auto and [people saying] u201cyou should use the word mobility.u201d

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And I was like u201cWhat does that mean?u201d And so when we launched TechStars Mobility, we got all this stuff but we were like u201cthis isn’t what we’re looking for. What does this word mean?u201d And then Cruise gets acquired for a billion dollars. And everyone’s like u201cMobility! This is the next big gold rush! Mobility, mobility, mobility!u201d

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And because I invest early-stage companies anywhere in the world, what started to happen last year is we’d be going after a company and theyu2019d say, u201cwell, we’re not interested in your program. We’re not mobility.u201d And I’d be scratching my head like, u201cNo, you are mobility. This is where the future is going. You’re this digital way of moving around. And no, we’re artificial intelligence, weu2019re robotics.u201d

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And as we started talking to more and more entrepreneurs, and hundreds of startups around the world, it became pretty clear that the word mobility is actually becoming too limiting, depending on your vantage where you are in the world.

n

And so this year, we actually dropped the word mobility and we just call it TechStars Detroit, and itu2019s really just intersection of those physical and digital worlds. And so now we don’t have a word, but I think we found more mobility companies by dropping the word mobility.

n

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Earlier this month, TechCrunch held its annual Mobility Sessions event, where leading mobility-focused auto companies, startups, executives and thought leaders joined us to discuss all things autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles. Extra Crunch is offering members access to full transcripts key panels and conversations from the event, including our panel on micromobility where […]

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Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region.

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The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site visitors prior to data being transferred to Facebook, or be able to demonstrate a legitimate interest legal basis for processing this data.

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The ruling is significant because, as currently seems to be the case, Facebook’s Like buttons transfer personal data automatically, when a webpage loads — without the user even needing to interact with the plug-in — which means if websites are relying on visitors’ ‘consenting’ to their data being shared with Facebook they will likely need to change how the plug-in functions to ensure no data is sent to Facebook prior to visitors being asked if they want their browsing to be tracked by the adtech giant.

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The background to the case is a complaint against online clothes retailer, Fashion ID, by a German consumer protection association, Verbraucherzentrale NRW — which took legal action in 2015 seeking an injunction against Fashion ID’s use of the plug-in which it claimed breached European data protection law.

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Like ’em or loath ’em, Facebook’s ‘Like’ buttons are an impossible-to-miss component of the mainstream web. Though most Internet users are likely unaware that the social plug-ins are used by Facebook to track what other websites they’re visiting for ad targeting purposes.

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Last year the company told the UK parliament that between April 9 and April 16 the button had appeared on 8.4M websites, while its Share button social plug-in appeared on 931K sites. (Facebook also admitted to 2.2M instances of another tracking tool it uses to harvest non-Facebook browsing activity — called a Facebook Pixel — being invisibly embedded on third party websites.)

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The Fashion ID case predates the introduction of the EU’s updated privacy framework, GDPR, which further toughens the rules around obtaining consent — meaning it must be purpose specific, informed and freely given.

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Today’s CJEU decision also follows another ruling a year ago, in a case related to Facebook fan pages, when the court took a broad view of privacy responsibilities around platforms — saying both fan page administrators and host platforms could be data controllers. Though it also said joint controllership does not necessarily imply equal responsibility for each party.

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In the latest decision the CJEU has sought to draw some limits on the scope of joint responsibility, finding that a website where the Facebook Like button is embedded cannot be considered a data controller for any subsequent processing, i.e. after the data has been transmitted to Facebook Ireland (the data controller for Facebook’s European users).

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The joint responsibility specifically covers the collection and transmission of Facebook Like data to Facebook Ireland.

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“It seems, at the outset, impossible that Fashion ID determines the purposes and means of those operations,” the court writes in a press release announcing the decision.

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“By contrast, Fashion ID can be considered to be a controller jointly with Facebook Ireland in respect of the operations involving the collection and disclosure by transmission to Facebook Ireland of the data at issue, since it can be concluded (subject to the investigations that it is for the Oberlandesgericht Du00fcsseldorf [German regional court] to carry out) that Fashion ID and Facebook Ireland determine jointly the means and purposes of those operations.”

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Responding the judgement in a statement attributed to its associate general counsel, Jack Gilbert, Facebook told us:

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Website plugins are common and important features of the modern Internet. We welcome the clarity that todayu2019s decision brings to both websites and providers of plugins and similar tools. We are carefully reviewing the courtu2019s decision and will work closely with our partners to ensure they can continue to benefit from our social plugins and other business tools in full compliance with the law.

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The company said it may make changes to the Like button to ensure websites that use it are able to comply with Europe’s GDPR.

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Though it’s not clear what specific changes these could be, such as — for example — whether Facebook will change the code of its social plug-ins to ensure no data is transferred at the point a page loads. (We’ve asked Facebook and will update this report with any response.)

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Facebook also points out that other tech giants, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, deploy similar social plug-ins — suggesting the CJEU ruling will apply to other social platforms, as well as to thousands of websites across the EU where these sorts of plug-ins crop up.

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“Sites with the button should make sure that they are sufficiently transparent to site visitors, and must make sure that they have a lawful basis for the transfer of the useru2019s personal data (e.g. if just the useru2019s IP address and other data stored on the useru2019s device by Facebook cookies) to Facebook,” Neil Brown, a telecoms, tech and internet lawyer at U.K. law firm Decoded Legal, told TechCrunch.

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“If their lawful basis is consent, then theyu2019ll need to get consent before deploying the button for it to be valid u2014 otherwise, theyu2019ll have done the transfer before the visitor has consented

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“If relying on legitimate interests u2014 which might scrape by u2014 then theyu2019ll need to have done a legitimate interests assessment, and kept it on file (against the (admittedly unlikely) day that a regulator asks to see it), and theyu2019ll need to have a mechanism by which a site visitor can object to the transfer.”

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“Basically, if organisations are taking on board the recent guidance from the ICO and CNIL on cookie compliance, wrapping in Facebook ‘Like’ and other similar things in with that work would be sensible,” Brown added.

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Luca Tosoni, a research fellow at the University of Oslo’s Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law who has been following the case, said the court has not clarified what interests may be considered ‘legitimate’ in this context — only that both the website operator and the plug-in provider must pursue a legitimate interest.

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“After todayu2019s judgment, all website operators that insert third-party plug-ins (such as Facebook u2018Likeu2019 buttons) in their websites should carefully reassess their compliance with EU data protection law,” he agreed. “In particular, they should verify whether their privacy policies cover data processing operations involving the collection and transmission of visitorsu2019 personal data by means of third-party plug-ins. Many of todayu2019s policies are unlikely to cover such operations.

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Website operators should also assess what is the appropriate legal basis for the collection and transmission of personal data by means of the plug-ins embedded in their websites, and if consent applies, they should ensure that they obtain the useru2019s consent before the data collection takes place, which may often prove challenging in practice.u00a0 In this regard, the use of pre-ticked checkboxes is not advisable, as it tends to be considered insufficient to fulfil the criteria for valid consent under European data protection law.”

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Also commenting on the judgement, Michael Veale, a UK-based researcher in tech and privacy law/policy, said it raises questions about how Facebook will comply with Europe’s data protection framework for any further processing it carries out of the social plug-in data.

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“The whole judgement to me leaves open the question ‘on what grounds can Facebook justify further processing of data from their web tracking code?’” he told us. “If they have to provide transparency for this further processing, which would take them out of joint controllership into sole controllership, to whom and when is it provided?

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“If they have to demonstrate they would win a legitimate interests test, how will that be affected by the difficulty in delivering that transparency to data subjects?’

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“Can Facebook do a backflip and say that for users of their service, their terms of service on their platform justifies the further use of data for which individuals must have separately been made aware of by the website where it was collected?

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“The question then quite clearly boils down to non-users, or to users who are effectively non-users to Facebook through effective use of technologies such as Mozilla’s browser tab isolation.”

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How far a tracking pixel could be considered a ‘similar device’ to a cookie is another question to consider, he said.

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The tracking of non-Facebook users via social plug-ins certainly continues to be a hot-button legal issue for Facebook in Europe — where the company has twice lost in court to Belgium’s privacy watchdog on this issue. (Facebook has continued to appeal.)

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also faced questions about tracking non-users last year, from MEPs in the European Parliament — who pressed him on whether Facebook uses data on non-users for any other uses vs the security purpose of u201ckeeping bad content outu201d that he claimed requires Facebook to track everyone on the mainstream Internet.

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MEPs also wanted to know how non-users can stop their data being transferred to Facebook? Zuckerberg gave no answer, likely because there’s currently no way for non-users to stop their data being sucked up by Facebook’s servers — short of staying off the mainstream Internet.

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This report was updated with additional commentu00a0

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Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region. The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site […]

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Natasha is a senior reporter for TechCrunch, joining September 2012, based in Europe. She joined TC after a stint reviewing smartphones for CNET UK and, prior to that, more than five years covering business technology for silicon.com (now folded into TechRepublic), where she focused on mobile and wireless, telecoms & networking, and IT skills issues. She has also freelanced for organisations including The Guardian and the BBC. Natasha holds a First Class degree in English from Cambridge University, and an MA in journalism from Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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New York Remote Jobs Inc. is paying as much as $60 on every 30 mins! Do your work for around 2-3 hrs a day and have more time for yourself and people you love the most. During last week I bought the newest MP3 Sport 500 Hpe, a three wheeler that I wanted for so long, from having acquired $10160 in the last 4 weeks doing web related tasks for this company. Sounds incredible, but the truth is, you won’t forgive yourself, in case you donu2019t test it out, since they have open positions now, for remote staff members, to work in free time, from their homes. Youu2019ll find all the details here https://madgent.tumblr.com/

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