UK report warns DeepMind Health could gain ‘excessive monopoly power’

DeepMind’s foray into digital health services continues to raise concerns. The latest worries are voiced by a panel of external reviewers appointed by the Google-owned AI company to report on its operations after its initial data-sharing arrangements with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) ran into a major public controversy in 2016. The DeepMind Health Independent Reviewers’ 2018 report flags a series of risks and concerns, as they see it, including the potential for DeepMind Health to be able to “exert excessive monopoly power” as a result of the data access and streaming…

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European and Indian regulators team up to defend net neutrality

Representatives of Europe’s BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications) and India’s TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) met up yesterday to sign a joint statement to promote an open internet. This short document describes a set of rules to guarantee net neutrality. Those are some basic rules, such as equal treatment of internet traffic, a case-by-case assessment of zero-rating practices and more. Both the European Union and India have implemented regulation to ensure net neutrality already. But they now want to go further and work together on the…

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Union wins right to challenge Deliveroo on human rights grounds

The UK High Court has granted a union permission to challenge Deliveroo’s opposition to collective bargaining for its couriers on human rights grounds. The IWGB union argues that couriers for the restaurant food delivery company should be classed as workers — who would then have basic employment rights such as the minimum wage, holiday pay and collective bargaining rights. Rights that gig economy business models are typically structured to avoid being saddled with. Last year the union challenged Deliveroo’s employment classification of couriers. But a tribunal, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC),…

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Here are the finalists for The Europas Awards 2018, July 3, London

The Europas Awards and Unconference for tech and crypto startups will be held on July 3, in London. Tickets are selling fast, so grab yours here to mingle with the cream of Europe’s startups, VCs and entrepreneurs. The event is run in association with TechCrunch, and all attendees get first access to offers for TechCrunch events later this year. We have some amazing speakers coming, panels and breakout sessions, and even a way to get your ticket for free. The public online voting, running for the last month, and the…

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Here are the experts who will help shape Europe’s AI policy

The European Commission has announced the names of 52 experts from across industry, business and civil society who it has appointed to a new High Level Group on AI which will feed its strategy and policymaking around artificial intelligence. In April the EU’s executive body outlined its approach to AI technology, setting out measures intended to increase public and private investment; prepare for socio-economic changes; and ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework. The High Level Group is a key part of the Commission’s AI strategy as the experts will feed its…

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Farmdrop picks up £10M Series B

Farmdrop, the farmer-friendly online grocery platform based in the U.K., has picked up £10 million in new funding. New investors in this Series B round include LGT Impact Ventures (described as a growth equity investor that invests in businesses making a positive contribution to society), and Belltown Ventures, a renewable energy investment specialist with an interest in agricultural technology. Previous backer Atomico also followed on. Founded by ex-city broker Ben Pugh in 2014, Farmdrop originally launched as a ‘click and collect’ service that let you order groceries online from farmer-producers…

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N26 launches a revised metal card

Fintech startup N26 is updating its N26 Metal product and launching it tomorrow. You might remember that the company first announced its premium card at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin in December 2017. Shortly after the conference, the card was available in early access for existing N26 Black customers. But the company had to go back to the drawing board and update the card design. N26 Metal customers had some complaints about the design of the card in particular. While the original metal card was primarily made of a sheet of tungsten,…

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Audit of NHS Trust’s app project with DeepMind raises more questions than it answers

A third party audit of a controversial patient data-sharing arrangement between a London NHS Trust and Google DeepMind appears to have skirted over the core issues that generated the controversy in the first place. The audit (full report here) — conducted by law firm Linklaters — of the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust’s acute kidney injury detection app system, Streams, which was co-developed with Google-DeepMind (using an existing NHS algorithm for early detection of the condition), does not examine the problematic 2015 information-sharing agreement inked between the pair which allowed data to start…

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Adblock Plus wants to use blockchain to call out fake news

eyeo, the company behind the popular browser-based ad block product Adblock Plus, is no stranger to controversy. Which is just as well given its new “passion project”: A browser add-on that labels news content as ‘trusted’ or, well, Breitbart. The beta browser extension, which is called Trusted News (initially it’s just available for Chrome), is intended to help Internet users spot sources of fake news when they’re exposed to content online. And thus to help people avoid falling for scams or down into political sinkholes — at least without being aware of their…

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