Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
1. Facebook has acknowledged that it gave Mail.ru, a Russian company with ties to the Kremlin, a special two week extension for special access to user data. Mail.ru had access to the data in 2015, after Facebook officially ended the system that allowed third-party apps to access user data.
2. An ex-Apple employee has been arrested and charged with stealing trade secrets after allegedly taking materials related to Apple’s secretive autonomous vehicle project. The former employee, Xiaolang Zhang, was stopped by federal authorities in San Jose after purchasing a “last-second” ticket to China, authorities said.
3. Facebook has been fined £500,000 (or around $663,000) by the UK’s data regulator over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The fine is the maximum amount possible under law, but given Facebook’s size it’s just a slap on the wrist.
4. Univision is looking for a buyer for Gizmodo Media Group (GMG) and its stake in satirical news site The Onion. The media company acquired the Gawker sites that make up GMG during Gawker’s bankruptcy auction in 2016.
5. Uber’s head of HR resigned after an investigation into how she handled allegations of racial discrimination. Liane Hornsey was head of Uber’s human resources department and one of the firm’s top spokespeople on diversity and discrimination issues.
6. Hackers stole $13.5 million from the cryptocurrency exchange Bancor. According to Bancor, hackers compromised a wallet and used it to withdraw three different types of virtual currencies.
7. Facebook is testing augmented reality ads in its news feed. The ads would allow people to see how sunglasses or makeup look on their own faces.
8. Vape pen startup Juul has raised the first $650 million of its $1.2 billion target, at a valuation of $15 billion. In the US, Juul has had wild success disrupting the existing tobacco market by appealing to former smokers.
9. US venture investment topped $57 billion in the first half of this year. That’s more than was invested in any full year between 2008 and 2013, and it’s 50% more than was invested in the first half of last year.
10. Uber has hired former US Department of Justice official Scott Schools as its first chief compliance and ethics officer. It’s a sign the firm is trying to grow up.
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