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Crime Prediction Software Promised to Be Free of Biases. Data Shows It Isn't

Between 2018 and 2021, more than one in 33 U.S. residents were potentially subject to police patrol decisions directed by crime prediction software called PredPol.The company that makes it sent more than 5.9 million of these crime predictions to law enforceme…


Introducing Amazon Brand Detector

Introducing Amazon Brand DetectorA browser extension that reveals Amazon brand and exclusive products while you shop on the siteAmazon has registered more than 150 private-label brands with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and carries hundreds of thousand…


Facebook Isn’t Telling You How Popular Right-Wing Content Is on the Platform

In early November, Facebook published its Q3 Widely Viewed Content Report, the second in a series meant to rebut critics who said that its algorithms were boosting extremist and sensational content. The report declared that, among other things, the most popul…


Dozens of Minneapolis Uber and Lyft Drivers Carjacked This Fall

Dozens of Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Victims of Reported Carjackings in Minneapolis This FallOver the past two-and-a-half months, there have been nearly 50 reported carjackings of ride-hail drivers, who say the companies have done little to warn of the threatF…


CFPB Recommends Changes in Tenant Screening, Citing Markup Investigation

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued new guidance last week aimed at one of the most problematic practices leading to widespread errors in tenant background checks, the subject of a joint investigation by The Markup and The New York Times last year…


Thousands of Geofence Warrants Appear to Be Missing from Calif. Database

In the last three years, Google says, public agencies in California have increasingly demanded location data collected from people’s phones and other devices through geofence warrants—an evidence-gathering mechanism that privacy advocates argue violates civil…


Leaked Facebook Documents Reveal Company Failure on Election Promise

Leaked internal Facebook documents show that a combination of technical miscommunications and high-level decisions led to one of the social media giant’s biggest broken promises of the 2020 election—that it would stop recommending political groups to users.Th…


How Big Tech Is Pitching Digital Elder Care to Families

In the summer of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic locked many inside their homes, seniors quickly became some of the most isolated. Especially susceptible to the virus, and still without a vaccine, older adults found themselves unable to visit with loved ones t…


Senator Calls for Review of Powerful Tenant Screening Industry

The chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs has renewed calls for a federal review of the tenant screening industry, which performs background checks on potential renters—sometimes relying on faulty information to effectively deny…


Markup Report Cited in Mortgage Discrimination Enforcement Announcement

Citing a recent investigation by The Markup as evidence of a nationwide problem, the U.S. Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies announced a new initiative Friday to combat discriminatory mortgage lending practices.At t…


Nonprofit Websites Are Riddled With Ad Trackers

Last year, nearly 200 million people visited the website of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that many people turn to for very private matters like sex education, access to contraceptives, and access to abortions. What those visitors may not have known is that…


Citing Markup Investigation, Lawmakers Demand Answers from Amazon

In the wake of an investigation by The Markup that found that Amazon lists its own brands and exclusives above competing products with better ratings and more sales, members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Amazon saying the company’s represe…


Amazon Puts Its Own “Brands” First

It took Robert Gomez about five months to get his Kaffe coffee grinder to the big leagues in e-commerce: among the first three search results for “coffee grinder” on Amazon.com.Gomez, founder of Atlanta-based consumer goods startup 4Q Brands, said he obsessiv…


Some Instacart Workers Call for a Boycott

On her first day as Instacart’s new CEO in early August, Fidji Simo, a former Facebook executive, acknowledged the tumultuous relationship the grocery delivery company has at times experienced with its workers. Publishing an open letter, she offered change to…


The Making of a Modern Whistleblower

Hello, friends,This week the Facebook whistleblower who provided documents to The Wall Street Journal, Frances Haugen, revealed her identity on "60 Minutes" and testified on Capitol Hill.She testified that Facebook prioritizes profits over safety and urged la…


Help Us Find the Apps That Sell Your Location

Last week we wrote about the estimated $12 billion market for your phone’s location data. We identified 47 companies that play one of the many roles in the location data pipeline: providers, buyers, sellers, and aggregators. Now we need your help finding a mi…


How Can You Safely Store Your Vaccine Status on Your Phone?

If you’re vaccinated against COVID-19 and back out in the world, chances are you’re encountering requests for your vaccination card.An increasing number of places require visitors to prove their vaccination status before being allowed in. New York City and Sa…


There’s a Multibillion-Dollar Market for Your Phone’s Location Data

Companies that you likely have never heard of are hawking access to the location history on your mobile phone. An estimated $12 billion market, the location data industry has many players: collectors, aggregators, marketplaces, and location intelligence firms…


What's Missing from the Infrastructure Bill's $65 Billion Broadband Plan?

The act of opening up a browser (say to read this story) may seem mindless at this point, but it’s actually the product of an incredible amount of infrastructure and opportunity that is still not available to many people in the U.S.There are millions of peopl…


Germany’s Far-Right Party, the AfD, Is Dominating Facebook This Election

Earlier this month, Germany’s far-right nationalist political party Alternative für Deutschland, or the AfD, posted on Facebook. Widespread support for Sharia law among Muslims in Afghanistan, the group claimed, illustrated the danger “wenn sich Massen von Af…