Facebook crackdown is pulling the plug on ad transparency tools

Facebook’s crackdown on third-party plugins to limit adblockers is hurting political ad transparency as it also shuts down tools built by organisations such as ProPublica and WhoTargetsMe. These tools were used to keep a watch on the ads running on the platform. For several weeks now, FactorDaily has also been working on a browser plugin […]

Torrents Morghulis. But why?

Streaming app company Hotstar is in a battle against torrents. Clearly, this will be bloodier than the latest season of Game of Thrones. This morning, Game of Thrones Season 7 premiered in India exclusively on Hotstar Premium.At the same time, the company launched Torrents Morghulis (Torrents must Die), a campaign across online and offline media, aimed […]

India urgently needs responsible disclosure policy guidelines for security reporting


This year has been an interesting one for infosecurity in India. Major infrastructure services — from identity to payment services — have gone online. This is also the reason why there is a lot of conversation happening around general and operational security. But what’s lacking is talk around missing guidelines to report security issues in […]

Turning the debate on India’s data protection laws


If the pizza guy tried to sell you a dildo, it would creep you out. You would look at it as a gross violation of your privacy. The problem is, this is already happening in many ways in India and most of us are unaware of the consequences. When we go to a supermarket, they […]

Amazon eating Whole Foods is nothing — entire industries are about to become toast


I doubt that Google and Microsoft ever worried about the prospect that a book retailer, Amazon, would come to lead one of their highest-growth markets: cloud services. And I doubt that Apple ever feared that Amazon’s Alexa would eat Apple’s Siri for lunch. For that matter, the taxi industry couldn’t have imagined that a Silicon […]

On the couch? Your therapist may soon be replaced by a robopsychiatrist


Ellie, an AI therapist who thrives deep in the hearts of University of Southern California’s (USC) computers, can treat people with depression and veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, she has been ranked higher than human therapists in eliciting personal information from patients. Born out of DARPA’s funding, Ellie was designed as part of […]

Telemedicine needs a shot in the arm — a consumer experience that’s 10x better

With a paltry 0.7 doctors per thousand Indians and a very real access problem for people outside large cities, it seems natural that connecting patients to physicians remotely should be a winning business idea. Then why isn’t it taking off in the country? At Lightspeed Venture Partners, we met and spoke to more than 50 […]

Flipkart’s wannabe WeChat ambition is ill advised


Flipkart recently announced plans to launch a mother-of-all-apps that will go beyond shopping and allow users to do other stuff like order food delivery, hail a cab, book a vacation and do many other things through a common interface. On the face of it, it seems like a smart idea to get their large user […]

Churn at Uber HQ will dent its brand equity in India


  Last year, two weeks before Christmas, Travis Kalanick flew in to New Delhi for meetings. Accompanying the Uber CEO were his then No. 2 and Uber’s president Jeff Jones, and Rachel Whetstone, head of public policy and communications. They were to meet a small group of editors for dinner. I was part of the […]