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🔍 Search warrants are getting crazy

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In yesterday’s podcast, we spoke about Amazon generating lower than usual hype around Prime Day. Now, it seems, we may know why. Later in the day, it was reported that Amazon is planning a second one in the fall.

In today’s email:

  • What the heck are geofence warrants?
  • Chart: F1’s crazy growth
  • RIP to the king of sunglasses
  • Around the web: A stock market-themed bar, leading through bad news, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s quick podcast to hear Jacob and Rob discuss glasses icon Leonardo Del Vecchio, Formula One’s TikTok prowess, inflation hitting Fourth of July BBQs, and Tesla’s missing office desks.

The big idea
Geofence gif

What you should know about geofencing

In January, New York lawmakers proposed banning law enforcement from using geofencing and keyword warrants.

Though the bill hasn’t seen much movement yet, the overturning of Roe v. Wade has returned the issue to the spotlight.

First, what the heck are these warrants?

Geofence and keyword warrants are used to get tech companies like Google to hand over users’ data. Like traditional warrants, they require a judge’s approval.

Geofence warrants use location data to identify people who were near a crime scene at a specific time, per Slate.

  • Google says geofence warrant requests increased 1.5k% between 2017 and 2018, and now make up over 25% of all US warrants it receives.
  • Geofencing has been used to find people who attended the Jan. 6 insurrection, and in a bank robbery case in Virginia.

Keyword warrants look at online searches made within specific locations or time frames.

  • A 2017 keyword warrant asked Google for anyone who searched a fraud victim’s name in the city where the crime occurred.

Though perhaps useful for law enforcement…

… they’re controversial. New York’s proposed ban is supported by the ACLU and several tech companies, including Google. Also:

  • Some judges have ruled that the warrants violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Innocent people have become suspects, including an Arizona man wrongfully arrested for murder, and a Florida man who became a burglary suspect after he biked past a crime scene.

Privacy advocates are also concerned…

… that warrants could be used to find people seeking abortions in states where it has or will become illegal.

In May, a report from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) detailed how tech might be used to enforce new laws if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

  • Albert Fox Cahn, STOP’s executive director, told Wired, “The truth is that when you develop those techniques, you are at the whim of those in power and whatever they next decide to call a crime.”

Related: Earlier this month, lawmakers introduced a bill to prevent data brokers from sharing location and health data. Read our coverage here.

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SNIPPETS

Fintech friends: Robinhood shares popped 14% on news that FTX, the crypto trading platform, is considering acquiring the company. FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood last month worth $648m.

Declining deal flow: VC deal activity dropped 23% between Q1 and Q2 2022, signaling a serious slowdown. For reference, deal activity only fell 1.4% between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.

Insult to injury: Verizon and AT&T have been raising prices on old plans in an effort to push subscribers to new unlimited data plans. T-Mobile has not increased prices, and has been quick to point out the bad timing of its rivals’ raises.

Good news: Orders for long-lasting goods increased 0.7% in May, thanks in part to demand for cars and computers. The rise, coupled with an increase in pending home sales, suggests that demand is holding up despite economic upheaval.

Creative financing: With big VC firms slowing down amid a turbulent tech market, startups should look at alternative options like revenue-based financing and micro VCs. Learn how to grow your business using different funding methods on the Hustle blog.

Sapporo USA will acquire Stone Brewing for ~$165m. Sapporo plans to double Stone’s current production levels to brew 360k barrels at its US breweries by 2024. #ecommerce-retail

Yikes: More than 400k solar-powered umbrellas sold at Costco were recalled due to fire risks caused by their lithium-ion batteries. #clean-energy

A study found “superworms” — the larvae of darkling beetles — love to eat polystyrene, the material in plastic foam, meaning they could help eliminate trash. #emerging-tech

Catalonia wants to build its own metaverse called the Cataverse, linked to the Catalan language and culture, while making Barcelona a digital hub for tech talent. #fintech-crypto

Authors aren’t happy with Kindle’s e-book return policy, which they say allows readers to “steal” their novels by giving readers seven days to return a purchase. #big-tech

chart
broadcast rights for F1

Singdhi Sokpo

F1’s insane growth highlighted in new deal

NASCAR’s cultured European cousin, as we once called it, is on a roll.

Formula One (F1) reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Disney and ESPN for US broadcast rights at a value of $75m-$90m per year, or 15x-18x more than the deal currently in place.

Why so hot?

The sport’s American fanbase has grown 33% since 2020, and more than half the fans credit Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” docuseries with playing a major role in their fanhood. (Fanship?)

In 2021, race viewership on ESPN surged 56%, and hoards of people attended races in Miami and Austin.

On TikTok, the hashtag #formula1 has ~17B views. That’s:

  • Around 1/5 as many as #NBA (~87B)
  • Almost 1/2 as many as #NFL (~43B)
  • Around 2/3 as many as #MLB (~29B)

That’s extraordinarily impressive for a sport that has a broadcast package currently valued at just ~$5m annually.

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RIP
Leonardo Del Vecchio

RIP to an eyewear legend

In the world of sunglasses, there is one company that rules them all: Luxottica.

While you may not be familiar with that name, you’re likely familiar with its subsidiaries like Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Sunglass Hut.

Luxottica has humble beginnings

It was founded by Leonardo Del Vecchio as a workshop that made parts for other eyewear makers in 1961.

The company eventually started producing its own glasses, and expanded its empire through a series of sharp business moves, per Forbes:

  • In 1988, Luxottica signed a licensing agreement with designer Giorgio Armani, which he says helped turn glasses into fashion accessories.
  • From 1990 to 2001, the company acquired Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Ray-Ban, and Sunglass Hut.
  • In 2018, Luxottica merged with Essilor, a french manufacturer of optic lenses, to create an eyewear behemoth.

As you might expect, these moves were lucrative for the company and its founder.

Del Vecchio was born in 1935…

… to an impoverished family in Milan and raised in an orphanage. He passed away yesterday at age 87 as the proprietor of a ~$25B fortune.

When asked the secret to his success, Del Vecchio replied, “I’ve always strived to be the best at everything I do — that’s it.”

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AROUND THE WEB

🏳️‍🌈 On this day: In 1969, the Stonewall Riots began in NYC in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar. Today, June is designated as LGBTQ+ Pride Month in honor of the uprising.

🛒 Useful: Spoken.io searches across stores to help you find what you’re looking for at the best price.

🍹 That’s interesting: Barcelona’s stock market-themed Dow Jones Bar prices drinks based on their popularity. When enough drinks are bought, the market “crashes,” offering patrons deals on cocktails.

😔 How to: Bad news can make it hard to focus. Harvard Business Review has tips for supporting your team through dark days.

🐼 Aww: And now, clumsy pandas.

Meme
cell phone bill meme

(Source: imgflip.com)

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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Jennifer “The Queen of Ray-Bans” Wang.

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