Tag Archives: Silicon Valley

Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

Want to freak yourself out? Im going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where youve been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where youve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

A Google map of every place Ive been in Ireland this year. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows everything youve ever searched and deleted

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether youre going to be a parent soon, if youre a conservative, if youre a progressive, if youre Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if youre feeling depressed or suicidal, if youre anorexic

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. Ive requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos youve taken on your phone, the businesses youve bought from, the products youve bought through Google

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books youve purchased, the Google groups youre in, the websites youve created, the phones youve owned, the pages youve shared, how many steps you walk in a day

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message youve ever sent or been sent, every file youve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages youve ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things youve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic girl).

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers youve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. Its just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications youve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess Im interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran

They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

My Google Takeout document. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Heres the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

My search history document has 90,000 different entries. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows which events you attended, and when

Heres my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events Ive ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended. Photograph: Dylan Curran

And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my rsum, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites Ive ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.


Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps Ive ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times Ive recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts Ive done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fits permissions).


And they have years worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos


Google has every email you ever sent

Every email Ive ever sent, thats been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.


And there is more

Ill just do a short summary of whats in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad Ive ever viewed or clicked on, every app Ive ever launched or used and when I did it, every website Ive ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app Ive ever installed or searched for.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy

Former Facebook executive: social media is ripping society apart

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice-president of user growth, expressed regret for his part in building tools that destroy the social fabric of how society works

A former Facebook executive has said he feels tremendous guilt over his work on tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works, joining a growing chorus of critics of the social media giant.

Chamath Palihapitiya, who was vice-president for user growth at Facebook before he left the company in 2011, said: The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.

The remarks, which were made at a Stanford Business School event in November, were just surfaced by tech website the Verge on Monday.

This is not about Russian ads, he added. This is a global problem. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.

Palihapitiyas comments last month were made a day after Facebooks founding president, Sean Parker, criticized the way that the company exploit[s] a vulnerability in human psychology by creating a social-validation feedback loop during an interview at an Axios event.

Parker had said that he was something of a conscientious objector to using social media, a stance echoed by Palihapitaya who said that he was now hoping to use the money he made at Facebook to do good in the world.

I cant control them, Palihapitaya said of his former employer. I can control my decision, which is that I dont use that shit. I can control my kids decisions, which is that theyre not allowed to use that shit.

He also called on his audience to soul-search about their own relationship to social media. Your behaviors, you dont realize it, but you are being programmed, he said. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much youre going to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Lima. The social media giant has faced increasing criticism for its power to polarize. Photograph: Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Social media companies have faced increased scrutiny over the past year as critics increasingly link growing political divisions across the globe to the handful of platforms that dominate online discourse.

Many observers attributed the unexpected outcomes of the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit referendum at least in part to the ideological echo chambers created by Facebooks algorithms, as well as the proliferation of fake news, conspiracy mongering, and propaganda alongside legitimate news sources in Facebooks news feeds.

The company only recently acknowledged that it sold advertisements to Russian operatives seeking to sow division among US voters during the 2016 election.

Facebook has also faced significant criticism for its role in amplifying anti-Rohingya propaganda in Myanmar amid suspected ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority.

Palihapitiya referenced a case from the Indian state of Jharkhand this spring, when false WhatsApp messages warning of a group of kidnappers led to the lynching of seven people. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.

Thats what were dealing with, Palihapitiya said. Imagine when you take that to the extreme where bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything you want. Its just a really, really bad state of affairs.

Facebook responded to Palihapitiyas comments on Tuesday, noting that the former executive had not worked for the company in six years.

When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world, a company spokeswoman, Susan Glick, said in a statement. Facebook was a very different company back then, and as we have grown, we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too. We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve.

The company said that it was researching the impact of its products on well-being and noted that the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, indicated a willingness to decrease profitability to address issues such as foreign interference in elections.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/11/facebook-former-executive-ripping-society-apart

Google reportedly fires author of anti-diversity memo

Chief executive officer Sundar Pichai states internal document that criticised efforts to advertise ladies and under-symbolized minorities is unlike our fundamental values

Google apparently fired an application engineer on Monday following a document he wrote criticising the companys diversity efforts and attributing the tech industrys gender imbalance to biological variations between women and men went viral.

To point out several our colleagues have traits which make them less biologically suitable for [Googles] jobs are offensive and never OK, Google Chief executive officer Sundar Pichai authored in a memo to employees. It’s unlike our fundamental values and our code of conduct.

The firing from the memos author, who identified themself as James Damore within an email towards the Protector, was initially as reported by Bloomberg. Google declined to discuss a person employees situation, but tweeted a link to help comments by Pichai: Our co-workers shouldnt need to worry that every time they open their mouths to talk inside a meeting, they need to prove they aren’t such as the memo states, being agreeable instead of assertive, showing lower stress tolerance or just being neurotic.

The Ten-page manifesto was printed internally, but was leaked towards the press on Saturday after prompting a firestorm within the organization. The document, titled Googles Ideological Echo Chamber, takes are designed for Googles diversity and inclusion initiatives, for example implicit bias training and programs to advertise ladies and under-symbolized minorities, and argues that the organization is intolerant of conservative political opinions.

With regards to diversity and inclusion, Googles left bias has produced a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence, the writer authored.

The writer also made questionable claims about supposedly innate variations between women and men to take into account the ultimate gender disparity in Googles workforce.

Like most of Silicon Valleys top tech companies, Bing is overwhelmingly male, white-colored and Asian. Women constitute just 20% from the technical workforce, and African Americans just 1%, based on Googles newest diversity report.

Bing is also involved in a legitimate fight using the US Department at work, that is investigating the organization for wage discrimination. A Department of labor lawyer told the Guardian in April that it is analysis of wage data demonstrated that discrimination against women in the search engines is very extreme, even just in this industry.

At this time the department has gotten compelling proof of very significant discrimination against women in most positions at Google headquarters, the lawyer stated.

Google denies the costs.

The interior document sparked a heated debate within Google and also the tech industry in particular, with lots of Google employees expressing anger and dismay about its contents on Twitter. Many known as for that authors firing, quarrelling that his opinions produced a hostile work atmosphere, while some elevated concerns about sacking an worker for expressing unpopular views.

Rightwing news site Breitbart covered the debate extensively, concentrating on the perceived culture of political correctness within the tech industry, and casting the memos author like a victim of the witch search by social justice players.

In the memo, Pichai acknowledged concerns over freedom of expression, adding: Many points elevated within the memo like the portions criticising Googles trainings, questioning the function of ideology at work, and debating whether programs for ladies and underserved groups are sufficiently available to each one is important topics.

The writer were built with a to express their thoughts about individuals topics we encourage an atmosphere by which people can perform this also it remains our policy not to do something against anybody for prompting these discussions.

The Chief executive officer told staff he’d be coming back from the vacation early to be able to hold an urban area hall meeting to go over the way we produce a more inclusive atmosphere for those.

Bing is the most recent company to manage problems with sexism, discrimination and harassment this season. The Uber Chief executive officer, Travis Kalanick, resigned in June as well as an additional 20 employees were fired among the fallout from allegations of prevalent sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the organization.

The tech industry has additionally been rocked by accusations that numerous high-profile vc’s have harassed female startup entrepreneurs.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/08/google-fires-author-anti-diversity-memo

Tech has become another wayfor men to oppress women | Lizzie OShea

We behave as if technology were neutral nevertheless its not. The task now’s to get rid of the gender bias, states human legal rights lawyer and author Lizzie OShea

Most women within the San Francisco Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive, despite their claims of worldliness, and usually filled with shit, authored former Facebook product manager Antonio Garca Martnez in 2016. They’ve themselves-regarding entitlement feminism, and ceaselessly vaunt their independence. But the truth is, come the epidemic plague or foreign invasion, theyd become precisely the type of useless baggage youd trade for any box of shotgun shells or perhaps a jerry can of diesel. This really is from his insider account of Plastic Valley, Chaos Apes. It would be a bestseller. The Brand New You are able to Occasions called it an irresistible and indispensable 360-degree help guide to the brand new technology establishment. Anybody who’s surprised at the current revelations of sexism distributing like wildfire with the technology industry is not having to pay attention.

When Susan Fowler wrote about her experience with being sexually harassed at Uber, it motivated a series of occasions that appeared unimaginable several weeks ago, including an analysis brought by former attorney general Eric Holder, and also the departure of numerous key people from the companys leadership team. Venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck faced allegations of harassing conduct, so when he offered an unimpressive denial, companies funded by his firm banded together to condemn his tepidity. He subsequently resigned, and also the future of his former firm is unclear. Since that time, a large number of ladies have come toward reveal the sexist culture in several Plastic Valley technology and investment capital firms. It’s more and more obvious from all of these accounts the problem for ladies within the tech industry isn’t a failure to lean in, it’s a cultureof harassment and discrimination which makes a lot of their workplaces unsafe and uncomfortable.

A minimum of this problem has been discussed with techniques that open the chance that it will likely be addressed. The main problem of sexism within the tech industry goes much much deeper and wider. Technological development is undermining the reason for womens equality in different ways.

American academic Melvin Kranzbergs first law of technology tells us that technologies are neither inherently good nor bad, neither is it neutral. Like a black mirror it reflects the issues which exist in society such as the oppression of ladies. Huge numbers of people bark orders at Alexa, every single day, but rarely shall we be asked to question why the domestic organiser is voiced with a lady. The entry system for any womens locker room inside a gym lately declined admission to a lady member because her title was Dr, also it categorised her as male.

But the problem is not just that technology products reflect a backward look at the function of ladies. They frequently also appear ignorant or indifferent to womens resided experience. As the web of products expands, more devices within our homes as well as on our physiques are collecting data about us and delivering it to systems, a procedure that we frequently haven’t much control. This presents profound trouble for vulnerable people of society, including survivors of domestic violence. Wearable technology could be hacked, cars and phones could be tracked, and knowledge from the thermostat can reveal whether someone reaches home. This potential is frightening for those who have experienced rape, violence or stalking.

Unsurprisingly, technologies are utilized by users: inside a survey of domestic violence services organisations, 97% reported the survivors using them have observed harassment, monitoring, and threats by users through any susipicious activity regarding technology. This frequently happens on phones, but 60% of individuals surveyed also reported that users have spied or eavesdropped around the survivor or children using other kinds of technology, including toys along with other gifts. Many shelters have resorted to banning using Facebook due to fears about revealing details about their whereabouts to stalkers. It is possible to make devices give control to users and limit the capability for abuse. But there’s little evidence this is a priority for that technology industry.

Items that tend to be more attentive to the requirements of women will be a great start. But we ought to be thinking bigger: we have to avoid reproducing sexism in system design. The term-embedding models utilized in such things as conversation bots and word searches offer an instructive example. These models operate by feeding immeasureable text right into a computer therefore it learns how words connect with one another wide. It is dependant on the idea that words which appear near one another in texts share meaning. These spatial relationships are utilized in natural language-processing to ensure that computers can build relationships us conversationally. By studying lots of text, a pc can discover Paris would be to France as Tokyo, japan would be to Japan. It develops a dictionary by association.

However this can make problems once the world isn’t just as it must be. For example, scientific study has experimented using these word-embedding models, Word2vec, a well known and freely available model trained on three million words from Google News. They discovered that it creates highly gendered analogies. For example, when requested Man would be to lady as computer programmer would be to ?, the model will answer homemaker. Or father would be to mother as physician would be to ?, the reply is nurse. Obviously the model reflects a particular reality: it is a fact there are more male software engineers, and nurses tend to be more frequently women. However this bias, reflecting social discrimination, will be employed and reinforced whenever we build relationships computers using natural language that depends on Word2vec. It’s not difficult to imagine how this model may be racially biased, or biased against other groups.

These biases could be amplified duringthe procedure for learning. Because the Durch Technology Review points out: When the phrase computer programmer is much more carefully connected with men than women, a look for theterm computer programmer CVs might rank men better than women. When this sort of learning has applications across fields including medicine, education, employment, policymaking and criminal justice, it’s not difficult to observe how much damage such biases may cause.

Removing such gender bias is really a challenge, partly because the issue is inherently political: Word2vec entrenches the planet because it is, rather thanwhat it might or ought to be. But as to change the models to mirror aspirations, how can we decide what sort of world you want to see?

Technology offers myriad waysto put these understandings to operate. It’s not bad, but we must challenge the presumption that it’s neutral. Its potential has been explored with techniques which are sometimes promising, frequently frightening and amazing. To take full advantage of this moment, we have to make a future with no oppressions of history. We have to allow women to achieve their potential in workplaces where they think safe and revered. But we should also consider the black mirror of technology and discover the cracks of sunshine shining through.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/07/technology-sexist-society-even-worse-women-potential

Now that Travis Kalanick has resigned, is it OK to use Uber?

Personally, I wouldnt. But now you ask , an even bigger one: how can we be responsible for the role within the exploitive gig-economy?

Q: Given all of the terrible tales which have emerge about Uber, must i erase the application from my phone, although the Chief executive officer has resigned?

Lets list unhealthy things. Uber, which appropriately or wrongly seems like patient zero within the plague of horrible tech start ups, were built with a bad repetition before the occasions that introduced lower Chief executive officer Travis Kalanick a week ago. It set the gig economy standard of classifying its motorists as independent contractors instead of employees, to prevent providing them with benefits.

Among individuals it did, unavoidably, need to employ, it inculcated a culture of sexism which has generated allegations of harassment among female engineers and led to only 15% of its tech staff being women. It acquired the medical records of a woman in India who had been raped by an Uber driver (the motive force has since been sentenced to existence jail time), which was all before David Bonderman, an Uber executive, designed a joke in a board meeting two days ago towards the effect that getting more women around the board would fill conferences with useless chat. The brouhaha around Bondermans comments appears to possess been the final straw for investors, who requested Kalanick to resign. He did.

This can be considered like a fitting finish towards the matter, considering that Kalanick, who founded the organization in ’09 and elevated more investment capital compared to any startup ever, is recognized as largely the reason for its so-called brogrammer culture. Without any Kalanick, and considering the independent analysis Uber commissioned into its very own failures from Eric Holder, the previous U . s . States attorney general believe it or not which figured that internal slogans at Uber for example Continually Be Hustlin have been accustomed to justify poor behavior, possibly this is the time to update our ideas of the organization.

However , Uber is simply one illustration of a much wider trend. OK, so it is the worst example, however if you simply boycott Uber, dont imagine you are able to shift to other ride-share apps with cosier reputations in the US, Lyft, say, that also denies its motorists worker status and counts the wonderful Peter Thiel among its investors and are available away having a clean conscience.

And why visit transport? Each week, most of my groceries are sent to my door by Instacart, a Bay Area-based launch which provides 1 / 2 of its workers individuals that do the particular shopping worker status, but denies it to those who do the delivery. The expertise of using Instacart is much more guilt-inducing than taking Uber you cannot avoid eye-to-eye contact with someone in your doorstep how you can with someone providing you with a trip.

The issue then becomes one not just of methods much responsibility will we, most effective and quickest, bear for conditions across a completely new work model, but simply how bad is the fact that model to begin with? Advocates from the gig economy, included in this David Plouffe, Barack Obamas former right hands man and until lately a professional at Uber, and Chris Lehane, mind of worldwide policy at Airbnb along with a former strategist within the Clinton administration, credit Uber-type apps with funnelling earnings lower to individuals battling within the employment market. Critics refer to it as exploitation.

This debate is simply too large to solve here, apart from to state that it is true many individuals prosper gigging, however they are usually individuals who prosper anyway and then any reference to trickle lower financial aspects chief proponent, Jesse Trump ought to be given scepticism. I easily wiped Uber from my phone years back after it struck me having a cost surge and that i wound up having to pay nearly as much for that 40 minute journey towards the airport terminal when i did for that five hour flight from New You are able to to LA. I dislike the actual way it undermines trains and buses infrastructure and fills metropolitan areas with creepy black SUVs. But Im additionally a complete hypocrite I personally use Via, Ubers ride-discussing rival having a better status, not understanding the very first factor about this.

Heres things i think: that Uber represents a brand new variety of company, the culture being still in development, as evidenced through the raft of first-generation lawsuits arrived. Not just are Uber and Lyft being sued by former employees, but so might be cleaning startup Homejoy, delivery startup Postmates, and Instacart.

Uber is definitely the greatest of those companies and just what happens there matters, to ensure that regardless of recent changes at the very top, now would appear to become a bad time for you to take away the pressure. Just the opposite. You should be complaining concerning the grosser facets of the brand new economy as noisally as you possibly can lest they become imbedded normalized, let’s say in a manner that 5 years from now means they are harder to root out.

Im place in mind of Madeleine Albrights famous reaction to the issue of why the united states designated Cuba for sanctions when a lot of other nations on the planet were badly. We don’t possess a standard method of policy, she stated. China is really a world power … Cuba is definitely an embarrassment towards the western hemisphere. Within this example, Uber may be the world power so that as things at the organization still stand, its a global a lot of us shouldn’t reside in. Personally, Id delete the application.

  • If you’d like advice from Emma Brockes regarding how to be considered a human online, send us a short description of the concerns to human.online@theguardian.com

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/28/uber-travis-kalanick-should-i-delete-app

Uber criticized for standing by executive accused of ignoring discrimination claim

As Uber Chief executive officer departs, questions happen to be elevated why its CTO who had been incorporated inside a viral publish about discrimination and harassment continues to have employment

The resignation of Ubers embattled Chief executive officer Travis Kalanick has brought some to question why the companys chief technology officer (CTO), who had been incorporated within an engineers viral account of sexual harassment and discrimination, has stored his job.

Kalanick announced his departure now after months of scandals, most particularly the allegations of former employee Susan Fowler, who printed an in depth blogpost in Feb about rampant sexism at Uber and managements repeated refusal to reply to her complaints.

Among the only executives Fowler particularly referenced in her own claims was Thuan Pham, the CTO who she stated didn’t do anything after she told him that the manager threatened to fireplace her for talking with HR about discrimination. Her story brought to some several weeks-lengthy analysis spearheaded by former US attorney general Eric Holder, culminating within the termination of more than 20 employees, promises of major reforms and many lately the ousting of Kalanick, who walked lower when confronted with pressure from investors.

But Pham has weathered the storm and stays in the high-profile position, the organization confirmed on Wednesday, drawing criticisms that Uber hasn’t correctly addressed Fowlers claims, has unsuccessful to carry a effective executive accountable and it has dirty enough to repair the ride-hailing companys misogynistic culture.

Its sad. It transmits a note that being an industry we value men in technical roles greater than we value the security of ladies, stated Julie Ann Horvath, an advocate of diversity in tech that has openly discussed her experiences of facing sexual harassment and discrimination in Plastic Valley.

Concerns about Phams ongoing role at Uber may come as the Bay Area firm has guaranteed to construct an Uber 2. as a result of criticisms of their toxic workplace and frat-house culture, which many stated was promoted by Kalanicks immature and offensive behavior.

Fowler, who labored for Uber from November 2015 to December 2016, claimed that the manager immediately propositioned her for sex when she became a member of, however that HR ignored her complaints despite documented evidence cheap others had elevated concerns about him.

In another situation, Fowler stated her organization at Uber had guaranteed leather jackets for everybody, but made the decision to not get them organized for ladies since there weren’t enough women … to warrant putting in an order. When she complained, an HR representative stated she was the most popular theme in any reports, and her manager later informed her she was on thin ice for likely to HR and could be ended if she accomplished it again, Fowler authored.

She stated she told HR and Pham of those threats and stated both of them accepted this was illegal, but not one of them did anything, adding, I had been told later they didnt do anything whatsoever since the manager who threatened me would be a high artist.

Its unclear exactly what the subsequent analysis uncovered about Phams handling of her situation.

An Uber spokesperson declined to discuss the findings associated with Pham and whether he’s faced any disciplinary action, but confirmed the CTO continues to be at Uber. The organization also adopted finished all employment recommendations that resulted in the investigations, such as the recent round of terminations, the spokesperson added.

We’ve taken strong action to deal with claims of harassment, discrimination along with other inappropriate behavior, and also have established processes and systems to guarantee the mistakes of history won’t be repeated, the organization stated inside a statement. Were centered on rebuilding trust with this employees and also the communities we serve, creating a company along with a culture that people can are proud of.

Fowler didnt react to a request comment, but on Wednesday retweeted a critique from another female engineer in tech, who wrote: Wondering why there isnt more fuss concerning the CTO still staying at uber, considering that numerous problems originated from engineering org.

amy nguyen (@amyngyn)

wondering why there is not more fuss concerning the CTO still staying at uber, considering that numerous problems originated from engineering org https://t.co/cNGlbpinpr

June 21, 2017

Other women in Plastic Valley echoed the concerns, saying it had been disappointing to determine the recent high-level departures have largely happened outdoors of Ubers engineering organization, which, based on Fowler, was affected by problems.

Kamilah Taylor, an application engineer who lately spoke out a good offensive recruitment email she received from Uber, stated the organization needed to do more to repair cultural problems in engineering.

Susan particularly references that Ubers CTO … didn’t do anything, Taylor, who co-authored a magazine known as Women in Tech, authored within an email. And So I ask Uber, why must we feel that theyve taken the required actions within engineering to repair their problems? Where’s the proof?

Horvath stated it had been painful to determine Pham avoid termination which could deter others from coming forward. Kalanicks departure, she added, is nearly a distraction to be able to say, Okay, we fixed the issue. Weve managed to move on now.

Some also have elevated concerns concerning the ongoing employment of Ryan Graves, a longtime executive who had been formerly Chief executive officer and it was even the companys first worker. Graves is recognized as a Kalanick loyalist and it was mind of operations overseeing HR during Fowlers tenure, based on a study recently from tech news site Recode, which noted that Graves and Pham were both pressurized within the sexual harassment analysis.

Graves, however, can also be still at Uber, a spokesperson confirmed towards the Protector.

Pham and Graves didn’t react to demands for comment.

Other Kalanick defenders stay at the organization, based on the New You are able to Occasions Mike Isaac, who tweeted that some employees were saying these were angry at investors for pushing the Chief executive officer.

Joelle Emerson, Chief executive officer of Paradigm, a business that can help tech firms diversify their workforces, stated it was vital that firms like Uber exceed just terminating problematic people: We are able to sometimes result in the mistake of thinking this really is about individuals [when] its concerning the underlying group of systems and procedures and underlying culture.

But, she added, When individuals aren’t attributed for all kinds of role they play in discrimination or harassment it reinforces that inappropriate behavior is suitable.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/22/uber-cto-thuan-pham-susan-fowler-travis-kalanick

Uber’s scandals, blunders and PR disasters: the full list

The organization has already established a apparently never-ending string of missteps, from the questionable Chief executive officer to questionable tactics and sexual harassment claims

Uber continues to be rocked by a steady flow of scandals and negative publicity recently, including revelations of questionable spy programs, a higher-stakes technology suit, claims of sexual harassment and discrimination and embarrassing leaks about executive conduct.

The PR disasters culminated in Chief executive officer Travis Kalanick taking an indefinite leave of absence now and promises of bold reform that largely overlooked the ride-hailing companys strained relationship with motorists.

This is a timeline of probably the most consequential controversies.

Boob-er backlash, Feb 2014

Uber Chief executive officer Travis Kalanick faced backlash for any sexist joke about his growing desirability, telling an Esquire reporter: We call that Boob-er.

Individuals competitor, August 2014

Uber faced accusations it booked a large number of fake rides from the competitor Lyft in order to reduce its profits and services. Uber recruiters also allegedly spammed Lyft motorists in order to recruit them from the rival.

The God View scandal, November 2014

Uber executive Emil Michael suggested digging up dirt on journalists and distributing private information of the female reporter who had been critical of the organization. He later apologized. It had been also says Uber includes a so-known as God View technology that enables the organization to trace users locations, raising privacy concerns. One manager had accessed the profile of the reporter without her permission.

Stalking Beyonc, December 2016

An old forensic investigator for Uber testified that employees regularly spied on politicians, exes and celebrities, including Beyonc.

Self-driving pilot failure, December 2016

Regulators in California purchased Uber to remove self-driving vehicles from the road after the organization launched an airplane pilot without permits. On the very first day from the program, the vehicles were caught running red lights, and cycling advocates in Bay Area also elevated concerns concerning the cars creating hazards in bike lanes. The organization blamed red-light issues on human error, however the New You are able to Occasions later claimed the companys statements were false which the autonomous technology unsuccessful.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/uber-travis-kalanick-scandal-pr-disaster-timeline

Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: ‘Everything feels like the future but us’

Exclusive: Chief executive officer Elon Musk defends workplace, saying [we’re not just greedy capitalists who skimp on safety and declares his $50bn company overvalued

When Tesla purchased a decommissioned vehicle factory in Fremont, California, Elon Musk transformed that old-fashioned, unionized plant right into a much-vaunted factory of the future, where giant robots named after X-Men shape and fold sheets of metal in the gleaming white-colored mecca of advanced manufacturing.

Hunger for Musks planet, and the promise to disrupt the carbon-reliant automobile industry, helps Teslas value exceed those of both Ford and, briefly, General Motors (GM). But a few of the human workers who share the factory using their automatic counterparts complain ofgrueling work pressure they attributeto Musks aggressive production goals, and often existence-altering injuries.

Ambulances happen to be known as greater than 100 occasions since 2014 for workers experiencing fainting spells, dizziness, seizures, abnormal breathing and chest pains, based on incident reports acquired through the Protector. Hundreds more were known as for injuries along with other health problems.

Inside a phone interview concerning the conditions in the factory, which employs some 10,000 workers, the Tesla Chief executive officer conceded his workers have been getting difficulty, working lengthy hrs, as well as on hard jobs, but stated he cared deeply regarding their health and wellness.His company states its factory safety record has considerably improved within the this past year.

Musk also stated that Tesla shouldn’t be when compared with major US carmakers which its market capital, now greater than $50bn, is unwarranted. I do think the forex market cap is greater than we’ve any to deserve, he stated, mentioning his company produces just 1% of GMs total output.

Were a cash losing company, Musk added. This isn’t some situation where, for instance, we’re just greedy capitalists who made the decision to scrimp on safety to be able to convey more profits and dividends which type of factor. Its only a question of how much cash we lose. And how can we survive? How can we not die and also have everybody lose their jobs?

Tesla worker Jonathan Galescu says he has seen co-workers collapse or be taken away by ambulances. Photograph: Josh Edelson for the Guardian

Musks account of the companys approach differs from that of the 15 current and former factory workers who told the Guardian of a culture which they described as requiring working long hours under intense pressure, sometimes through pain and injury, in order to fulfill the CEOs ambitious production goals.

Ive seen people pass out, hit the floor like a pancake and smash their face open, said Jonathan Galescu, a production technician at Tesla. They just send us to work around him while hes still laying on the floor.

He was one of several workers who said they had seen co-workers collapse or be taken away in ambulances. We had an associate on my line, he just kept working, kept working, kept working, next thing you know he just fell on the ground, said Mikey Catura, a worker on the battery pack line.

Richard Ortiz, another production worker, spoke admiringly of the high-tech shop floor. Its like you died and went to auto-worker heaven. But he added: Everything feels like the future but us.

Tesla sits at the juncture between a tech startup, untethered from the rules of the old economy, and a manufacturer that needs to produce physical goods. Nowhere is that contradiction more apparent than at the Tesla factory, where Musks bombastic projection that his company will make 500,000 cars in 2018 (a 495% increase from 2016) relies just as much around the sweat and muscle of a large number of human workers because it does on advanced robots.

Inside Teslas car-production center in Fremont, California. The factory employs some 10,000 workers. Photograph: Tesla

From what Ive gathered, Elon Musk began Tesla a lot like an application startup and didnt understand that it’s not just nerds in a computer desk typing, stated one production worker, one of many who requested to not be recognized by name. You actually start losing the startup feel if you have lots of people doing physical labor.

In Feb, Tesla worker Jose Moran printed a blog post that detailed allegations of mandatory overtime, high rates of injuries and occasional wages in the factory, and says workers were trying to unionize using the U . s . Auto Workers.

Morans publish shone a spotlight on the workforce that’s almost entirely absent from Teslas official pictures of the factory.

Michael Sanchez had two dreams: to become a painter along with a vehicle service specialist. He stated he was ecstatic as he was employed 5 years ago to operate at Tesla, a business he believed was area of the future.

Now Sanchez has two herniated dvds in the neck, is on disability leave from work, and can’t grip a pencil without discomfort.

Tesla stated the employees injuries happened as they was installing one of the wheels, but Sanchez stated it had been brought on by time he spent focusing on Teslas set up line. The cars he labored on were suspended over the line, and the job needed searching up and dealing together with his hands above his mind all day long.

You may make it through Monday, Sanchez stated. You may make it through Tuesday. Come Wednesday you begin to feel something. Thursday is discomfort. Friday is agonizing. Saturday youre just enduring your day.

Teslas manufacturing practices have been most harmful in the earliest many years of operations. The organization doesn’t dispute that it is recordable incident rate (TRIR), the official way of measuring injuries and illnesses that’s reported to workplace safety regulators, was over the industry average between 2013 and 2016.

Tesla declined to produce data over individuals 4 years, saying similarly info doesnt reflect the way the factory operates today.

Tesla worker Michael Sanchez outside the Fremont factory. Sanchez has two herniated discs in his neck and is currently on disability leave. Photograph: Josh Edelson for the Guardian

The company did release more recent data, which indicates its record of safety incidents went from slightly above the industry average in late 2016, to a performance in the first few months of 2017 that was 32% better than average. The company said that its decision to add a third shift, introduce a dedicated team of ergonomics experts, and improvements to the factorys safety teams account for the significant reduction in incidents since last year.

Musk said safety was paramount at the company. Its incredibly hurtful and I think false for anyone to claim that I dont care. The CEO said his desk was in the worst place in the factory, the most painful place, in keeping with his management philosophy. Its not some comfortable corner office.

In early 2016, he said, he slept on the factory floor in a sleeping bag to make it the most painful thing possible. I knew people were having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs. I wanted to work harder than they did, to put even more hours in, he said. Because thats what I think a manager should do.

He added: Were doing this because we believe in a sustainable energy future, trying to accelerate the advent of clean transport and clean energy production, not because we think this is a way to get rich.

Tesla workers who spoke to the Guardian echoed this sense of pride and enthusiasm for the companys mission. Were changing the world, enthused Ortiz. I cant wait for my granddaughter to one day go to class and say, My grandfather was in there.

But that pride did not erase what Ortiz described as a prevailing mood of mass disappointment over working conditions and what he alleged were avoidable work-related injuries.

He recently lost the strength in his right arm, a situation he said was scaring him. I want to use my arm when Im retired, he added.

Others described repetitive stress injuries they linked to working long hours. Before the companyreduced the average time of a workday in October 2016, workers said they routinely worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week. Tesla said the changehad been a success, and resulted in a 50% decline in overtime hours.

Tesla worker Richard Ortiz says that despite being proud of the companys mission, there is a mood of mass disappointment over conditions. Photograph: Julia Carrie Wong for the Guardian

Sanchez and other workers said they believed more injuries occurred because, for years, the company did not take worker safety seriously, with some managers belittling their complaints and pressuring them to work through pain.

When workers told managers about pain, Sanchez said they responded: We all hurt. You cant man up? Alan Ochoa, another Tesla worker who is currently on a medical leave with an injury, alleged that superiors put the production numbers ahead of the safety and wellbeing of the employees.

The company said that Ochoa and Sanchez are especially outspoken workers whose views do not represent the wider workforce. However, the Tesla spokesperson added: In a factory of more than 10,000 employees, there will always be isolated incidents that we would like to avoid.

Complaints about working conditions at Tesla are not universal. Ive got benefits, Ive got stocks, Ive got [paid time off], said a worker who has been at the company for about a year. I thoroughly enjoy my work and I feel Im treated fairly.

Another worker, a temporary employee, said that he sees some teams in the factory doing group stretches in the morning to prevent injuries.

However, some Tesla workers argue the companys treatment of injured workers discourages them from reporting their injuries. If workers are assigned to light duty work because of an injury, they are paid a lower wage as well as supplemental benefits from workers compensation insurance, a practice that Tesla said was in line with other employers and California law.

I went from making $22 an hour to $10 an hour, said a production worker, who injured his back twice while working at Tesla. It kind of forces people to go back to work.

No one wants to get a pay cut because theyre injured, so everyone just forces themselves to work through it, added Adam Suarez, who has worked at the factory for about three years.

Tesla said it was determined to further improve its safety standards. While some amount of injuries is inevitable, our goal at Tesla is to have as close to zero injuries as possible and to become the safest factory in the auto industry worldwide, the spokesperson said.

Inside Teslas factory. Elon Musk has said his company will make 500,000 cars in 2018, a 495% increase from 2016. Photograph: Tesla

Musk has a well-documented tendency to promise Mars and provide the moon. His electric vehicle company was, by their own admission, a bet. Musk stated beginning a vehicle manufacturer on your own was likely the worst way to generate money, honestly, though he caveated that perhaps rockets really are a bit worse. On the risk adjusted return basis, a car company needs to be the dumbest factor you may start.

The organization has been successful at growing its production rate every 3 months. Within the first three several weeks of 2017, the factory created greater than 25,000 cars a Tesla record. To satisfy Musks goal for 2018, they’re going to have to quintuple that rate.

I believe one of the leading problems is the fact that people at the very top are earning impractical quarterly goals, stated a staff around the battery power line.

Three workers described an administration tactic of assigning a financial value to each delay around the set up line. Once the robot came lower and [the supervisor] returned screaming at us, Thats $18,000, $20,0000, $30,0000, $50,000 because everyone cant have this done, Gelascu remembered.

Tesla argues the task in building vehicles on your own with new production and manufacturing methods shouldn’t be undervalued, however that there is nothing more essential than protecting the safety and health of their workers.

Were attempting to do great for the planet so we have confidence in doing the best factor, Musk stated. Which reaches caring concerning the safety and health of everybody at the organization.

Its a far more humanistic tone compared to one he strikes with investors. You actually cant have individuals the development line itself. Otherwise youll instantly drop to individuals speed, he told investors within an earnings call this past year. Theres still many people in the factory, what theyre doing is maintaining the machines, upgrading them, coping with anomalies. However in the development process itself there basically could be no people.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/18/tesla-workers-factory-conditions-elon-musk

Uber executive resigns after failing to disclose prior sexual harassment claim

Setback may be the latest manifestation of turmoil at Uber, which lately found itself inside a separate sexual harassment firestorm and faces a significant suit from Google

The very best engineering executive at Uber has resigned, contributing to the companys turmoil per week after the organization found itself within an unrelated sexual harassment firestorm.

Amit Singhal, whose hire was announced just five days ago, unsuccessful to reveal that hed left his previous job at Google due to a sexual harassment allegation, according to the tech blog Recode.

Singhal denied the allegation and stated he left Google last year for their own reasons.

The dustup is only the latest manifestation of turmoil at Uber, which a week ago found itself within an unrelated sexual harassment firestorm. That stemmed from the detailed essay printed with a former female Uber engineer, who billed that her prospects at the organization evaporated after she were not impressed with sexual advances from her boss. Within the publish about her year at Uber, she stated the companys human sources department overlooked her complaints because her boss would be a high artist.

Uber Chief executive officer Travis Kalanick has known as to have an independent analysis of individuals issues, and the organization has hired former attorney general Eric Holder to assist.

Additionally, Uber is facing a lawsuit from Waymo, the self-driving vehicle company of Googles parent Alphabet, alleging the ride-share company involved in the calculated thievery of their self-driving technology. All of this on the top from the viral #DeleteUber campaign and Kalanicks questionable role on Jesse Trumps economic advisory council.

Inside a statement emailed towards the Connected Press, Singhal stated: Harassment is unacceptable in almost any setting. I certainly want everybody to understand that I don’t condone and also have not committed such behavior. Within my 20-year career, Ive never been charged with anything such as this before and the choice to leave Google was my very own.

Based on Recode, Singhal left Google after executives there informed him of the harassment allegation lodged by an worker that the internal analysis had found credible.

Representatives for Google didn’t immediately react to a request discuss Monday. Uber declined to comment beyond confirming that Singhal is not with the organization.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/27/uber-executive-resigns-sexual-harassment-google

Russian man charged with hacking LinkedIn and other tech firms

LinkedIn has suggested the 29-year-olds arrest is tied to a 2012 breach that resulted in more than 100 million of its users passwords being compromised

A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies.

The US attorneys office in San Francisco announced Friday that a grand jury indicted 29-year-old Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, of Moscow, Russia, a day earlier on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors say Nikulin used a LinkedIn employees credentials to access the companys computers in 2012. Nikulin is also accused of hacking two other companies, Dropbox and Formspring, and conspiring to sell stolen user names, passwords and email addresses of Formspring customers.

He was arrested on 5 October by officials in the Czech Republic and remains there, according to prosecutors. Russian officials have said they are working to prevent his extradition to the United States.

LinkedIn has suggested that Nikulins arrest was tied to a 2012 breach of member information. In May, LinkedIn said the 2012 breach resulted in more than 100 million of its users passwords being compromised, vastly more than had been previously thought.

Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the US attorneys office, declined to comment on whether the charges against Nikulin related to that breach.

Simmons said he did not know the name of Nikulins attorney.

LinkedIn said in a statement that it appreciated the FBIs ongoing work to pursue those responsible for the 2012 breach of LinkedIn member information.

The indictment alleges three unnamed co-conspirators, one of whom offered to sell the stolen Formspring user information to another for 5,500 euros, or about $6,000 in current US currency.

The US has accused Russia of coordinating the theft and disclosure of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other institutions and individuals in the US to influence the outcome of the election. Russia has denied that.

There was no indication the LinkedIn case was connected to that accusation.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/21/linkedin-hacking-russian-man-charged-dropbox-formspring