Monday, August 8, 2022

Hashtag Trending August 4 – Amazon warehouse workers may re-vote on union; Zoom to pay $85 million to settle privacy complaints; Silicon Valley tech startup growth and competition

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama may get a second shot at voting on unionizing, Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle claims that the company lied about end-to-end encryption, and “nontraditional” Silicon Valley investors are moving in as tech startups grow.

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It’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, August 4, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Amazon warehouse workers in Alabama could have a second chance to vote on whether to form the company’s first unionized warehouse in the U.S. This news comes after a labour board official recommended a rerun of the landmark vote which failed to pass in April. An official at the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said Amazon’s tactics against unionization tainted the election enough to warrant a do-over. Workers had voted by a margin of 2-1 not to form a union in what was viewed as a huge blow to labour advocates seeking to organize Amazon. According to the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Amazon’s behaviour throughout the election was unfair and “despicable.” Amazon warehouses have made headlines this past year for their poor working conditions that includes protracted hours with minimal breaks.

Zoom has agreed to pay $85 million to settle claims that the company lied about offering end-to-end encryption and gave user data to Facebook and Google without their consent. The class action lawsuit also covers security issues that lead to “Zoombombing.” The preliminary settlement, which also states that Zoom needs to give its staff special training in data handling and privacy, still requires approval by a U.S. District Judge in California. The lawsuit was filed in March 2020 and is one of many complaints filed against the company. If the settlement is approved, those included in the class action could receive a 15 per cent refund on their subscription or $25. Others could receive up to $15.

And lastly, “Nontraditional” Silicon Valley investors such as hedge funds and mutual funds are moving in and shifting the traditional investment space, sparking growth and competition in tech startup funding. Money-management firms were much more active in the second quarter than any previous period according to PitchBook Data Inc. These firms took part in 42 per cent of startup financial deals. These deals accounted for more than three-quarters of the invested capital. This has resulted in competition for traditional venture capitalists. According to the Wall Street Journal, some traditional venture firms are tossing out old practices in an effort to keep up. These firms are cutting back on audits and taking advice from startups on profit and loss.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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