Is Amazon under-representing workplace injuries? Google details how much it would pay you to detect AI attacks on its systems, the UK’s contentious internet safety bill becomes law, and Uber starts offering driverless rides.
These and more top tech stories on Hashtag Trending
I’m your host, James Roy.
According to independent research, 69 percent of Amazon warehouse employees had to take unpaid time off due to pain or exhaustion in the past month. 34 percent have had to do so three or more times, and 41 percent of employees report having been injured on the job at an Amazon warehouse. That figure goes up 10 per cent for those who have worked there for three or more years.
But here’s the real kicker; these injury rates, the report finds, are way higher than what Amazon self-reported to government officials in 2022.
The independent research data was sourced from 1,484 Amazon workers at 451 facilities across 42 states.
The report, to some extent, explains why the figures are different. For instance, only 3 per cent of workers say they reported their injury to a state agency, while 64 per cent just reported it to Amazon.
A third of survey respondents also said they did not report injuries at all, some expressing fear of negative consequences, some thinking that won’t help, while others were not wanting to tarnish their team’s safety record.
One research director claimed, “The survey data indicate that how Amazon designs its processes – including extensive monitoring and the rapid pace of work – is contributing to a considerable physical and mental health toll, including injuries, burnout, and exhaustion.
Amazon responded to the research, saying that “This is not a ‘study’ – it’s a survey done on social media, by groups with an ulterior motive.”
Source: The Register
Google detailed in a blog how much it would pay you to detect AI attacks on its systems.
The reward price could range from $100 to $31,337, depending on the severity of the attack scenario and the type of target affected.
Specifically, Google is looking for prompt injection attacks, training data leaks, or any other design or implementation issue that affects the confidentiality or integrity of user data. Attack strategies giving threat actors direct access to Google’s servers are the most highly rewarded.
This reward system is part of the company’s existing Bug Hunter Program aimed at encouraging third-party discovery and reporting vulnerabilities specific to Google’s AI systems.
Last year, the company issued over $12 million in rewards to security researchers who tested Google’s products for vulnerabilities.
Amazon has got you covered if you have a cough, cold or flu.
The company’s virtual health clinic, Amazon Clinic, now allows you to select a new “Cough, cold, and flu” option and then look at a list of available telehealth providers and compare pricing and response times.
From there, users need to fill an intake form that details their current symptoms and basic health history, and they will be connected to a licensed clinician either through a secure messaging portal or a video call.
The clinician will then provide treatment, which could include a prescription that can be filled by Amazon Pharmacy or another pharmacy.
Amazon Clinic launched nearly a year ago as the company was scrambling to break into healthcare for years. It shut down a telehealth service called Amazon Care last year and another in 2021. However, Amazon did manage to complete its acquisition of healthcare provider OneMedical earlier this year. And it launched Amazon Pharmacy off the back of its acquisition of PillPack.
Amazon Clinic can provide care for more than 35 common health concerns, including asthma, eczema, acid reflux and pinkeye.
Source: Tech Crunch
The UK’s controversial internet safety bill has become law, after years of debate and pushback.
The new law forces tech firms to protect children from some legal but harmful material, with the country’s regulator, OfCom, being given extra enforcement powers.
Platforms will need to show, among other things, that they are committed to removing harmful material like child sexual abuse, extreme sexual violence, illegal immigration or smuggling, self-harm content and more.
Other things like sharing of deepfake porn will also be clamped down.
The controversial bit, however, lies in compelling messaging services to examine the contents of encrypted messages for child abuse material, with platforms like WhatsApp, Signal and iMessage raising privacy concerns, and some even threatening to pull out of the UK.
The government has said the regulator, OfCom, would only ask tech firms to access messages once “feasible technology” had been developed.
Tech companies who break the rules will have to cough up 10 per cent of their global revenue or £18m – whichever is bigger. Their bosses could even face prison time.
Scattered Spider, a prolific hacking group has been impersonating newly hired employees in targeted firms as a ploy to blend into regular hire processes, takeover accounts and breach organizations across the world.
Microsoft disclosed the group’s activities.
One of the key hallmarks of the group is the targeting of support and help desk personnel via social engineering attacks, to gain initial access to privileged accounts, tricking them into performing a reset of the victim’s password and multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods.
The group initially targeted mobile telecommunication providers and business process outsourcing (BPO) organizations to initiate SIM swaps, before graduating to monetizing the access for selling SIM swaps to other criminals, and performing account takeovers of high-net-worth individuals for cryptocurrency theft.
It now has diversified its targeting to include email and tech service providers, gaming, hospitality, retail, managed service providers (MSPs), manufacturing, technology, and financial sectors.
Microsoft described the adversary as “one of the most dangerous financial criminal groups,” calling out its operational fluidity and attack strategies.
Source: The Hacker News
Driverless cars don’t sound like that great an idea, especially after recent cases of Cruise robotaxis jamming up roads or even pinning a pedestrian under its tire, earlier this month in San Francisco. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) even ended up suspending Cruise’s permits.
But that did not put Uber off, as the company started offering driverless rides in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday, in collaboration with Waymo.
When someone in Phoenix requests an Uber, they may be matched with a Waymo vehicle if they’re in the service area and there’s one available.
Users will be able to request a ride with a human driver if they’re matched with a Waymo but don’t want to travel in a robotaxi. Alternatively, those eager to try a Waymo ride can set up their ride preferences to make it more likely that they’ll match with an autonomous vehicle.
Waymo says its vehicles already carry out more than 10,000 trips every week in the Metro Phoenix area.
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