Good morning, Austin! We have scanned the internet to bring you the latest technology news. Here’s what’s happening:
Does Google have an employee spy program?
A Google employee has filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, claiming the Silicon Valley giant is breaching labor laws and running an internal “spying program.”
The lawsuit, filed by an anonymous product manager, alleges that illegal confidentiality agreements, policies and practices mean it fails to live up to its motto “don’t be evil.”
According to the suit, internal confidentiality policies bar employees from putting in writing concerns over “illegal” activity, posting opinions about the company, and even writing novels “about someone working at a tech company in Silicon Valley” without first giving their employer sign-off on the final draft.
If found guilty of all 12 violations in the lawsuit, Google could be fined up to $3.8 billion, according to calculations made by The Information, who first uncovered the lawsuit.
Uber halts San Francisco self-driving pilot
Uber will stop its self-driving pilot in San Francisco, following a meeting Wednesday with the California DMV and Attorney General’s office. The DMV revoked the registration on 16 self-driving test vehicles Uber was using in its pilot.
The DMV told TechCrunch that it invited Uber to complete its permitting process at the same time it revoked it the vehicle registrations. Uber said it will instead be looking to deploy the vehicles elsewhere for the time being.
Uber had begun updating self-driving Volvo X90 SUVs in San Francisco on December 14, providing service to randomly selected uberX customers in the area.
Uber currently operates another trial of its self-driving technology in Pittsburgh, which will continue.
The U.S. puts Alibaba on its notorious counterfeit markets blacklist
Alibaba is back on the list.
U.S. trade officials said that they have added Taobao, the Alibaba Group’s sprawling online shopping bazaar in China, to its list of the world’s most notorious markets for counterfeit goods.
The addition is an embarrassing setback four years after Alibaba successfully lobbied American officials to drop the platform from the list, and comes as the owners of brands increasingly complain about the proliferation of fakes on the company’s sales platforms.
It also comes as Alibaba moves to satisfy increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers who want higher quality goods — a shift that has also drawn intensifying competition from Alibaba’s rivals.
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