Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- Nine Tesla employees criticised the company’s response to the novel coronavirus in interviews with Business Insider. Workers criticised a lack of hand sanitizer, mixed messages from CEO Elon Musk, and poor enforcement of social distancing.
- Tesla will temporarily lay off some employees in Norway for at least one month at the beginning of April, according to internal email sent on Tuesday by a Tesla’s director in the region. A significant drop in demand and an inability to hold events, both driven by the spread of the novel coronavirus, have left Tesla’s stores and service centres in Norway with more employees than they can use.
- Chinese government-backed hackers targeted US companies in a widespread campaign, and the researcher who discovered the attack warns it could ‘signal a shift’ in how the two countries spy on each other. FireEye revealed on Wednesday that between January 20 and March 11, a group known as APT41 targeted 75 organisations across nearly every economic sector, including finance, construction, defence, tech, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, media, and oil and gas industries.
- The CDC would set up a coronavirus ‘surveillance and data collection system’ as part of the Senate’s $US2 trillion stimulus bill. The bill sets aside at least $US500 million for public health data surveillance and modernising the analytics infrastructure.
- The 2020 iPhone could be delayed for months – reportedly because Apple’s worried no one will buy it. More than just supply and manufacturing issues, Apple is worried that “the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones,” according to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will keep using video call app Zoom for the government’s private weekly meeting, despite security and privacy concerns. Cybersecurity experts have raised questions around Zoom’s security and data privacy policies, with reports that the Ministry of Defence has banned staff from using it.
- Amazon finally shut a US warehouse indefinitely after 3 workers tested positive for COVID-19. Originally the facility was only supposed to remain closed for 48 hours, but staff protested returning as the warehouse is focused on the return of non-essential items such as sneakers and watches.
- Face mask price-gougers set up a black market on Facebook and Instagram using anonymous profiles. Unlike third-party Amazon sellers or hand sanitizer hoarders, it’s unclear whether these face masks even exist, since many of the sellers are using stock photos and imagery ripped from other websites.
- Facebook named Robert Kimmitt, a former deputy Treasury secretary and US ambassador to Germany, as its lead independent board director on Thursday. Another board member, Jeffrey Zients, will be stepping down at the company’s next shareholder meeting.
- A startup called GoodSAM has come out of nowhere to help recruit 650,000 volunteers in the UK to help in the COVID-19 fight. The firm, which has eight full-time employees, was given the task of designing a new service to find volunteers in just three days.
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