Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Friday.
- The New York Times has exposed a culture of sexual harassment at Google, in a report claiming that former executive Andy Rubin was paid $US90 million in an exit package after a credible sexual misconduct accusation. Other male executives at Google had consensual and non-consensual workplace relationships, according to the report, and all were protected by the company.
- Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, has admitted the company has a harassment problem and told employees that the firm had fired 48 employees for sexual misconduct over the last two years. Thirteen of the 48 were senior managers or above, and were not given an exit package, he said.
- The fiasco at Google threatened to overshadow its parent company’s third-quarter earnings, which were slightly below Wall Street expectations. Google’s revenue increased 22% in the third quarter driven by healthy performance in its mobile search business, but the results were slightly below analyst expectations and the stock took a dive.
- Facebook has been issued the maximum fine of £500,000 ($US645,000) by the UK’s data watchdog for the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said Facebook “should have known better and it should have done better.”
- Twitter’s share price rocketed after the company beat analyst expectations on revenue and profit for its third quarter. The company reported earnings of $US0.21 a share on revenue of $US758.1 million, but also lost 4 million users from the same period in 2017.
- Amazon’s share price took a plunge after disappointing revenue and guidance seemed to outweigh otherwise standout third quarter earnings. Amazon’s profit blew away analyst expectations, but revenue for the period was lower than expected, and it offered a disappointing revenue forecast for the fourth quarter.
- Snap blamed a third-quarter loss in users on its Android app, which the company is in the process of updating. The company lost 2 million daily active users in the three months to September, sending the stock crashing.
- US president Donald Trump claimed reports he uses an unsecured iPhone are “soooo wrong!”. His said he always uses government phones, after The New York Times reported that he uses his iPhone to make calls, and that Chinese and Russian spies listen in.
- Former Facebook security boss Alex Stamos criticised Tim Cook’s hypocrisy after the Apple CEO launched a blistering attack on firms that flout user privacy. Stamos pointed to Apple’s trade practices in China, which block privacy-enabling features like end-to-end encryption and installing VPNs.
- Vice found in an investigation it was able to place fake political adverts on Facebook on behalf of US vice president Mike Pence and terrorist group ISIS. That’s despite Facebook building new tools to create more transparency around who pays for political ads in its News Feed.
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