10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.
- The US Army has banned TikTok over security concerns. A spokeswoman said the app was considered a cyber threat, and that the Defense Department had flagged it for security risks.
- Google will end a controversial tax structure which allows it to delay paying US taxes. The firm will scrap the "double Dutch, double Irish" approach in line with changes to US tax law.
- More than 2,000 contractors working at Google's headquarters and other Google campuses across the Bay Area have unionized. Recode reported that the workers are organizing through Unite Here, which represents food service and hospitality workers.
- Sonos is facing backlash for encouraging people to use a "recycle mode" feature on older devices that makes the expensive speakers permanently useless. The company is pushing a trade-up program that lets people "recycle" their devices in exchange for a 30% discount on a new speaker, but only by effectively bricking their old one.
- Huawei says it's expecting 2020 to be a 'difficult year' thanks to the US-China trade war. The firm on Tuesday said its full-year revenue would likely jump 18% in 2019 to 850 billion yuan ($121.72 billion), lower than its earlier projections.
- Facebook has begun removing ads that have been criticized for promoting false information regarding an HIV-prevention drug, as the company continues to wrestle with policing ads on its platform. The ads, posted by personal injury lawyers, wrongly claimed that the HIV-prevention drug Truvada had harmful side effects.
- Amazon is building a homeless shelter on its Seattle campus. The shelter will be run by Mary's Place, a nonprofit that has worked with the company for years, and will be able to house up to 275 people.
- Juul banned vaping at its offices last year, but some employees continue to use e-cigarettes at their desks, in hallways, and in meetings. Following the ban, Juul warned in September that it would dock the bonuses of and potentially terminate anyone who violated the rule.
- The SEC has criticised an accounting metric used by Uber, Peloton, and WeWork, warning companies that the "contribution margin" metric could be misleading. Tailored versions of the metric can make companies look healthier than they really are by leaving out key details of how they operate.
- An internal memo from the Pentagon warned service members against using DNA services like 23andMe, citing security risks. The memo notes these services are unregulated, and could expose personal and genetic information.
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