10 things in tech you need to know today
Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.
- Amazon is facing multiple inquiries from labor regulators into whether it unlawfully retaliated against workers who spoke out about its coronavirus response. Amazon has come under fire recently from employees, activists, and lawmakers for firing workers who criticized the company's safety measures.
- Zoom took months to repair a flaw that would allow hackers to take complete control of a computer. The flaw was discovered by security researchers who participated in a hackathon sponsored by Dropbox last year.
- Europe's coronavirus-tracing apps risk an unprecedented increase in mass surveillance, experts have warned. A rift has opened up over the design of smartphone apps to trace people in Europe at risk of coronavirus infection, potentially hindering efforts to curb the pandemic and ease crippling travel restrictions.
- The UK is scrambling to launch its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, after getting derailed by Apple and Google. A new system announced by Apple and Google means that the UK app may not be able to track people's phones as closely as officials would like.
- Uber will broaden out beyond ride-hailing and food delivery during the pandemic to courier packages, medicine, and pet supplies. Uber is partnering with companies to ship parcels to customers, and allowing users to send care packages to friends or relatives.
- A judge has put Amazon's lawsuit challenging the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud contract award to Microsoft on hold until August. The Department of Defense last year chose Microsoft for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) deal, a massive cloud project that will store and manage sensitive military and defense data.
- Facebook has released an interactive COVID-19 map that shows how many people are reporting symptoms nearby. Rather than the number of positive COVID-19 tests, Facebook's map shows how many people are reporting symptoms on a county-by-county level.
- Buzzy french health insurance startup Alan has raised $54 million from Index Ventures and Temasek. The Series C funding takes the company's total funding to €125 million ($136 million) and will be used to help continue the company's expansion into new European markets.
- Some wealthy Silicon Valley bigwigs have reportedly already scurried to their doomsday shelters in New Zealand. Those with money in the Valley have become known in recent years for prepping for disaster scenarios by building getaway bunkers in New Zealand.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has claimed that the Cybertruck can float "for a while". Musk has a history of dropping vague references on Twitter to obscure Tesla car capabilities without offering much detail.
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