Led by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia will investigate Facebook for possible violations of antitrust laws. The investigation arises from concerns over the dominance of Facebook in its industry, and it will examine whether Facebook may be restricting the choices available to consumers.
Last week a joint motion for approval was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California reflecting a settlement agreement between Google and 227 people alleging age discrimination in hiring by the tech giant. The $11 million settlement will be comprised of a minimum amount of over $11,000 for each plaintiff, as well as additional amounts for lost wages on a case-by case basis. As part of the settlement, Google denies having discriminated on the basis of age.
In a tentative order issued last Friday, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge allowed a former Google employee's lawsuit alleging discrimination by the company against conservatives, men, white people, and people of Asian descent to go forward. The lead plaintiff, whose suit has been joined by a small number of other men, is a former Google engineer who was fired after he circulated an internal memo that was critical of the company's efforts to increase gender and racial diversity among its workforce, and suggested that the lack of female engineers in the profession had to do with biological differences.
Last week, tech giant Google announced that it will be dropping its forced arbitration requirements, effectively allowing employees to sue Google in court, as well as join a class action lawsuit if they so choose. The news comes after months of effort and activism by a group of Google employees who have been working to effect change within the company since fall 2018. The initial disagreement related to the way Google allegedly handled sexual harassment and abuse controversies and resulted in a worldwide walkout of approximately 20,000 employees.
The NYPD has sent a letter to Google demanding that it remove a feature that allows users to post drunk-driving checkpoints on its Wave navigation app. In the letter, the NYPD argues that the feature is irresponsible because it allows impaired and intoxicated drivers to avoid checkpoints and therefore encourages reckless driving. Those users who post such checkpoints on the Waze app, the NYPD says, may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions hinder the NYPD from enforcing DWI laws and other criminal and traffic laws.
On Friday, October 19, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew L. Carter of the Southern District of New York sentenced the CEO Of Natural Sapphire Company, Michael Arnstein, to nine months in prison for conspiring to forge a federal judge's signature on fake court orders compelling Google to remove negative reviews from Google search results related to Natural Sapphire Company. Arnstein previously plead guilty on September 15, 2017.
The Raleigh, North Carolina police department issued "reverse warrants" to Google for the purpose of collecting cellular location data of people near a crime scene. WRAL, a Raleigh television station and NBC affiliate, reported that the Raleigh police department issued four "reverse warrants" in 2017, seeking information not tied to a specific suspect but from any people with Google accounts, including users of Android operating systems and location-enabled Google apps, at or near the scene of a crime.