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10 things in tech you need to know today

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Mark Zuckerberg at Georgetown University

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

  1. Thousands of explosive internal Facebook documents were published online in full. Facebook has fought vigorously against the release of the documents, arguing that they presented an unbalanced picture of the company.
  2. California’s attorney general revealed he’s investigating Facebook, and says it’s not complying with subpoenas. California has been quietly investigating Facebook over privacy issues and its business model for more than a year.
  3. Facebook admitted to another data leak, saying that up to 100 developers accessed people’s data from Groups. In April 2018 Facebook implemented new rules restricting the amount of personal data third parties could access following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but some apps seem to have been unaffected by the new rules.
  4. Federal prosecutors charged two former Twitter employees with spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia. The criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday alleges that the former employees snooped on the accounts of people who were critical of Saudi Arabia.
  5. Alphabet’s board has launched a probe into the company’s handling of sexual misconduct charges, including those made against its top attorney. David Drummond, Alphabet’s chief legal officer, had an affair and a child with a subordinate and is accused of having other affairs with women in his department.
  6. Bill Gates addressed his multiple meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, saying he “I made a mistake in judgment.” Gates said he thought affiliating with Epstein would encourage the financier to commit money to global health initiatives, but that the money never materialized.
  7. Airbnb is rolling out major safety changes following five deaths at a Halloween party last week. Airbnb will now verify all listings and have a 24/7 help line available, among other changes.
  8. China’s biggest ridehailing company Didi will bar female passengers from using its carpooling service after 8 p.m. after two women were murdered. The curfew is part of its relaunch of Hitch, a carpooling app which Didi suspended after the murder of a female passenger in August 2018.
  9. China will ban gamers under 18 from playing video games after 10 p.m. in order to curb a growing online addiction. Underage gamers will also be restricted to 90 minutes of gameplay on weekdays according to China’s General Administration of Press and Publication.
  10. Airbnb lost a high-stakes vote in Jersey City that will put increased restrictions on short-term rentals. This was a major defeat for Airbnb, which spent more than $4 million campaigning against the increased regulation ahead of the vote and its upcoming IPO.

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