Encore one annus horribilis in “tech”. In 2018, it was mainly Facebook that was breached, because of the scandal of Russian interference in the 2016 American election. This year, the “techlash” has become widespread: fines, investigations, threats to dismantle monopolies, the “backlash” against the tech giants has intensified, even if it has not yet really materialized.
It must be said that journalistic revelations about “surveillance capitalism” have accumulated. Facebook admitted to following users even when they deactivated geolocation on their phones. Universities have recognized having applications tracking students who skip classes … On December 21, New york times published an alarmist editorial: the decade which is ending will have been that of a ” brainwashing “ who will have seen the citizens consent to “Their own surveillance”, despair of everyday life.
“A third of the companies listed on the stock market in 2019 ended the year with prices below the introductory price. Uber, Lyft and especially WeWork missed their Wall Street debut ”
2019 will also have been the year of the end of the unicorns (these start-ups valued at more than a billion dollars). A return to reality in San Francisco. Silicon Valley start-ups have collectively lost $ 100 billion, says the Wall Street Journal. A third of companies listed on the stock market in 2019 ended the year with prices below the introductory price. Uber, Lyft and especially WeWork, the coworking platform from which the flamboyant CEO, Adam Neumann, had to resign, missed their beginnings on Wall Street. The VTC platform was also ordered to pay $ 4.4 million to victims of gender discrimination. And she preferred to reveal the number of sexual assaults in cars herself: more than 3,000, including 229 rapes, in one year.
New fact: the tech workers themselves are in disillusionment. “Google loved me until I reported what was wrong”, says Claire Stapleton, who testified in magazine She of his journey cheerleader (“Leader”) of the company, escorted without ceremony outside the premises in May 2019 for having organized a protest movement. At the end of November, Google fired five other engineers for the same reason. The “googlers” discovered with dismay that they were working in a business like any other and that there was no longer any question of their having a say in the use of the software they help to make.