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Google Trying to Cover up Sexual Misconduct, Alleges Shareholder

"Over the past two years, we have terminated 48 people, including 13 senior managers and above for sexual harassment," Pichai said

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Google, Main One, russia
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

In a bid to hide sexual harassment allegations against former Google executives, Alphabet’s board of directors has approved hefty severance packages for the accused, according a lawsuit filed by a shareholder of the company.

Alphabet Inc is Google’s parent company.

The lawsuit filed on Thursday in California state court accuses the board and executives of breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, abuse of power and corporate waste, CNET reported.

The lawsuit makes reference to oversize severance packages that Google reportedly paid to Android creator Andy Rubin, and Amit Singhal, head of Google’s search unit until 2016.

The New York Times in November 2018 reported that Rubin received $90 million in severance when Google fired him in 2014 over accusations of sexual misconduct that the company deemed credible.

Allegations of sexual harassment against the two men were found to be credible by company investigations, according to the lawsuit filed by shareholder James Martin.

“Rubin was allowed to quietly resign by defendants Larry Page and Sergey Brin after an internal investigation found the allegations of sexual harassment by Rubin to be credible,” according to the complaint.

Google tried to cover up sexual misconduct, alleges shareholder.

“While at Google, Rubin is also alleged to have engaged in human sex trafficking — paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to women to be, in Rubin’s own words, ‘owned’ by him.”

Singhal stepped down as ride-hailing giant Uber’s Senior Vice President of Engineering in 2017 after it discovered he had allegedly been accused of sexual harassment while he was employed at Google, said the CNET report, adding that both Rubin and Singhal have denied the allegations.

Following the New York Times report in November, Google employees around the world staged a protest against the tech giant’s handling of sexual harassment cases.

After the reaction to the story in The Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai sought to reassure employees about the company’s stand against sexual harassment.

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“Over the past two years, we have terminated 48 people, including 13 senior managers and above for sexual harassment,” Pichai said.

“None of these people received an exit package. And to clarify: in that time, we have also not provided any exit packages to executives who departed voluntarily in the course of a sexual harassment investigation,” he added. (IANS)

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Many Security Flaws in Apple Safari Browser: Google

Google discovers security flaws in Apple Safari browser

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Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari. Pixabay

Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari that could have helped third-party vendors track users’ browsing habits.

According to a report in the Financial Times which cited a soon-to-be published paper from Google’s ‘Project Zero’ team, the vulnerabilities were found in an anti-tracking feature known as ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’.

Once disclosed by Google researchers to Apple in August last year, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker immediately patched the flaws.

Apple launched the ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ tool in 2017 to, in fact, protect Safari users from being tracked around the web by advertisers and other third-party cookies.

According to Google researchers, the vulnerabilities left personal data of Safari users exposed. They also found a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”.

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This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem. Pixabay

Apple confirmed it patched the issues.

This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem.

In September, Apple slammed Google for creating a false impression about its iPhones being at hacking risk owing to security flaws that allegedly let several malicious websites break into its iOS operating system.

Researchers at ‘Project Zero’ team had discovered several hacked websites that allegedly used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites — compromising their personal files, messages, and real-time location data.

In a statement, Apple said the so-called sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described.

According to Google, the websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years.

Apple said that it fixed the vulnerabilities in question — working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after it learnt about it.

In July last year, the ‘Project Zero’ team found six critical flaws in Apple iMessage that can compromise the user’s phone without even interacting with them. These security vulnerabilities fell into the ‘interactionless’ category.

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Two members of ‘Project Zero’, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, published details and demo proof-of-concept code for five of six ‘interactionless’ security bugs that impact the iOS operating system and can be exploited via the iMessage client. All the six security bugs were patched with the iPhone maker’s iOS 12.4 release. (IANS)