Monday September 23, 2019
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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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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)

Next Story

Tech Giant Google Testing ‘Incognito Mode’ in Maps

In July 2019, Maps also added more than 45,000 community and public toilets as part of the Central government’s “Loo Review” campaign that covers 1,700 cities in India

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One of the main building at Google's headquarters for European operations in Dublin Ireland. Wikimedia Commons

Google Maps may soon have an “Incognito Mode” for better privacy on your location data.

The “Incognito Mode” in Google Maps is currently being tested in the Android app, reports XDA Developers.

Just like in Google Chrome, “Incognito Mode” for Maps will have several specific privacy features when rolled out globally.

“The Google Maps 10.26 version also hints at a new ‘Eyes Free’ walking navigation mode,” said the report.

The “Eyes Free” mode will reduce how often you need to look at your phone when you’re using it to navigate as you walk.

This mode would “add more detailed voice guidance during walking navigation”.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Last month, Google Maps added a new “Live View” navigation mode that overlays walking directions in augmented reality.

Google Maps has started rolling out privacy features to beta testers.

To make Maps more useful for users, Google is also adding support for bike-sharing stations to let people be informed on docked bike sharing services near them.

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After running tests in the US and elsewhere, earlier in May, Google rolled out speed limits and mobile radar locations in over 40 countries, including India.

In July 2019, Maps also added more than 45,000 community and public toilets as part of the Central government’s “Loo Review” campaign that covers 1,700 cities in India. (IANS)