In recent weeks, uncertainty and upheaval have darkened the usually sunny skies over Silicon Valley.
Mass layoffs have roiled the tech world. Meta recently laid off 11,000 workers. Twitter cut 3,700 jobs and Lyft released 700 employees. These layoffs followed months of missed earnings projections and a dizzying drop in share prices on the S&P 500. Senator Marco Rubio wrote an article calling for a law to ban TikTok, the most popular social media platform in the world. He says that TikTok poses a danger to Americans’ personal information and is a threat to national security. FTX bitcoin collapsed and will probably file for bankruptcy, with billions of dollars lost. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) extended the comment period for its yearlong investigation into whether the payment platforms operating at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square are fair to consumers. The DOJ has filed anti-trust cases against Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive practices. It’s been a rough stretch for the tech industry.
Government regulators have struggled to fully understand the inner workings of the tech industry and are now trying to fully grasp what has caused these financial calamities to occur. Were laws broken? Could the FTX crash have been avoided if the SEC or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission(CFTC) instituted regulations to protect the investor? Do we know enough about the payment algorithms used by FB, Google, Amazon, and PayPal? Are they fair? How safe is TikTok?
In short, we do not know because these companies are based on complicated and sophisticated technologies powered by proprietary automated processes. Even if they opened up their books, few could comprehend them. Therefore, at the end of the day, we need skilled industry insiders to come forward to help the Government manage and regulate this fast-changing technical landscape. We need whistleblowers.
There is a silver lining to the layoffs. They may produce a wave of whistleblowers with critical information about how the industry works! It’s no secret that some whistleblowers are more inclined to step forward after they leave a company. These mass layoffs may uncover a treasure trove of information about how Silicon Valley operates. We may learn lots of ugly secrets to help the FTC, SEC, DOJ, CFPB, and CFTC better regulate Silicon Valley.
Let’s talk! Remember, no company NDA can stop you from talking to a lawyer or the SEC!
Our highly skilled attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp are experienced in representing whistleblowers. Our award-winning law firm has represented whistleblowers across a wide range of industries and recovered billions of dollars for the U.S. Government and a number of state governments under a variety of statutes and programs. Contact us online now.