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Top 5 Silicon Valley Scandals of 2016

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By George Khoury, Esq. on December 29, 2016 12:59 PM

Despite Silicon Valley's reputation for bringing together angels and unicorns, pitfalls and problems are sometimes unavoidable. This past year has been filled with ups and downs, as well as jaw-dropping scandals that shock even the most jaded of internet news readers.

Below you'll find the top 5 Silicon Valley scandals of this past year.

1. Did Elon Musk Illegally Hide a Material Event From Investors?

The force behind the ever-so-popular electric car company Tesla found himself in some hot water after it was discovered that he hid information about the first death related to the automakers autopilot feature. While companies keeping information underwraps is nothing new, the controversy is due to Musk's sale of nearly $2 billion in shares 11 days after the death was discovered.

2. Uber Settles Driver Lawsuit for $100M

One of the biggest scandals comes courtesy of the ride sharing giant Uber and their fight to keep their drivers listed as independent contractors rather than employees, despite the sheer weight of the evidence. In order to avoid the legal compliance nightmare of having all their drivers considered regular employees, the company has put up $100 million to settle all claims and stop the drivers from getting regular employee status.

3. Uber Whistleblower Reveals Intimate Privacy Allegations

In addition to the massive settlement regarding their employment policies, a former Uber employee, in part of his whistleblower retaliation suit, revealed intimate private details about the company's policies that are designed to prevent law enforcement from accessing information on computers seized by the authorities.

4. Walgreens Files Secret Lawsuit Against Theranos

Not only did Walgreens cut all their ties to Theranos this year after it was discovered that the company could not deliver on any of its lofty promises of revolutionizing the blood-testing industry, but Walgreens also filed a "secret" lawsuit against Theranos.

5. Facebook Sued for Discriminatory Ad Tool

While Facebook's ever-changing terms of service allow them to collect all sorts of personal information from its users, the company found itself at the center of a discriminatory advertising scandal. Basically, Facebook allowed advertisers to target specific users based upon race, which actually is a violation of federal law.

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