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Surveillance company harassed female employees using its own facial recognition technology

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A surveillance startup in Silicon Valley is being accused of sexism and discrimination after a sales director used the company’s facial recognition system to harass female workers. Verkada, which was valued in January at $1.6 billion, equips its office with its own security cameras.

Last year, the sales director accessed these cameras to take photos of female workers, then posted them in a Slack channel called #RawVerkadawgz alongside sexually explicit jokes. The incident was first reported by IPVM and independently verified by Vice.

Employees told IPVM that a group of men in leadership positions on the sales team, many of whom grew up in Danville and played football together in high school, contributed to a culture of sexism.

“Face match… find me a squirt,” the sales director wrote in Slack, according to the Vice report. The post was shared alongside images of employees taken from Verkada security cameras. “‘Face search,’ as it’s called, can pinpoint an individual in a sea of faces,” reported Vice. “The pinpointed face, in this instance, belonged to a Verkada employee, her mouth wide open.”

After the Slack incident was reported to HR, Verkada CEO Filip Kaliszan gave employees in the Slack channel a choice: leave the company or have their stock options reduced. All of them chose to stay and take the stock option cut, according to Vice. “I was shocked. To me that’s not just a fireable offense, that’s a career-ending offense,” one employee told IPVM.

On October 23rd, Kaliszan sent an email to employees addressing the incident. “As soon as leadership became aware of the incident, we launched a comprehensive investigation to understand what happened and who was responsible,” he wrote. “This investigation found that one person was responsible for instigating the incident and nine other members of the team were part of the Slack channel. By the time we became aware of it, the Slack channel had been deleted; we attempted to recover it but were unable to. That said, all of the participants were promptly disciplined with penalties proportional to their role in the incident. I imposed the largest financial penalty in our company’s history on the instigator and had individual disciplinary discussions with each of the other participants.”

Verkada board chairman Hans Robertson has said publicly that he intentionally hired a team of “sales athletes,” and Verkada’s strategy is to “make the culture really fun.”

Verkada has tried to differentiate itself from Amazon’s surveillance system Ring by saying that its clients, which include Juul Labs, Equinox, and Red Lobster, do not work with law enforcement agencies. But in a YouTube video called “Verkada for law enforcement,” the company says it works with the police department of Parkersburg, West Virginia.

In a statement emailed to The Verge, a Verkada spokesperson said: “Verkada does not tolerate sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. This isolated incident was investigated and all individuals involved were disciplined accordingly. This process included our HR department working with the women impacted by this incident–offering professional and personal resources to ensure they supported our course of action and felt safe and comfortable in their jobs.”

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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