Thoughts by Women Who Tech

Some ideas in our minds that we feel like it would be selfish to keep to ourselves

How a sex worker renting out a home on Airbnb caused $10,000 in damages

A homeowner in Menlo Park unknowingly rented out her home on Airbnb to a sex worker. The guest caused more than $10,000 of damage. Sharon Marzouk, a Menlo Park homeowner, is accusing Airbnb of not protecting its host members. Why? Because her Airbnb guest used an upstairs bathroom as "a place of business" shooting pornographic photos and videos...
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Vijilent launches its Data-Portraits® - What does your social media say about you?

We're really excited to be launching our Data-Portraits® today!  So let me introduce to you our hard work of this summer. What is a Data-Portrait®? A Data-Portrait® is a digital profile based on the social media data of an individual. We gather publicly available data from thousands of sites. The data is brought together and processed. In addition...
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Airbnb's OpenAir2016 - Machine Learning for Diversity

Geek alert.  It's not often that I go technical in a blog, but today's blog topic is spurred by my recent attendance at Airbnb's OpenAir 2016 Tech Conference. So you've been warned. Bias complaints from customers at Airbnb was the hot topic at OpenAir2016, which was held June 8, 2016 in San Francisco. Recent media attention on race problems within...
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73% of Americans are Unfamiliar with the Sharing Economy

Do Americans even know what the sharing economy is? How many Americans participate in the sharing economy? How fast is the sharing economy growing? The Pew Research Center recently conducted a study answering these questions. Even though the sharing economy is becoming more widespread and accessible, many don’t know what it is. It’s sometimes called...
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Uber has to settle. And the next lawsuit is on the way…

Uber settles a $10 million lawsuit over background checks. In California, Uber was sued for claiming its background checks were "industry-leading". But they failed to take drivers' fingerprints and a background check without fingerprints is "completely worthless" claimed San Francisco District Attorney. As a result, Uber no longer advertises for...
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Did Airbnb break the trust barrier?

Thoughts on the TED Talk of Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb. An ongoing challenge for Airbnb and other sharing economy companies is trust. And it seems that Gebbia found a solution: “It turns out, a well-designed reputation system is key for building trust”. Yet, these review systems don’t always tell the full story - as evident in the website...
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Airbnb Says Trust Baby Boomers

Vijilent asks, 'who do you trust?' Airbnb says it's ok to trust baby boomers. In a recent study conducted by Airbnb, Americans aged 60 and older are the fastest-growing and best-reviewed demographic in Airbnb. These baby boomers are traveling more, yet most do so on limited budgets.  They have turned to the sharing economy and Airbnb to make travel...
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Are you traveling to Europe soon? Turns out the European Commission may make your stay at Airbnb more expensive

Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit and 44 other sharing economy companies signed an open letter to the leadership of the European Union. The letter is urging the Council of the EU not to limit the development of the collaborative economy. Why the letter now? At this time, the European Commission is working on new guidelines on how to apply existing regulation...
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Start of a New Year: From Zero-to-One

The start of the new year always comes with such optimism. This is our year! This is the year we are going to nail all our goals! I like to start the new year by reading a motivational book and this year it was Zero-to-One by Thiel & Masters.  Thiel is known as the co-founder of PayPal. So to kick off the new year, I'll start with this kernel from...
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What's Your Score?

Earlier this fall, the Atlantic published a piece forecasting a data-driven culture where consumers are assigned a single score. In the future, members of society are judged against this number. Who you date or conduct business with will be determined by this score. Yet, this may not be in the future. As noted in the World Privacy Forum report “
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