Silicon Valley's Slippery Slope - Uber and Others Bedeviled by Moral Issues
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
While every industry has its moral quandaries to contend with, Silicon Valley is in another orbit. The money in tech is gargantuan; the highest paid actors in Hollywood, for example, make less than low-level engineers during an initial public offering of a tech company. Start-ups are often run by whiz kids who don’t have the life experiences to understand that their actions can have severe consequences. Plus, these young founders (who often grew up idolizing Steve Jobs) are more concerned with winning than anything else.
Unlike most other industries, there’s almost no legal oversight in techland to ensure things don’t go awry. Yet even on Wall Street, as my colleague Neil Irwin wrote on The Upshot in The New York Times last week, the government has put rules in place to protect people.
“The idea of a showing up to a meeting with a JPMorgan executive and hearing, ‘I notice you were late on your mortgage payment last month,’ is just unfathomable,” Mr. Irwin wrote. “The same could be said for any number of other industries where big companies have access to private data. Hotel chains? Retailers? This is just not the way things work.”
We can’t exactly hold Wall Street up as a bastion of ethics. But given that Silicon Valley tends to copy and paste the mantra, “we’re making the world a better place,” it seem reasonable to expect that tech companies would hold themselves to a higher ethical standard.