This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.
Google, Facebook, and other tech companies are reportedly in talks with the US government to use your location data to stop the coronavirus and to see if social distancing is really working. The reported plan comes after several meetings between tech industry leaders and White House officials in the past week as the US scrambles to mobilize the private sector to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
Facebook wrongly blocked news articles about the coronavirus pandemic. In a tweet, VP of Integrity Guy Rosen said: "We're on this — this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We're in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back."
'A recession is inevitable': European investors and startups are bracing for a cash drought and lower valuations. Venture capitalists told Business Insider they expected fundraising to become harder and lowered valuations as the world moves towards recession.
A memo circulating inside Google accuses the company of not protecting its army of contract workers from the coronavirus pandemic. In an internal memo seen by Business Insider, workers are demanding that Google contract workers are given assurances around pay and are not forced to go to company offices unless absolutely necessary.
Amazon shoppers could see shortages of certain items and higher prices as the retail giant fills it warehouses with mostly medical supplies and household goods. Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would stop accepting "non-essential" products at its warehouses to make room for more vital products for the next three weeks, as it deals with increased demand amid the coronavirus crisis.
Amazon warehouse workers in Italy went on strike in outrage at the firm's response to 2 staff contracting coronavirus. A worker from the Piacenza warehouse told Business Insider that tensions between management and the unions started a few weeks ago but that it came to head after meeting between union representatives and management on Monday.
NASA is forcing nearly all 17,000 of its staff to work from home after coronavirus cases appeared at two space centers. "This is the first time NASA has been in this situation," a spokesperson told Business Insider.
Uber's CFO said its ridership has tanked by as much as 50% in cities hit hard by the coronavirus, and new data shows that Lyft is suffering too. Uber's CFO said he's confident that demand for rides will bounce back quickly by watching the market come back to life in Hong Kong, which recently lifted its lockdown
A company that bought Theranos' patents is using them to sue a health startup working on coronavirus tests. The company behind the lawsuit, Fortress Investment Group, said that it didn't know that the defendant, BioFire Diagnostics, was working on COVID-19 tests when it filed the suit.
A banner on Apple's site suggests it is bracing to keep all stores outside China shut longer than expected. The tech giant had previously said it would be closing its non-Chinese stores until March 27, as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.