Former technician Katherine Moussouris sued Microsoft this Wednesday for gender discrimination. She alleges that Microsoft paid and promoted female employees less than male coworkers, and that women in the company were also ranked consistently below men. Moussouri proposed the class action lawsuit after working at Microsoft between 2007 and 2014.

The lawsuit states that the tech company’s practices and policies “systematically violate female technical employees’ rights and result in unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture.”

This suit occurs as other tech giants, recently Twitter and Facebook, also battle gender discrimination lawsuits. Public interest in women’s role in the workplace has increased since Ellen Pao filed a high-profile lawsuit against the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for unequal treatment on the basis of gender.

Microsoft released a statement in response to Moussouri’s allegations: “We’re committed to a diverse workforce, and to a workplace where all employees have the chance to succeed.”


Article via CNET, 16 September 2015

Photo: Microsoft via Thomas Hawk [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]

Health insurer Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and a partner company experienced a data breach of their health care records. The sophisticated cyber attack on more than 10 million records was disclosed by the company last wednesday, September 9th 2015. This comes just a couple of months after a similar hack at UCLA’s health system in July in which 4.5 million records were accessed.

Excellus claims that this hack exposed social security numbers, medical claims, as well as other identifying information. The FBI is investigating the crime. In a statement by Excellus CEO Christopher Booth he says, “protecting personal information is one of our top priorities and we take this issue very seriously…”. The frequency of data breaches in health care is alarming and is causing some to say that health records in the US are not safe. Why?

Health records are extremely attractive to data hackers. The information is valued over credit card information when sold on the black market. The records are attractive simply because the data is so rich. Personal information like social security numbers, identification information and medical history can allow an attacker to use the data in a variety of ways. These uses range from opening a bogus account, committing income tax fraud, to getting health insurance under someone else’s name.

The possibilities are plentiful, and therefore the health care industry remains a primary target.


Article via CNET, 10 September 2015

Photo: A Doctor Looks Over Patient Medical Records via World Bank Photo Collection [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs]