Will civil rights audits make a difference? Microsoft, Amazon, and the nation’s racial reckoning

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TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Will civil rights audits make a difference? Microsoft said last week it will publish findings from a third-party civil rights audit of workplace policies. That came two months after Amazon reversed its position on civil rights audits and enlisted former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (above) to review policies that affect the company’s hourly workforce. The tech giants join a growing pool of companies conducting the audits — but whether they lead to meaningful outcomes for marginalized employees is unclear. Read the story

‘The spreadsheet, I feel, is in a tremendous renaissance right now’: That’s the word from Peter Polson, founder and CEO of Tiller Money, a subscription service that populates customizable spreadsheets with automated data feeds from banks and other financial institutions — tracking spending, income, investments, and budgets with help from templates and a community of users who share solutions and workflows. Read more

Amazon Alexa targeted in lawsuit: Plaintiffs are pursuing a class action suit alleging that Amazon is using information gathered from users of its smart speaker devices to serve them targeted advertising without their consent.

Successful test for world’s biggest airplane: During its seventh flight test, Stratolaunch’s Roc airplane set a new personal best for altitude: 27,000 feet, which is high enough to launch hypersonic test vehicles.  

World Cup comes to Seattle: The Emerald City will be one of the host venues for the FIFA World Cup 2026. A seven-person executive committee that included tech execs helped lead an effort to solidify Seattle’s bid. Read more

Tech Moves: Madrona Venture Group added a new investor and health tech startup Opala named a new CEO. Read more.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day. — GeekWire managing editor Taylor Soper, taylor@geekwire.com.
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