tv Press Here NBC November 20, 2016 9:00am-9:31am PST
do ride share drivers discriminate? a new study says some do. we'll sit down with one of the study's authors who says the problems are far more than skin deep. and an entrepreneur finds out google wants to compete in his space, and he's ready for the fight. our reporters, tara lacy, and john schwartz, this week, on "press: here."
>> good morning, everyone, i'm scott mcgrew. i'm neither a mathematician nor a racist. in fact, i'm bad at both of those things. but i'm told this is the formula when someone shows prejudice towards minorities in the world of ride share, uber and lyft and whatnot. they found african-americans and people with african-american sounding names will have to wait longer for rides, and are more likely to see those rides canceled by the driver, even before they're picked up. dr. steven soth studies transportation as the executive director of the center for automotive research at stanford. joined this morning by sara lacy and john schwartz of "usa today." let me start with what even inspired the study. what made you think, you know what we ought to do is we ought to see if this is a thing? >> it really started when don
mckenzie and i were grad students at m.i.t. and during the course of our time there we really watched as ride sharing was kicking over a big part of the transportation business in the country. we started to wonder about all the different ways that transportation was really affecting society, affecting its users. and this is one of the things that we talked about at the time was, is the service truly equal. and ultimately the experiment that we ran was the evolution of those early conversations. >> there was a line in your report that i thought was particularly salient that said basically, we've seen this in cab drivers. if a cab driver will not stop for an african-american, would this then translate into a driver just swiping away an african-american ride, the same idea. >> correct. it's something we know is part of our culture. and it's seeped its way into comedy and song lyrics and late-night talk shows.
there's certainly reason to suspect that it might exist even if you change the way the marketplace works. >> is this a positive of the on-demand world that we can track this and prove this now? air bnb has had similar scandals. facebook advertisers were able to pinpoint ethnicity. which, by the way, you probably could have done by, you know, kind of advertising in certain things that tend to be more white or black, like i feel like we've made it so clear and easy with data, to engage in these activities, and prove they're being engaged in. does that give us an opportunity as a society to actually be able to say no, you're doing this and it's not okay? >> it's ooh question of how open the data is. in this case, the study we ran was an audit study. it's typical of these kinds of studies where you actually send people out into the field, either the electronic field, and in this case actually the streets of boston and seattle. and you test whether the system
actually performs equally, based on race and gender. you could in theory, at least, given unfettered access to the data perform the same type of experiments if you -- you know, without actually having people in the field. >> but no one's opened that up to you? >> not yet. we'll see. >> without going through a litany of the data, this was done in, i think you're looking at boston, seattle. >> correct. >> i was wondering about the wait time difference between some of the african-american and naup -- the white customer. i think it was 90 seconds in some cities. i'm wondering how significance a difference that is. >> we measured a number of different things. we measured really -- we're looking at four pieces of the service where we thought discrimination might happen. where the drivers drive, how the drivers act at the time of pickup, how they deliver service, and how far they drive, and ultimately the star ratings that they leave after the rides. and in the case of the
acceptances, we found that the time it took for drivers to accept the african-american passengers in seattle was about 20% longer. in the case of uber x, tra translated into about a 20% longer wait time for the african-american customers. >> in the case of cancellations, because uber and uber x work slightly differently. my understanding is an uber x driver gets the request, says yes, then sees who it is? have i got that understanding right? >> the difference is between uber x and lyft. >> oh, okay. in the case of uber x, you get the request. you say yes. you see who it is. is that the process? and that's where you were seeing some of the drivers say, oh, never mind. >> correct. >> it seems like me the most clear example of racism. >> it seems uber could penalize the drivers for doing that. is there a penalty if uber's algorithms detect this pattern of behavior over and over again?
>> i think uber and lyft try to detect misbehavior in a number of ways. if you do cancel on a large fraction of your passengers as a driver, ultimately you'll be banned from the service. i think that the conclusion that we came to was that, simply aggregate measures of cancellation aren't enough to prevent discrimination. because let's say 10% of your customers are african-american, and there's a 20% cancellation threshold beyond which you'll be banned. you could cancel against almost every african-american passenger and none of the white passengers and you wouldn't run afoul of the regulations. >> how do uber and lyft respond to your settings? do they have any plans -- >> do they feel they're responsible? or is it the platform defense? >> i think it's pretty clear, we don't feel uber or lyft are discriminating. this is people -- individuals acting on their platform. that having been said, i think there's certainly ways you could go about trying to check to see if this is happening. and we are in discussions with them to see if we can move
further in that way. >> there is a whole car industry that's being created in silicon valley that you're studying beyond uber and lyft. you studied ford also. >> correct. >> i was incredibly impressed. let's take tesla aside for a minute. other than tesla, is there a particular carmaker that you think has got it, or is dialed in to what it should be as far as automation and safety and the things that we're going to see ahead? >> well, you know, i'm the manager of an affiliate organization, and so rather than point to specific automated -- >> i don't know what a director of affiliate organization means. >> i run an organization of companies that sponsor research at stanford university. >> very, good. okay. >> rather than speak to one of them specifically, i would just say that as an automotive manufacturer, it's actually very hard to essentially try to invest in all the technologies
that you think might be important in the future. you simply just don't have the capital to do it at all the same time. it's difficult to get right, if you're investing in hydrogen or electric vehicles, or new mobility and new financial models, to try to invest in all those things simultaneously is a real challenge. all of them are trying to face that right now. >> do you think it's harder for a traditional automaker to do software and apps or uber to make self-driving cars? not modified, with the guy still sitting behind the steet. >> i think making a car is a very hard thing to do. it's intensive both in terms of its intellectual content. it's intensive in terms of its capital requirements, and its physicality. think about an iphone, it's very complex, but at the end of the day it's very small, and use little material. >> i wonder what type of impact
the elephant in the room, the trump administration might have on this industry? given his stance on the auto industry in general, and on tech in particular? >> well, i think that i've learned that trying to predict what trump will do or what will happen to him is a losing game. i'll pass on that question. but i think it will certainly be very interesting. i think there are a lot of eyes on that. >> i'm thinking about manufacturing being forced in the u.s. exclusively, as he said about apple. he wants them to build all their hardware products in the u.s. instead of china. >> it will be interesting to see. i think the transportation industry is one space where the u.s. is doing very well right now. i think the department of transportation has really taken the lead on the vehicle regulations, for instance. and i think that to ignore that lead, or to sort of temper the progress there is important. >> it's the cars institute
that -- >> best acronym in the world. >> thank you for being with us this morning. i should point out that uber and lyft are aware of steven's study. uber said discrimination has no place in society. lyft says it does not tolerate any form of discrimination. up next, google is ready to sell a new wi-fi system that we think has eerie similarities to a product already on the store shelves. when "press: here" continues.
welcome back to "press: here." you'll soon be able to get your hands on a new wi-fi device that google first introduced back in october, at the same event where it introduced the pickle cell phone. the google wi-fi device works as a mesh. you plug one in each room and they work together to bring you better wi-fi. many of us who cover tech watch the google presentation and said, that looks a heck of a lot like a product called ero. ero works as a mesh. you put one in each room, and they work together to bring you wi-fi. sound familiar? we were somewhat amused at the similarities. nick weaver may not feel amusement, maybe horror. landed $50 million in venture capital for men lo ventures.
i know you're not accusing necessarily google of anything. you must looked at that presentation and said, oh, come on. >> you definitely have that feeling for a moment. but, you know, at the end of the day, it brings a lot of validation to the space. >> you were there first. >> to know we created this category and now it's an interesting enough cat gore for all the other players to play in. >> i think orbi is sort of a -- >> similar concept. >> they're raising awareness, branding, for what you do already, right? like an advertisement indirectly for you. >> it brings our name up in a lot more conversations than organically. and it sheds a light on a space that is going through a huge transition. this whole concept is meeting perfect connectivity in every corner of the home. and the more people talking about the challenges and now these solutions, you know, better for our business. >> i'm curious why this hasn't been done before. i remember when i covered
networking in the '90s, we were talking about the power of mesh network. since then, i have had comcast in my home many times and they can't seem to -- >> a fabulous company, by the way. >> horrible, horrible company. don't trust anyone who works for them or anything they say. they cannot get me wi-fi in every room of my house. they simply can't. why is this a new industry? why isn't this a ten-year-old industry? >> it took a lot of fundamental development on the technological side. in the last five, ten years, it's usually a common design from a big chip manufacturer, and that gets put in a different color plastic and it's shipped to you. here we had to rebuild a lot of the fundamentals to make it work seamlessly. >> i had some sort of a repeater. i'm an eero customer, but i had a repeater thing. how is eero different?
i know how it's different in the sense that it's easy to plug in and it works. is that fundamentally the difference? >> there are a few things. at the end of the day, we're going for a product that just works. and to make that happen, with repeaters, you typically end up with a different network name, like switch-and-change. with eero, you have one name. with repeaters, you cut at least half your speed when you connect to the repeater network. for us, we've got multiple radios so you don't mood any speed when you go from hop to hop to hop. >> are there certain changes in the home, pieces of hardware, ways of consuming content that are really driving this? in my house, i have them in every room, in the back of my house needs more of a connection. i've had both sono and peletons tell me that there's a way of
leveraging the points. >> you know, i think the biggest thing is streaming video. streaming content is absolutely what's driving great connectivity in the home, whether you're trying to stream video or audio. having great connectivity everywhere. everybody wants great coverage in their kitchen, or backyard. >> like light bulbs. with the internet of things -- can i ask you a question you probably won't answer? >> sure. >> those are my favorite questions. >> i know. >> is it trump? >> no. >> actually, i was going to -- >> you ask your trump question first. >> you know, trump wants to put in a 43 or 47, he's used different numbers, percent tariff on all chinese made goods, which are going to include eeros and iphones and everything else. are we supposed to take that seriously? >> i think there's a lot of things that have been discussed and we'll see how they materialize. our big focus is wi-fi.
that's what we've been focused on. >> so google in a sense validates what you're doing. i'm wondering, because of what they did, technology companies copy one another. are you interested from countries to acquire -- >> you know, there hasn't been anything out of the ordinary. one thing we're excited about, just this past week, we started immigrating with amazon alexa. you can interact with your eero system. >> you can literally tell her to turn off the internet. >> that's correct. >> you can say, alexa -- >> alexa, tell eero to pause nick's devices, so it will pause all my devices. >> did i just trick you to turning off everybody's internet all over? i love alexa. it makes such a difference. i can see why you would want coverage throughout the whole area. you're a relatively young entrepreneur. this is your first major product. >> yes. >> what do you wish you did
differently? what did you think, oh, i learned from that? >> when we initially got things going, we were really aggressive on the timetable schedule, and a lot of the hardest part about shipping the product wasn't building the actual product, it was building the team to go build the product. so i caution other entrepreneurs just to make sure you continue to spend enough time working on team building. at the end of the day, like that's what's going to drive a great product. improve that product. and build not just a product, but an entire company. >> is it enough to have one good product as a hardware company? we've seen go pro struggle, fitbit struggle, and these were the lucky ones that made it to that point. >> i think you need to have a portfolio. a lot of the investments we're making is having a great team. not just go fix wi-fi, but go fix connectivity and other challenges throughout the home. >> when you expand the eero brand, and i'm not going to ask you what you're going to expand into, but when you do, what's
the ethos of, well, this is clearly an eero made device? is it the design? ease of use, where you say, yep, that's got eero dna in it? >> it's the whole product story. it's about the look and feel of the product. how consumers connect with it when they take it out of the box. how it sets up. and then that whole, you know, process of improving it, and supporting customers. you should have this feeling of a really complicated thing in my home, all of a sudden became this drop-dead simple beautiful device that i just can't stop talking about. >> it remind me in many ways about the first nest -- not the other stuff that nest has made actually, but the nest thermostats as well. it's elegant, beautiful, easy to use. nick weaver with eero, thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. it's probably too early to talk about holiday shopping, so we'll wait until after this next set of commercials to do it, when "press: here" continues.
welcome back to "press: here." lots of things to think about as we get to the holiday shopping season. whether you've been naughty or nice. and scientists will soon release their yearly list of really dangerous toys. my first chain saw they will not recommend. we'll start warning you about the ways that you can get ripped off as well. this year, the concern starts with apps.
"the new york times" warns some of the shopping apps you can find in the app stores are not authentic. this one is from a company called overstock, but it's not overstock.com. you don't want to use your credit card on this one. dom dedicates his life to track down bad guys online. he's the founder of a digital security company. thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you. >> do we see an increase in around the holiday, or is there so much ecommerce now that it doesn't kind of matter? >> actually, we do. it works exactly the same way with the fraudsters as every other person. they have their own holiday season. you see promotions in the dark net. people are trying to sell millions of accounts, millions of credentials, facebook accounts, like on facebook. everything is out. and it's on sale. >> are some of them doing it to raise money for holiday gifts? why are they doing it towards
christmas, or hanukkah? >> there's a massive pressure on the industry, as the industry needs to tackle more and more volume. so all the security measures are being more lenient. and basically as people need to manually review transactions, stuff -- is there pressure -- >> many sales they're pulling back. >> yes. >> here's my frustration with this. the same frustration i have with the whole scandal with facebook news right now. i'm fine if we're in the wild west of the open internet, and it is like user beware, and if you click on this link in your e-mail you may get nished. i'm fine with that. about but what i'm not fine with is where we have crazy amounts of fraud. the reason people are getting so mad at facebook and not twitter, because facebook already messes with your feed. it's not everything in there. it is supposed to be -- it already censures stuff. the same thing with the app store. the app store is not the open internet.
why are they putting the startups through the pain of getting this app up but they have overstock but it's not overstock? >> i agree completely with you on the conclusion. what we do need to remember, the more sophisticated and complex the system is, the motivation to really hack it is also growing. the challenge is like with apple, or paypal, or facebook is facing is very significant, far more than any other startup in our overall marketplace. >> but i have a theory that these companies, wen when they say something's really hard, that just means they don't want to solve it. facebook has claims it's beaming satellites down. you're telling me figuring out fraud is too hard? i say the same thing to apple. do you think these companies care? >> that's a very, very good question. and i can tell in our space, we're tackling credit card fraud. and to be very, very frank, the incentive doesn't exist for the credit card companies to fight
fraud as we are, because at the end, the online merchant is on the hook. you do see when it comes to stolen credentials inside banks, it's a very, very harsh, very, very secure process. they won't take any risk. on the other side, online merchants, when they -- basically every online merchant, even a startup, needs to have a fraud prevention mechanism. i sympathize with you, that, yes, if they don't have the immediate incentive, and if the public doesn't push them to pay for that, there's no incentive. >> do you treat the holiday company like the tech companies gear up the more sophisticated attacks? particularly in the holiday season when there's more traffic. do they save their best tools for that? >> absolutely. on the front end they will try to create all the big breaches during the holiday season. you see the attention going towards the united states. on the other side you also see
them trying to release more of the stock they already have out in the secondary market where people are buying with stolen credit cards. you can decide whether you want to buy a credit card that was already successful in being hacked, or you could decide whether you want to buy a platinum preferred, or you want to buy a chase card. >> what is a platinum preferred car costing? >> from $5 for something that nobody tested all the way to $500. >> and how many transactions can i probably get away with? >> that's something you have to ask each merchant individually. it's really a matter of whether you have the mechanisms in space to lock it. >> there are probably some merchants i could probably get away with five transactions and some i can only get away with one. and they know who they are, they can get the five. >> not only do they know, also the rumor spreads very well on the dark net. so if somebody will have -- will be able to apply some fraud
attack on a certain merchant, it is very, very likely this merchant will get a wave of products coming to him. >> we've only got 30 seconds left and i'm going to take the question, jon. as with esee chip cards, i'm assuming there's more online fraud now, because chip cards make things more difficult? >> these guys are not retiring. they're not going -- they're going straight to online. we do see a spike not only in the amount of fraud coming, but also in the level of sophistication. basically moving over to online. we do see more organized crime going there. we do see more sophistication. with edo see a very big spike in the amount of fraud attempts. >> and you'll be there to stop it. >> there you go. >> "press: here" will be back in just a minute.
valle." i'm damian trujillo, and today, baseball without borders, bringing america's pastime to every corner of the globe, on your "comunidad del valle." male announcer: nbc bay area presents "comunidad del valle" with damian trujillo. damian: they are the organizers of the baseball without borders foundation. with me are juan bustos jr. and juan bustos sr. i'll let you guess which one is which here on "comunidad del valle." welcome to the show. juan bustos jr.: thank you. damian: well, you brought some great merchandise, and this is just fabulous. i mean, just the title itself, baseball without borders. i'll let you, juan sr., talk first of all about your foundation and the great work that you're doing, and you provided us with some beautiful video. go ahead. juan bustos sr.: baseball without borders started in 1995 in august. we wanted to give the young