Stories by Scott Rosenberg

The lofty ideals at work behind WeWork's IPO

A WeWork office.
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

WeWork has long bet that it can wed the mundane efficiencies of commercial real estate with the lofty ideals of mission-driven tech. That would resolve the age-old contradiction between hard-nosed profit-seeking and high-minded world-changing — and its IPO prospectus aims to prove it right.

The big picture: WeWork knows it looks like an aggregator of coworking office space rentals, but it aims to persuade the public it is instead "reinventing the way people work," helping them "make a life, not just a living."

Facebook's privacy-scandal Groundhog Day

Photo of a groundhog poking up from the ground

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Tuesday's news (via Bloomberg) that Facebook had contractors listen to users' private recorded messages to provide transcription quality control was hardly surprising.

The big picture: Google and Apple had been doing the same thing until a couple of weeks ago, when they stopped after reports surfaced in public. In fact, Facebook says it stopped the practice when its rivals did, as well. What's surprising is how little Facebook's playbook around privacy violations has changed, even after 18 months of controversy and a recent $5 billion settlement over the issue with the Federal Trade Commission.

Facebook contractors transcribed voice messages

Facebook has paid outside contractors to transcribe some users' voice messages, Bloomberg's Sarah Frier reported.

Why it matters: Earlier this month both Apple and Google suspended similar programs aimed at providing quality control for automated voice transcription services, and Facebook says it has done the same. But Facebook's long record of privacy problems, culminating in a recent $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, means that every misstep it makes in this area further frays public trust.