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Today's Login is 1,456 words, a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The debate over reopening the economy is cleaving along political lines. In Silicon Valley, that split is generally coming between technocrats and libertarians, Axios' Scott Rosenberg reports.
Why it matters: The pandemic has only amplified tech giants' power, ensuring their mindset and choices will play an outsize role in shaping how the U.S. reopens its economy. Nailing or bungling that process could save or cost the nation thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
The big picture: Tech's most influential companies and leaders were among the first to send workers home when the pandemic hit, and the industry's "trust the data" mindset has shaped their response.
A leading voice throughout the crisis has been industry icon Bill Gates, who has devoted much of his philanthropic career to public health and long warned of the dangers of a pandemic.
Yes, but: As the weeks of shutdown drag on and the economic price of the coronavirus crisis soars, a dissenting tech faction has coalesced around a "damn the virus, full speed ahead" sentiment.
Between the lines: CEOs of companies that deal in physical goods (like Musk's Tesla) are feeling sharper pressure to reopen fast than those who run software empires that can operate more smoothly and safely by remote.
Our thought bubble: Libertarianism — an ideology that runs deep in parts of the tech world — stresses individual rights over community responsibility. That puts it at odds with public health practices for fighting epidemics, which lose effectiveness unless broadly followed.
The bottom line: Founders and VCs are gamblers and risk takers, but most people are not. Laws and customs usually aim to balance individual rights with group needs. Most tech CEOs share the public consensus to give our collective needs some extra priority right now.
Zoom founder Eric Yuan in New York on the day of the firm's 2019 IPO. Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images
Zoom is making moves to step up security for its users amid pressure from lawmakers, regulators and critics, Axios' Kyle Daly reports.
The big picture: Zoom is keen to neutralize any threats that may stem from the increased scrutiny that has accompanied the popularity of its videoconferencing service during the coronavirus pandemic.
What's happening: Zoom on Thursday agreed to implement security measures to settle an investigation from New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Context: Zoom has faced criticism over a range of issues, including security flaws, overstated claims about usage and encryption, and failures to protect users against "Zoombombing," in which strangers join open Zoom meetings to share abusive or obscene material.
The bottom line: Big tech companies have had years to grapple with privacy, security and government scrutiny regarding the two. Zoom's meteoric rise is forcing it to act on those concerns in a fraction of the time.
Photo: Help Main Street
In the latest version of its volunteer effort, the Help Main Street project is linking directly to the many small businesses offering their own ordering systems, in an effort to help them avoid giving a cut to various middlemen.
Why it matters: Large, tech-based intermediaries like Grubhub often take a significant cut of revenue, eating into badly needed cash for already struggling restaurants.
Background: Help Main Street began two months ago as a way for people to buy gift cards to support small businesses. Then the volunteer-run effort added GoFundMe so people could donate directly to businesses.
What they're saying: Help Main Street founder Nihal Mehta, a partner at VC firm Eniac Ventures, said the team was inspired to add the component by a viral Facebook post that showed how one restaurant got just $376 in revenue from more than $1,000 worth of GrubHub orders.
The big picture: Help Main Street is one of a number of efforts launched by tech investors to help small businesses. Another, Frontline Foods, started by Ryan Sarver, helps feed health care workers and provide business to local restaurants. Others have helped collect masks and procure other needed supplies.
"We're really happy to see all that stuff and play our part," Mehta said.
As more and more cities look to automate the COVID-19 testing process, tech companies are working together to ensure that people can use an app or website to schedule tests instead of waiting in a potentially dangerous line.
Why it matters: Many testing locations remain overwhelmed by demand, but some are still underused. More efficient coordination could help make better use of the resources we have.
Driving the news: In Tarrant County, Texas, Adobe, Oracle, Accenture and Splunk (along with some smaller firms) teamed up to help people determine whether they are eligible and then find a testing site and schedule a time.
Yes, but: Tech partnerships don't guarantee broader coordination, either among the companies themselves or the many municipalities that are all trying to set up similar programs.
"I wouldn't say it's very coordinated right now," Adobe general counsel Dana Rao told Axios.
What's next: Now that the partners have rolled out their system in Tarrant County, they hope to offer it to other state and local governments.