Apple says Siri will no longer retain audio by default, one-upping Amazon and Google on privacy

Apple says Siri will no longer retain audio by default, one-upping Amazon and Google on privacy

5:08am, 3rd September, 2019
Photo by from Siri won’t be so sneaky about snooping anymore. That’s the gist of from Apple this morning. It’s a move that could pressure its fellow tech giants Amazon and Google to follow suit. Apple says it will no longer retain audio recordings of users interacting with its Siri voice assistant unless they opt in. And when they do, only Apple’s own employees, not contractors, will review the audio samples as part of the company’s efforts to monitor and improve the quality of Siri’s responses. The announcement follows assigning teams of people, in some cases contractors and not direct employees, to review audio clips of their users interacting with their voice assistants, unbeknownst to those users. The resulting outcry over the privacy invasions led each company to reconsider their policies. Both Apple and Google have put their practices of human review on hold pending reviews. by giving users the ability to opt out of voice recording and “manual review” of their interactions with its Alexa voice assistant, while still subtly discouraging users from taking that step by warning them that “voice recognition and new features may not work well” for them if they take that step. Apple, with this morning’s announcement, goes further by saying it will no longer retain audio recordings by default, instead requiring users to opt in if they want to participate. Here is Apple’s summary of the changes it’s planning to make. As a result of our review, we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize. As we previously announced, we halted the Siri grading program. We plan to resume later this fall when software updates are released to our users — but only after making the following changes: First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve. Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt out at any time. Third, when customers opt in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri. Apple is committed to putting the customer at the center of everything we do, which includes protecting their privacy. We created Siri to help them get things done, faster and easier, without compromising their right to privacy. We are grateful to our users for their passion for Siri, and for pushing us to constantly improve. Apple suspended the program after that contractors reviewing Siri recordings for quality control regularly heard “confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex.”
Earmuffs, Alexa! Amazon to let users opt out of human review of voice recordings, amid scrutiny

Earmuffs, Alexa! Amazon to let users opt out of human review of voice recordings, amid scrutiny

10:44pm, 2nd August, 2019
(GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy) Amazon became the latest tech giant to let users of its voice assistant opt out of human review of their voice recordings, after similar announcements from Apple and Google. The move Friday afternoon about an Amazon team consisting of thousands of people who listen to Alexa voice recordings as part of a program designed to improve the company’s voice assistant. It’s the latest sign of growing public awareness of the listening and recording capabilities of Amazon Echo speakers and smart home devices from other tech companies. Amazon rolled out the change Friday in the settings of the Alexa app. Previously, users were able to change a privacy setting to prevent the company from using voice recordings to help develop new Alexa features. Now, that same opt-out also lets users prevent humans from listening to the recordings to improve existing Alexa features. Here’s the company’s statement on the issue. “We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures. For Alexa, we already offer customers the ability to opt-out of having their voice recordings used to help develop new Alexa features. The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.” The opt-out is accessible by going to the privacy settings under the menu in the Alexa app, then selecting “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa.” Here’s what the setting looks like, including the new language about opting out of “manual review,” aka people listening to what you say. Amazon didn’t address a question about whether it has been contacted by regulators regarding human review of voice recordings. The changes come amid heightened government scrutiny of tech giants, by the U.S. Justice Department and others, over issues including privacy and competition. Apple after the Guardian reported that contractors reviewing Siri recordings for quality control “regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex.” Apple says it’s working on a feature to let Siri users opt out of the human review, and says it has . Along the same lines, Google said it “paused” human review of Google Assistant recordings after
Earmuffs, Alexa! Amazon to let users opt out of human review of voice recordings, amid scrutiny

Earmuffs, Alexa! Amazon to let users opt out of human review of voice recordings, amid scrutiny

10:44pm, 2nd August, 2019
(GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy) Amazon became the latest tech giant to let users of its voice assistant opt out of human review of their voice recordings, after similar announcements from Apple and Google. The move Friday afternoon about an Amazon team consisting of thousands of people who listen to Alexa voice recordings as part of a program designed to improve the company’s voice assistant. It’s the latest sign of growing public awareness of the listening and recording capabilities of Amazon Echo speakers and smart home devices from other tech companies. Amazon rolled out the change Friday in the settings of the Alexa app. Previously, users were able to change a privacy setting to prevent the company from using voice recordings to help develop new Alexa features. Now, that same opt-out also lets users prevent humans from listening to the recordings to improve existing Alexa features. Here’s the company’s statement on the issue. “We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures. For Alexa, we already offer customers the ability to opt-out of having their voice recordings used to help develop new Alexa features. The voice recordings from customers who use this opt-out are also excluded from our supervised learning workflows that involve manual review of an extremely small sample of Alexa requests. We’ll also be updating information we provide to customers to make our practices more clear.” The opt-out is accessible by going to the privacy settings under the menu in the Alexa app, then selecting “Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa.” Here’s what the setting looks like, including the new language about opting out of “manual review,” aka people listening to what you say. Amazon didn’t address a question about whether it has been contacted by regulators regarding human review of voice recordings. The changes come amid heightened government scrutiny of tech giants, by the U.S. Justice Department and others, over issues including privacy and competition. Apple after the Guardian reported that contractors reviewing Siri recordings for quality control “regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex.” Apple says it’s working on a feature to let Siri users opt out of the human review, and says it has . Along the same lines, Google said it “paused” human review of Google Assistant recordings after
Goodbye, Dash: Amazon will end support for geeky shopping gadgets

Goodbye, Dash: Amazon will end support for geeky shopping gadgets

6:21pm, 1st August, 2019
(GeekWire File Photo) Amazon Dash, an IoT attempt by the tech giant to help customers quickly restock household items, is officially going bye-bye. Review: reported Thursday that Amazon will turn off capabilities for Dash buttons on Aug. 31. This comes after Amazon’s to end Dash sales earlier this year. First released in 2015, the Dash buttons were meant to be placed inside the kitchen, laundry rooms, and other areas of the home. The internet-connected buttons, sold at $4.99 each, would automatically order more detergent or paper towels with a simple push. Brands such as Tide and Gillette got involved, creating their own branded buttons. Amazon still operates the for connected appliances that automatically reorder items when supplies are low. The company also created a virtual version of the on its website. In addition, Amazon has built out voice shopping capabilities for Alexa, the digital brain that powers Echo devices. Here’s a statement from Amazon: “Amazon is constantly evaluating our product and service offerings to best serve customers. Since sales of Dash Button devices ceased earlier this year, we have seen continued growth of other shopping options to meet customer needs, including Virtual Dash Button, Dash Replenishment, Alexa Shopping, and Subscribe & Save. With this is mind, starting August 31, 2019, customers will no longer be able to place orders through Dash Button devices globally. Customers can continue reordering products using their free on the Amazon.com website and mobile app, which are available for the same great brands customers love from Dash Button devices. Customers will see that virtual Dash Buttons have already been created to replace current physical Dash Button devices.”
eBay accuses Amazon of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

eBay accuses Amazon of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

1:42pm, 1st August, 2019
eBay’s Berlin office. (Photo via eBay) E-commerce heavyweight eBay is suing rival Amazon, alleging that managers at the Seattle tech giant conspired to poach e-commerce sellers through eBay’s own messaging platform. This is the against Amazon in the last year over alleged seller poaching. The previous suit, which was filed in October and has since been moved to arbitration, contained similar allegations. However, the previous lawsuit only named Amazon as a defendant. The new suit names three Amazon managers, accusing them of participating in a scheme to train and encourage dozens of the company’s sales reps to poach eBay sellers. “Amazon managers and others at Amazon directed dozens of Amazon sales representatives in the U.S. and overseas to set up and use eBay member accounts to access eBay’s “M2M” email system to solicit many hundreds of eBay sellers to sell on Amazon’s platform,” according to the new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District of California. Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit. Amazon reps allegedly went to great lengths to skirt eBay policies on the messaging platform, a sign that the tech giant knew what it was doing was wrong, according to the suit. The Defendants and other Amazon managers, as well as the representatives they directed, knew that the scheme was wrong, as evidenced by systematic efforts used to avoid detection. eBay, like many websites, has automated programs designed to detect and prevent unauthorized use of its M2M system. The Defendants and other Amazon managers trained sales representatives about eBay detection techniques and how to avoid them, and Amazon representatives were diligent students, observing that (in the words of one such representative) “eBay monitors their messages pretty well for contact info,” that “eBay doesn’t allow phone numbers in these messages,” and that “ebay will not allow the exchange of email addresses in these messages[.]” Based on training provided by the Defendants and other Amazon managers, the sales representatives used various anti-detection techniques. The representatives changed the presentation of Amazon email addresses, for example: “You can write me at jdoe AT amazon DOT com,” “DoeJohn at Amazon dot com,” and “JDoe at amazon dot com.” 2 They also provided unconventional phone number formats, again, solely for the purpose of evading detection – telling eBay sellers, for example, that “you can write down 2.0.6. – 5.5.5. – 5.5.5.5. and then delete this message if you so choose.” In the lawsuit, eBay accuses the Amazon managers of racketeering, fraud, interfering in contractual relations and more. The suit is asking a federal judge to bar Amazon from poaching eBay sellers and for damages. The situation first came to light last year after an eBay seller came forward to report alleged poaching efforts by Amazon. eBay then to the tech giant, demanding Amazon knock off its alleged seller poaching efforts. At the time, Amazon said in a statement “we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations.” Amazon and eBay are both major players in the e-commerce industry. Though the tech giants differ slightly — Amazon directly sells products, while eBay does not — they both run huge marketplace businesses that rely on third-party sellers. eBay CEO Devin Wieng he doesn’t want to compete with Amazon directly, though he acknowledged the companies do often jockey for buyers and sellers on their platform. The e-commerce world is big enough for a number of players, including both Amazon and eBay, and Wenig wants his company to develop its own identity. “I don’t want to compete with Amazon; I want to get as far away from Amazon as I can,” Wenig said last year. “I want us to stand for something fundamentally different. I want eBay to be a winner in discovery-based shopping. I want it to be a place where people think of first for the things they love, not just the things they need.” Here is the full suit: by on Scribd
eBay accuses Amazon managers of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

eBay accuses Amazon managers of illegal scheme to poach e-commerce sellers in new lawsuit

12:40pm, 1st August, 2019
eBay’s Berlin office. (Photo via eBay) E-commerce heavyweight eBay is suing rival Amazon, alleging that managers at the Seattle tech giant conspired to poach e-commerce sellers through eBay’s own messaging platform. This is the against Amazon in the last year over alleged seller poaching. The previous suit, which was filed in October and has since been moved to arbitration, contained similar allegations. However, the previous lawsuit only named Amazon as a defendant. The new suit names three Amazon managers, accusing them of participating in a scheme to train and encourage dozens of the company’s sales reps to poach eBay sellers. “Amazon managers and others at Amazon directed dozens of Amazon sales representatives in the U.S. and overseas to set up and use eBay member accounts to access eBay’s “M2M” email system to solicit many hundreds of eBay sellers to sell on Amazon’s platform,” according to the new lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Northern District of California. Amazon declined to comment on the lawsuit. Amazon reps allegedly went to great lengths to skirt eBay policies on the messaging platform, a sign that the tech giant knew what it was doing was wrong, according to the suit. The Defendants and other Amazon managers, as well as the representatives they directed, knew that the scheme was wrong, as evidenced by systematic efforts used to avoid detection. eBay, like many websites, has automated programs designed to detect and prevent unauthorized use of its M2M system. The Defendants and other Amazon managers trained sales representatives about eBay detection techniques and how to avoid them, and Amazon representatives were diligent students, observing that (in the words of one such representative) “eBay monitors their messages pretty well for contact info,” that “eBay doesn’t allow phone numbers in these messages,” and that “ebay will not allow the exchange of email addresses in these messages[.]” Based on training provided by the Defendants and other Amazon managers, the sales representatives used various anti-detection techniques. The representatives changed the presentation of Amazon email addresses, for example: “You can write me at jdoe AT amazon DOT com,” “DoeJohn at Amazon dot com,” and “JDoe at amazon dot com.” 2 They also provided unconventional phone number formats, again, solely for the purpose of evading detection – telling eBay sellers, for example, that “you can write down 2.0.6. – 5.5.5. – 5.5.5.5. and then delete this message if you so choose.” In the lawsuit, eBay accuses the Amazon managers of racketeering, fraud, interfering in contractual relations and more. The suit is asking a federal judge to bar Amazon from poaching eBay sellers and for damages. The situation first came to light last year after an eBay seller came forward to report alleged poaching efforts by Amazon. eBay then to the tech giant, demanding Amazon knock off its alleged seller poaching efforts. At the time, Amazon said in a statement “we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations.” Amazon and eBay are both major players in the e-commerce industry. Though the tech giants differ slightly — Amazon directly sells products, while eBay does not — they both run huge marketplace businesses that rely on third-party sellers. eBay CEO Devin Wieng he doesn’t want to compete with Amazon directly, though he acknowledged the companies do often jockey for buyers and sellers on their platform. The e-commerce world is big enough for a number of players, including both Amazon and eBay, and Wenig wants his company to develop its own identity. “I don’t want to compete with Amazon; I want to get as far away from Amazon as I can,” Wenig said last year. “I want us to stand for something fundamentally different. I want eBay to be a winner in discovery-based shopping. I want it to be a place where people think of first for the things they love, not just the things they need.” Here is the full suit: by on Scribd
Jeff Bezos sells $1.8B worth of Amazon stock as ownership stake in tech giant drops to 12%

Jeff Bezos sells $1.8B worth of Amazon stock as ownership stake in tech giant drops to 12%

11:38am, 1st August, 2019
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold more than $1.8 billion of his company’s stock over the past few days, according to a series of . The world’s richest person offloaded more than 900,000 shares for around $1,900 per share, leaving him with a 12 percent stake in the company, worth around $110 billion at Thursday’s market price. That’s down from a 16 percent ownership stake prior to his divorce settlement earlier this year. The purpose of the stock sale wasn’t immediately clear. Bezos previously said that he would to fund Blue Origin, his commercial space venture. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. Bezos also appears to have completed the majority of an expected 20 million share transfer to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos. The regulatory filings show that Jeff Bezos’ holdings fell from 78.8 million shares in February to 59.1 million shares before the latest stock sale. As part of the divorce, the Amazon CEO but he retains voting authority for MacKenzie Bezos’ shares, effectively still giving him control of 16 percent of the company’s stock. He also maintains full ownership of The Washington Post and Blue Origin. MacKenzie Bezos now owns 19.7 million shares of Amazon, a $37 billion stake that makes her 23rd richest person in the world, . Even after the transfer and sale, Jeff Bezos remains the world’s wealthiest person. The couple has kept mostly quiet about the financial terms of their divorce. MacKenzie Bezos as part of The Giving Pledge, a philanthropic commitment that hundreds of the world’s wealthiest people have signed, including Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.
Amazon singled out in Democratic debates — again

Amazon singled out in Democratic debates — again

10:45pm, 31st July, 2019
Andrew Yang has made a habit of criticizing Amazon in his bid for the presidency. (GeekWire Photo) Big Tech may be in the federal government’s crosshairs but you wouldn’t know it from the Democratic debates this week. Like the first round of debates, tech rarely came up other than one company that has emerged as a favorite punching bag for 2020 hopefuls. Amazon was name-checked during each of the two debates this week. during the first round of debates in June. What they said: Sen. Bernie Sanders took a familiar jab at Amazon during the first debate this week. He called the company out for in recent years. Amazon didn’t pay income taxes in 2018 as a result of the Republican tax cuts the year prior, tax credits, and its compensation structure for employees. “As we speak, right now, 500,000 Americans are sleeping out on the street and yet companies like Amazon, that made billions in profits did not pay one nickel in federal income tax,” he said. “Tonight half of the American people are living paycheck to paycheck and yet 49 percent of all new income goes to the top one percent.” The following night entrepreneur Andrew Yang criticized the company for the impact it has had on American retailers. “Raise your hand in the crowd if you’ve seen stores closing where you live,” he said. “It’s not just you. Amazon is closing 30 percent of America’s stores and malls and paying zero in taxes while doing it.” It’s a familiar refrain for Yang, one he trumpeted on a in May. GeekWire during his trip to discuss automation, Amazon, and his signature policy, universal basic income. Amazon did not immediately respond to our request to comment. Background: The House Judiciary Committee, Federal Trade Commission, and Department of Justice have launched investigations into the tech industry over antitrust and privacy concerns. Tech has critics on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is campaigning on a proposal to break up the industry and President Donald Trump frequently criticizes companies like Facebook and Amazon on Twitter. Why it matters: The federal government , including Apple, Facebook, and Google. But Amazon has emerged as a particular target for Democrats running for president because income inequality is a key focus of the race. Amazon CEO thanks to the company’s growth. That fact, coupled with Amazon’s tax practices and retail dominance, put a target on the company’s back.
Key Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn to take one-year sabbatical in 2020

Key Amazon exec Jeff Blackburn to take one-year sabbatical in 2020

4:02pm, 31st July, 2019
Jeff Blackburn. (Amazon Photo) , an influential Amazon executive and one of the longest-running members of Jeff Bezos’ senior leadership team, will take a one-year sabbatical in 2020, GeekWire has learned. Blackburn joined Amazon in 1998, helping guide the company through its IPO and eventually landing on Bezos’ “S-Team” in 2006. His current title is senior vice president of worldwide business development, overseeing an array of the tech giant’s businesses. “It’s never easy to find a good time for a break when always scaling so fast, but now feels like the right time for me and my family,” Blackburn wrote in an internal email obtained by GeekWire. He’s pictured below with Bezos and actress Michelle Williams at a 2016 ‘Manchester at the Sea‘ party. Here’s a statement from an Amazon spokesperson: “Jeff Blackburn has decided to take a one year sabbatical with his wife and extended family following more than 21 years at Amazon, leading everything from our third party business, to Prime Video, Amazon Studios, Amazon Music, and Amazon Advertising. Jeff’s sabbatical will begin in early 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back in 2021.” Other members of include AWS CEO Andy Jassy; CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke; and others. Here’s Blackburn’s email to internal staff: Hi, wanted to share with you all that I’m planning to take a year-long sabbatical – to spend more time with my wife and family – starting in early 2020. I’ve been pretty nonstop at Amazon for 21+ years now – from the time we were only selling books. Physical books! I’ve had roles growing our third party selling Marketplace, Retail Hardlines, Operations, Corporate Development, Business Development and Advertising teams and spent the last 7 years helping build Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Studios and Amazon Music – an incredible experience. It’s never easy to find a good time for a break when always scaling so fast, but now feels like the right time for me and my family. In Biz Dev, Advertising and Entertainment, we have such a strong leadership team in place – and tremendous momentum right now. I’m confident this team will continue to deliver amazing content, products, and experiences for customers. I’ve been working closely with JeffB and S-team on this transition and I won’t be going on leave until early next year. So it’s absolutely business as usual for now. I’m looking forward to working with you as we review OP1 plans this fall, and will share with you any organizational changes as we know them. Thanks to my leadership team for their incredible support – and to all of you across our businesses helping to deliver for customers every day. This is an “A+” team of people and am very proud to be part of it.Jeff
Amazon sues former AWS exec for joining rival Google division as cloud wars escalate

Amazon sues former AWS exec for joining rival Google division as cloud wars escalate

12:25pm, 31st July, 2019
AWS CEO Andy Jassy delivers the keynote at the 2018 reInvent conference. (Amazon Web Services Photo) Amazon’s pioneering cloud business gave the company an early lead in an emerging and lucrative industry but competition is heating up between Amazon Web Services and newer entrants, like Microsoft and Google, particularly when it comes to talent. The latest example of that conflict: Amazon is suing a former AWS executive in King County Superior Court in Seattle for taking a job with Google Cloud in alleged violation of a non-compete agreement. Seattle has become the battleground in the cloud wars as Amazon’s longtime home, with Microsoft just across Lake Washington in Redmond. Google Cloud is down the street from Amazon and the two rivals are not off to a very neighborly start. That’s because competition for cloud workers is fierce and the two companies are now wading in the same shallow talent pool. Philip Moyer is at the center of a cloud rivalry between Amazon and Google. () The employee in Amazon’s crosshairs is Philip Moyer, a Pennsylvania-based former AWS sales executive whose past experience includes several CEO roles and a long stint as a manager for Microsoft. Moyer was the chief executive for software-as-a-service companies Edgar Online and Cassiopae, according to his LinkedIn. In 2017, Amazon hired Moyer as a sales executive for AWS focusing on the financial services industry. By the time he resigned in 2019, he had 13 direct reports and managed 100 employees, according to the complaint. When Moyer accepted the job with Amazon, he signed a non-competition agreement, a contract in which an employee agrees not to work for a competitor for a period of time to avoid sharing confidential trade secrets. The new Google Cloud campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) “Moyer’s role in Google cloud will necessarily involve strategy regarding sales of and improvements for Google’s current or future cloud offerings, and will therefore threaten the disclosure of Amazon’s highly confidential information and breach the Noncompetition Agreement,” the complaint says. Non-competes in the tech industry, with critics claiming they stifle innovation and give an unfair advantage to big corporations. Non-compete skeptics raised that concern earlier this year when Washington state that sets minimum salary thresholds to enforce non-compete agreements. Though the law has not yet taken effect, non-competes can still be difficult to enforce. But in Moyer’s case, Amazon is going to try. Amazon is seeking an injunction to prevent Moyer from taking the job with Google Cloud for 18 months from his last day at AWS, May 22. Amazon is also asking the court to prohibit Moyer from selling to current or prospective AWS cloud customers during that period. “Moyer cannot be successful in selling Google cloud without developing methods to compete with Amazon cloud,” Amazon said in the complaint. According to the complaint, the position Moyer accepted with Google involves selling cloud services to the healthcare industry. Amazon claims that because both healthcare and financial services — Moyer’s focus at AWS — are highly-regulated industries, selling to them will require the same tactics. “Because of the high level of regulation, companies in the financial services and healthcare industries share many inhibitors to cloud adoption and the same needs for privacy, security, and the ability to react quickly to a customer’s needs to ensure resiliency and stability such that the customer meets all regulatory requirements for handling customer confidential information,” the complaint says. Amazon says that it will suffer “economic damages in an amount to be proven at trial” if the court doesn’t prohibit Moyer from taking the gig. Google declined to comment on the lawsuit and Amazon has yet to respond to GeekWire’s request at the time of publication. This isn’t the first time Amazon has gone after a former employee for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement. Amazon in 2017 for taking a job with Smartsheet, the maker of work collaboration software. The case rankled the startup community. Amazon was bullying a smaller company that it did not directly compete with. Amazon and Farrell eventually settled the suit after a judge temporarily enjoined Farrell from taking the job with Smartsheet. In Moyer’s case, Amazon is concerned about trade secrets ending up in the hands of a direct competitor. AWS still dominates cloud services, capturing 33 percent of the market according to a 2018 using data from . Microsoft Azure has 13 percent market share, trailed by Google Cloud Platform, which has 6 percent. But AWS competitors are “increasing market share by playing to their strengths,” CB Insights researchers say. They expect the cloud computing industry to reach $513 billion by 2022. (CB Insights Image) Earlier this year, Washington state that makes it more difficult to enforce non-compete agreements. The law requires employees to earn more than $100,000 per year for a non-compete to apply and the agreement can’t extend longer than 18 months. Amazon to have the salary threshold lowered. The law does not take effect until after 2020 but even if it were in place now, the Moyer case would probably not be affected. Moyer almost certainly meets the salary threshold and Amazon is not seeking an injunction longer than 18 months. Non-compete agreements have , where some of the world’s biggest tech companies were born. Some California companies have found a work-around in the form of however. Related: Former employees and recruiters that Amazon’s enforcement strategy for non-compete agreements can appear arbitrary. AWS CEO Andy Jassy allegedly told Farrell in a meeting that he makes decisions about non-compete agreements on a “case-by-case basis,” according to court filings in that case. But Amazon’s history shows the company is particularly sensitive to competitive concerns when it comes to cloud talent. In 2014, the a former AWS strategic partnerships manager, , after he took a job at Google Cloud Platform. In 2012, it also sued former Amazon Web Services vice president, Daniel Powers, who joined Google as the search giant’s director of cloud platform sales. That case was transferred to federal court in Seattle, where a judge . In Moyer’s case, Amazon says that he has intimate knowledge of AWS’s competitive strategies through the end of 2020. “In short, Moyer knows — and participated in formulating much of — the roadmap and competitive strategies for AWS cloud through the end of 2020, and he was instrumental in selling that vision to some of Amazon’s most important prospects and customers,” the complaint says. “Amazon’s confidential information and trade secrets are the results of significant and long-term investments of money and resources, and Amazon takes extensive steps to keep them confidential.”