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Recode Daily: Some Uber and Lyft drivers say they accidentally petitioned against their own rights

Plus: An attempt to solve conflict in the Middle East with the blockchain, Jony Ive will leave Apple, and Twitter tries to regulate world leaders’ rule-breaking tweets.

A ride-share driver at a rally raises his fist while another holds a sign that reads, “Drivers united are stronger.”
Ride-share drivers at a rally in New York, May 2019.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Some Uber and Lyft drivers say they were misled into petitioning against their own worker rights. Recode’s Shirin Ghaffary reports that some drivers say they unintentionally signed messages from Uber and Lyft asking politicians to support their job flexibility, without realizing they were campaigning against being classified as employees. Uber and Lyft have been fighting a proposed bill in California, AB 5, that could potentially compel gig economy companies to reclassify many of their independent contract workers as employees. Both companies have sent emails and in-app notifications to drivers warning that they are at risk of losing the ability to set their own hours. “When I first saw the petition, I thought it was something for us drivers,” said one driver who talked to Recode. “But when I talked to other drivers on WhatsApp, I learned more and realized that isn’t the case.”
[Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

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Is the answer to the Israel-Palestine conflict ... crypto? The founder of a crypto startup tells CoinDesk she has been working with the Trump administration to use blockchain technology in order to solve the thorny Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Israel. Orbs co-founder Netta Korin said the work is still in “stealth mode” but that she had been invited to Bahrain “to show the immense potential blockchain technology has to solve some of the problems governments are facing in an efficient and transparent matter.” Okay then!
[Leigh Cuen / CoinDesk]

Jony Ive, after more than two decades at Apple, calls it quits. Ive, Apple’s design chief and one of CEO Tim Cook’s right-hand executives, is surprisingly leaving the company. Ive is off to start his own design firm that will work closely with Apple, but his departure is still a major shake-up given that Ive has been a longstanding pillar for the design-centric company. “Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated,” Cook said in a statement.
[Shirin Ghaffary / Recode]

Has Twitter found the middle ground in the “What to do about Trump” debate? Twitter said Thursday that it would flag tweets from world leaders that violate its rules — but it will continue to leave up the rule-breaking content if it’s considered newsworthy. It’s an interesting attempt by Twitter to avoid censoring political figures like Donald Trump when they violate its rules, while still making sure that it promotes so-called healthy conversations. Twitter going forward will also limit the reach of these offending tweets.[Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

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The Pentagon can identify you by your heartbeat with a laser.