Aarti Shahani

Aarti Shahani is a Tech Reporter on NPR's Business Desk. Based in Silicon Valley, it's her job to cover the biggest companies on earth. In her reporting, she works to pinpoint how economies and human relationships are being radically redefined by the tech sector.

Shahani has an unconventional path. Journalism is her second career. Before it, she was a community organizer in her native New York City, helping prisoners and families being deported from the U.S. She loves learning from brilliant, intense people — be they the engineers who are building self-driving cars, or the jailhouse lawyers filing laser-sharp habeas petitions.

Shahani received a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, with generous support from the University and the Paul & Daisy Soros fellowship. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago. Her reporting has been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award.

She finds Northern California to be a beautiful and jarring place — and she hopes one day to understand its many contradictions.

Facebook's CEO gave a public address on Tuesday in Silicon Valley, laying out the company's grand plan for the next year. Mark Zuckerberg provided dazzling details about how Facebook will use cameras, like the ones on our phones, to draw us deeper into digital life — and zero details about how Facebook will address growing safety concerns online.

He was speaking at F8. In tech land, that stands for the Facebook Developer Conference, which brings together thousands of people who make apps for Facebook and build other tools for the platform.

It is tempting to make every fiasco at Facebook about the power (and the abuse of power) of the algorithm. The "napalm girl" controversy does not neatly fit that storyline. A little-known team of humans at Facebook decided to remove the iconic photo from the site this week.

That move revealed, in a klutzy way, just how much the company is struggling internally to exercise the most basic editorial judgment, despite claims by senior leadership that the system is working.

Zuckerberg's Silence

Uber is plowing ahead with its ambitious plan to make self-driving cars a reality. The company will run an experiment in Pittsburgh, rolling out the first-ever self-driving fleet that's available to everyday customers.

Self-driving car tourism

Uber won't specify exactly how many self-driving cars will hit the streets. But in the next few weeks, if you're in Pittsburgh and use your app, you might land in one of them.

Like so much on Capitol Hill, the encryption debate is charged with feelings. Law enforcement asserts criminals are "going dark." Privacy advocates say, that's not true; we are in a "Golden Age of Surveillance." What's missing, according to a leading voice on security inside Google, is evidence.

"People are acting a lot from fear, on both sides of the debate, frankly," says Adrian Ludwig, who is in charge of security for Android, the most popular operating system in the world.

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