Bio Harold Hughes () is the founder & CEO of – an identity infrastructure company that helps companies and organizations transparently manage, aggregate, and store valuable consumer data. A rising star in sports tech, Harold has had his...
Harold Hughes (@OneBandwagonFan) is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon – an identity infrastructure company that helps companies and organizations transparently manage, aggregate, and store valuable consumer data. A rising star in sports tech, Harold has had his ideas validated as a graduate (and now mentor) of the Founder Institute Greenville chapter; graduate of Capital Factory – Austin, one of the inaugural companies in Google for Startups Black Founders Exchange Program, and most recently the IBM Blockchain Accelerator.
In his hometown community, he serves as the founder and Managing Director of Brickyard Innovation Lab: an entrepreneur ecosystem for early-stage startups and emerging growth companies. He is also a Co-Director of the Founder Institute Greenville chapter, a startup incubator, and a member of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in the community participating on the Board of Directors for Rebuild Upstate and Visit Greenville. As a strong believer in mentorship, he makes time to speak with youth and his peers about his journey to entrepreneurship and how he has found success along the way.
Harold Hughes is a graduate of Clemson University where he received Bachelors degrees in both Economics (B.A) and Political Science (B.A.). As a “Triple Tiger”, he also completed his MBA at Clemson, before pursuing a graduate certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.
Tech giants curtail, end sale of facial recognition to police
IBM and Microsoft announced plans last week to end the sale of surveillance technology to police departments, with IBM stopping all research, development and production of such systems indefinitely, and Microsoft saying it plans to stop the practice until Congress passes legislation. Amazon currently only has plans to pause the sale of its Rekognition software to police for one year, but it too has called for new legislation. The decisions came after years of advocacy reached a boiling point amidst reports that police have been using facial recognition during worldwide protests, in support of Black Lives, after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police just over two weeks ago. However, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon are just 3 of the companies selling facial recognition technology to police. Also last week, the American Civil Liberties Union and several other organizations sued Clearview AI, a supplier of facial recognition technology to police departments, for scanning Illinois’ residents’ faces, without their consent, in violation of an Illinois law preventing nonconsensual fingerprinting and face scans, The New York Times reported. The Hill reports Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey also called on Clearview to conduct an independent assessment of whether police have been using their technology during the protests, to which Clearview responded that it only helps police after crimes have already been committed. And Vice surveyed 43 facial recognition companies whether they too will refuse to work with police. According to Vice, most didn’t respond to the inquiry—you can find a link to the list of those companies in the show notes. You’ll also want to read Geoffrey Fowler’s Washington Post piece discussing efforts by other companies, including lesser-known companies like NEC and Idemia to thwart lawmakers’ efforts to rein in law enforcement’s use of facial recognition to spy on U.S. citizens.
Zuckerberg still being difficult about curbing misinformation
Despite leading lawmakers’ and activists’ calls on Facebook to improve how it flags misinformation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still being difficult. But at the same time he claims he’s “disgusted” by President Trump’s content, The Hill reported last week.
The debate with Facebook has continued for years, with the company condescending to and patronizing a handful of civil rights groups making repeated calls for the company to better moderate hate speech. The term “hate speech”, of course, being one Fox News like to wrap in quotes as if it’s not a real thing, never mind that centuries of newspapers’, broadcast stations’, the FCC’s, and social media companies’ enabling of bigots and misogynists suggest otherwise.
Sure. Facebook will take down hundreds of accounts managed by anti-racist Skinheads. But when Trump threatens bodily injury posting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”, lumping peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters into a single category of “looters” … That’s no problem.
On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Committee wrote Zuckerberg, again, urging him to curb Trump’s “dangerous” posts. Zuckerberg’s response? Writing a letter in reply to 270 concerned scientists he and his wife Priscilla Chan fund through their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, admitting Trump’s posts constituted misinformation, that they were incendiary, that they were “deeply shaken and disgusted” by them. But, alas, “Having more voices at the table that represent a diversity of perspectives, viewpoints, and lived experiences isn’t just a good way to help solve the world’s biggest problems and challenges – it is the only way.”
“The only way”. Those words are important because they negate diverse perspectives, viewpoints, and lived experiences. They urge authoritarianism.
Uber waives fees for black-owned restaurants
The Hill reported that Uber Eats, after creating a list of black-owned businesses, has waived fees for customers ordering from black-owned restaurants. Uber’s ride-sharing unit also announced discounts for passengers going to black-owned establishments. The company said the deals will continue through until the end of the year.
Jeff Bezos ‘happy to lose’ racist customers
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took to Instagram last week to drag a racist customer named Dave who complained about Amazon’s homepage statement in support of Black Lives Matter. The customer sent an email deriding the world’s wealthiest person saying he’d laugh watching the company’s profits decline as a result of the statement. Bezos posted the email, redacting the customer’s name, saying he’s happy to lose such customers. Amazon was up 24 points on Monday June 8th’s market close, the first market close after Bezos’s post, to 2,524.06 per share.
Police investigate disruptions of police radios during protests
Someone took advantage of police officers’ unencrypted frequencies during protests. In one intrusion, hackers played Tay Zonday’s YouTube viral hit “Chocolate Rain” over police radios. Authorities are investigating incidents in Minnesota, Illinois and Texas. Some departments have switched over to encrypted frequencies.
Twitter makes Juneteenth a holiday
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced last week that the company will now recognize Juneteenth as a company holiday every June 19th. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the date African Americans in Galveston, Texas first learned of their emancipation from Union General Gordon Granger, who delivered the news nine weeks following Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court Courthouse, and some two-and-a-half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
YouTube announces $100 million for black creators
YouTube announced last week that it would be investing $100 million to amplify the voices of black creators. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made the announcement Thursday, in a post in which she also reported the company removed some 100,000 hateful videos and 100 million such comments in the second quarter.