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Data Sheet—Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Facial recognition technology has many people spooked. Box joined IBM’s inner circle of strategic partners, along with Twitter and Apple. CareerBuilder just rewrote its resume. Plus, if you own an Amazon music collection, you should check out the e-commerce giant’s Echo device. Part speaker, part personal assistant, here’s why Fortune’s Stacey Higginbotham is a fan. Have a happy Wednesday!


So much for anonymity. Ethics and privacy debates over facial recognition technology are picking up steam in the wake of Facebook’s controversial Moments introduction. But that’s not the only thing to worry about: the social network’s algorithms can also identify people based on other physical characteristics, such as the way someone stands. Both features could be useful in situations such as a missing child search, but the privacy implications are very much an open question.


A steering wheel that conforms to the driver’s hand? That’s the sort of advance that could be fueled by a partnership between automotive giant Ford and 3D printing startup Carbon3D. “In the future, there’s a lot to be said about having something customized,” said Ellen Lee, Ford’s leader of additive manufacturing.

It’s official. BlackBerry is now a software company, as the company downplays smartphone investments and puts more resources into writing code for security and the Internet of things.

Uber’s new privacy policy is actually pretty thoughtful, despite the consumer complaint lodged this week with the Federal Trade Commission. However, there is one thing that should concern anyone using the service—its “dangerous, colossally flawed data retention policy. Against that backdrop, it looks like the company just raised another $1 billion—another sign that an IPO could be drawing near.

IBM’s latest unlikely bedfellow: Box. The two have forged a partnership focused on enterprise content management. One big benefit: mutual customers will have their documents stored in IBM’s cloud data center network.

AOL is now part of Verizon. One of the first things you can expect: a video service that will feature sports and live events. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.

More funds for Palantir? A BuzzFeed report suggests that the data analytics company is raising up to $500 million its latest round, which could boost its valuation to $20 billion.

Consumers love brand content, especially on Instagram. That makes Snapchat’s decision to start a social media marketing agency all the more intriguing.

A data breach of a different sort. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators have asked at least eight public companies for more information about recent data breaches, reports Reuters. They suspect hackers may have stolen confidential emails to support an insider trading scheme.


CareerBuilder rewrites its job description

As it enters its third decade of existence, CareerBuilder is tired of being pigeonholed into the role of online job board.

For the past two years, the world’s largest Internet career site has invested substantially—through acquisitions and organic software development—in an extensive suite of systems for recruiting, applicant tracking and workforce analytics.

Collectively known as the CareerBuilder1 platform, the services are already used by close to 1,000 companies. It is adding another 30 to 50 every month. CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson describes the offering as a mashup of job advertising services, analytics and sophisticated search algorithms. In fact, almost 16% of the company’s revenue over the past 12 months came from software applications, he said.

“The move into software as a service was natural for us, because we were always delivering our software over the Internet and dealing with upwards of 25 million candidates each month,” Ferguson said, commenting on the platform’s official launch. “We were able to learn as Internet technology matured, closely track labor trends and build cutting-edge software systems.”

CareerBuilder, which employs about 2,500 people, is owned by Gannett, Tribune Media, and McClatchy Company. Its search technology underlies the career sites for more than 1,000 organizations, including MSN and AOL.

One megatrend behind CareerBuilder’s strategy shift is the tightening labor supply. Close to half of the human resources managers responding to a national survey by Harris Poll suggest they can’t find enough potential candidates when a position opens, even though they might have thousands of resumes in their databases.

CareerBuilder’s new platform enables searches that peek across multiple external and internal sources of job applicants to provide a more unified picture of who’s available, and who’s qualified. The net effect is that recruiters are alerted about existing resumes that might be appropriate for a new posting. You can think of this as a form of candidate remarketing. Right now, at least half of the hiring managers surveyed by Harris don’t have a process in place to re-engage with these individuals.

“Especially in fields like IT or health care, individuals might have added new skills after the initial submission,” Ferguson told Fortune. “Some of these resumes might still be valuable five years later.”

CareerBuilder also seeks to address another reality: the application process at many companies takes much too long in an increasingly competitive job market. This could be discouraging qualified candidates, especially those highly dependent on smartphones and tablets such as millennials.

When Wynn Resorts engaged CareerBuilder two years ago, for example, it took an astonishing 54 minutes to fill out an application. Now, this requires less than five minutes, said Mary Kate Bachand, senior employment specialist for the Las Vegas-based hospitality and gaming company. “That’s a really important number in the world today,” she said. In particular, it ensures that Wynn continues to add to its candidate pool even when it doesn’t have any official opening.

Equally as important from Wynn’s perspective is the discernable improvement in the quality of applicants, which Bachand measures in employee retention. Prior to using CareerBuilder’s platform, Wynn’s turnover was 16.5%; now it’s 13.9%, she said. Wynn has about 154,000 applicants in its database; it typically hires 2,500 to 3,000 people every year across its properties. (Total headcount is 12,000.)

“We are hiring more jobs more quickly,” she said.

CareerBuilder is just one of the established companies attempting to reshape “candidate relationship management” along with the likes of CornerstoneOnDemand, Smart Recruiters, Successfactors and Workday, said Forrester Research analyst Claire Schooley. There also plenty of startups hoping to provide better recruiter intelligence. One example: Connectifier, an early-stage company that disclosed $6 million in Series A funding in mid-June. It applies “Google-style” algorithms to filter candidate searches for the likes of eBay, Netflix, Palantir and Twitter.

Schooley noted:

The applicant tracking system is becoming a commodity. You should, instead, as an organization, have in place a process to move through the steps of finding and onboarding a new employee. You should be able to put candidates into a talent network, where you can market a future job. … This is a very outward-looking process.

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Google’s latest prescriptions for medical research. The Internet giant is teaming with Broad Institute on a genome analytics service. Plus, its research group is working on a new health-tracking wristband that will be reserved for patient monitoring or clinical trials, reports Bloomberg.

The first official complaint filed under the net neutrality law apparently doesn’t have much chance of succeeding. Here’s why.

Do you really need a STEM degree to succeed in tech? Here are 10 career options that don’t require math or science backgrounds.

This California drone maker wants to challenge market leader DJI’s dominance, at least in the commercial space.

Coming soon to Netflix stockholders, more shares after a planned July split.

Watch out IBM and Apple. Samsung and Red Hat are teaming up to develop mobile apps that serve business purposes—including customer service, inventory management and invoicing.

The next best thing to being there. Instagram now organizes its photos into live event streams. The service is akin to Twitter’s Project Lightning.

Nielsen downplays the rise of online video. Then again, its report talking up television overlooks usage related to apps where video isn’t that main focus. That includes services such as Facebook and the Weather Channel. That’s a huge omission, considering that Facebook visitors watch more than 4 billion videos daily.

Google is launching an ad-supported edition of its streaming music service, as it faces new competitive pressure from Apple.


Gmail now officially lets you ‘Undo Send’ those embarrassing e-mails by Kia Kokalitcheva

Will the ad industry’s new Sheryl Sandberg-backed award go far enough on gender equality? by Carla Fernandez

Who will win the great auto tech race? by Kirsten Korosec

A startup is finally bringing heat-to-power tech in a big way for vehicles by Katie Fehrenbacher

Apple is fixing the most annoying thing about iPhone updates by Kia Kokalitcheva


Vehicle, park thyself. Ford’s experimental self-driving car can squeeze into tight spots without you behind the wheel.


Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 – 15; Aspen, Colorado)

Esri Business Summit: Mapping the value of data. (July 18 – 21; San Diego)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 – 19; Seattle)

SuccessConnect: Simplify the way the world works. (Aug. 10 – 12; Las Vegas)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: Splunk’s “get your data on” gathering. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)