A law suit has been filed by fifty women in a San Francisco court against Salesforce and bringing in allegations that tools were sold by the company to the sex trafficking website Backpage.
The women who have filed the case have chosen to remain unidentified and want to be only identified and referred to as anonymous Jane Does. The women claimed that they were survivors of sex trafficking, rape and abuse and that all of these crimes were facilitated through Backpage.
As a company, Salesforce has for long promoted and vouched support for human rights and pledged to create technology so that it is able to come to the greater good of mankind. However this new legal suit that brings in those stunning and very harmful allegations casts a dark shadow over the image of the company.
Developing gender equality in the workplace and delivering and offering better services for the homeless have been advocated for long by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff.
However, the law suit by the women survivors of the crimes claimed that Salesforce boasted about fighting human trafficking using its data tools while it was on public platforms such as on Twitter. But the women allege that the backbone of Backpage’s exponential growth is in fact being provided by the data tools data tools of Salesforce through contracts and business down behind closed doors.
“Salesforce didn’t just provide Backpage with a customer-ready version of its data and marketing tools. Salesforce designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally. With Salesforce’s guidance, Backpage was able to use Salesforce’s tools to market to new “users” — that is, pimps, johns, and traffickers — on three continents,” said the law suit.
While saying that the company policy does not allow commenting on issues that are pending in court, a Salesforce spokesperson said: “We are deeply committed to the ethical and humane use of our products and take these allegations seriously.”
Customer acquisition and retention tools for businesses is created and marketed by Salesforce. With a market valuation above $120 billion, it is amongst the largest software companies out of San Francisco.
Custom tools for Backpage were created by Sales force, which helped the now-defunct website to upsell on higher priced packages and additional services, claims the lawsuit.
“The evidence of Salesforce’s liability is overwhelming and the damages that have been caused to the victims and our communities as a result are monumental,” Annie McAdams, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “It’s simply not enough to say fighting human trafficking is important. Internal policies and procedures have to reflect that commitment.”
The lawsuit is Jane Does #1 through #50 v. Salesforce Inc., CGC-19-574770, and was filed in San Francisco Superior Court.
(Adapted from TheDailyBeast.com)