Ross LaJeunesse left Google last April after he advocated within the company for years for a human rights program that formalize free speech and privacy principles.
Ross “began lobbying for it internally in 2017 — around the time when the tech giant was exploring a return to China, in a stark reversal of its 2010 move that made its search engine unavailable there,” reports Nitasha Tiku in the Washington Post:
Now, the 50-year-old is alleging that Google pushed him out for it in April.
“I didn’t change. Google changed,” LaJeunesse, who was Google’s global head of international relations in Washington, told The Washington Post. “Don’t be evil” used to top the company’s mission statement. “Now when I think about ‘Don’t be evil,’ it’s been relegated to a footnote in the company’s statements.”
Within Google, China was seen as a booming market that represented concerns about the ways technology could be used to suppress free expression or enable surveillance. LaJeunesse modeled his human rights program on the way Google approached privacy and security issues, designing the team of employees, in functions such as supply chain, policy, and ethics and compliance, to help Google integrate, coordinate and prioritize human rights risk assessment.
A top Google exec pushed the company to commit to human rights. Then Google pushed him out, he says. [washingtonpost.com]
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