“But each time I recommended a Human Rights Program, senior executives came up with an excuse to say no. At first, they said human rights issues were better handled within the product teams, rather than starting a separate program. But the product teams weren’t trained to address human rights as part of their work. When I went back to senior executives to again argue for a program, they then claimed to be worried about increasing the company’s legal liability. We provided the opinion of outside experts who re-confirmed that these fears were unfounded. At this point, a colleague was suddenly re-assigned to lead the policy team discussions for Dragonfly. As someone who had consistently advocated for a human rights-based approach, I was being sidelined from the on-going conversations on whether to launch Dragonfly. I then realized that the company had never intended to incorporate human rights principles into its business and product decisions. Just when Google needed to double down on a commitment to human rights, it decided to instead chase bigger profits and an even higher stock price.”
Another, very disturbing, quote:
“Some will say that Google was always a bad corporate actor, with less than transparent privacy practices. But there is a significant difference between serving ads based on a Google search and working with the Chinese government on artificial intelligence or hosting the applications of the Saudi government, including Absher, an application that allows men to track and control the movement of their female family members.”
After much controversy, Saudi Arabia is changing that policy - “In this regard, in 2019, new measures have been taken to allow Saudi women above the age of 18 to travel without taking the permission of their male guardians, which ultimately releases male authoritative rights on Saudi women. Indeed a law was released that allows women above 21 years old to get their passports and travel without a prior permission. The law will be effective by the end of August 2019” - wikipedia.
Based on my research and own experience of partnering with Google in the past (I finally dumped them last year after a dozen years) Google has always been a bad corporate actor. I have an endless list of offences. Even some of their ads deliberately install third party adware on user’s computers, all in the name of ever higher advertising revenue. They have designed the ads system deliberately so that they can get away with anything and don’t have to take any responsibility. They don’t even review the ads they publish! When as a publisher I tried to get them to take down ads containing adware (unwanted programs that are trojan horses for dangerous areas of the internet that install malware and ransomeware), they completely ignored me.
Google must be some of the biggest two-faced liars on the planet. Whenever they want to take over a market and crush the competition to create yet another illegal monopoly, they claim they are actually creating policies to make the web “safer”. Yeah right, they want to control the entire internet so that they can get 90% market share of web searches, create numerous other illegal monopolies, spy of people in the most creepy ways imaginable and profit from shady ads that manipulate and scam people.
Android is probably the most despicable of all creations – people have no choice but to install a system that is designed in every way for the sole purposes of spying on them and not giving no real choice of whether to use Google search, Google app services and Google products. And the way they’ve designed Android – as confusing as possible – so that nobody knows what’s really going on.
If you look at things objectively, this is a company that is assaulting our humanity directly, much like a evil dictatorship.
Then there are the copyright violations – unthinkable but true that the company doesn’t have a delete function in it’s surveillance and web scraping operations. They have been caught many times outright stealing content, with no regard whatsoever for copyright. They hold scraped content indefinitely, in clear violation of the fair use principles of the United States. For example they once contacted me with an image of one of my web pages that they had copied over a year prior. Did I give them any right to make copies of my copyrighted pages and hold them longer than the allowable time? Of course not. But they probably hold all data about us forever, and never delete anything that they scrape. The only worse copyright offender in the world is the evil nonprofit organisation self-righteously calling itself the “Internet Archive”, archive.org.
Our technological development of current human communication is being led as if it were a symphony orchestra, by the “Bigtech”. Its impact on the rest of human knowledge is unstoppable, disruptive and leads our global society towards an unknown, unexplored world. But easily recognizable by extrapolation from our recent past as the current one. To the extent that this knowledge advances in all its fields, we develop increasingly effective tools and offer as if different take-offs of commercial aircraft were, true shuttles of our visions. From our projects to achieve our dreams through projects that are increasingly shorter in time.
With all this, the human being we run the risk of becoming mere instruments of technological development instead of being entrepreneurs, visionaries, owners and leaders of the new world that for the human being is already there. In 2036. As technology advances on all fronts, as our tools become increasingly effective and sophisticated we become, as we have never been before, able to fulfill our visions, our projects and our dreams Even those more strange or extravagant than they are. With this, we run the risk of becoming “servers of our technology”, of simple “instruments”, instead of explorers and inventors.
Our world needs today more than ever, today in the year 2020 and in an imperative way, in a desperate way of leaders, who with scientific basis, diagnose what the evidence in Big Data and data patterns, already predict. And his therapy: it is no longer necessary !, because the inertia of the 8.5 billion people that will inhabit this planet that in 2036, we will be fully empowered through new communication technologies. There will be no geopolitical force, however compelling or strong, that is capable of boosting or curbing the momentum of social inertia in a state of gestation and already very advanced. Let us look at this future social and economic takeoff and that future of general and global well-being. And prepare for a happy take off as a flight to the new society to which we already see where and how to land.
The past, past is and the new future must be rewritten and invented. But now! Before we exceed the point of no return that would dramatically be for everyone.
Typical. The problems we are encountering come down to a conflict between value and values. Especially companies like Google and Facebook are essentially the side of (financial) value and our human ‘values’ side is losing out. I’ve written a longer story about this here. Apologies to kind of plug it like this, but I think it is potentially useful for this community.