Google’s Privacy Director To Step Down
Roshan Ashraf Shaikh / 5 years ago
Alma Whitten, Google’s first director of privacy who was hired back in 2010 is quitting her job, according to the report which indicated that she made the announcement within the company as she has plans to retire. Ms. Whitten is an engineer with Google, along with the expertise in computer security.
Whitten was hired in October 2010 after the series of privacy goof ups done by the company. Google once accidentally extracted information from the Wi-Fi networks whenever their Street View cars drove by.
Although Google explained that this was done by a rogue engineer, they were hit with $7 Million fine, had to do a public Wi-Fi safety campaign and to host annual privacy week to teach their employees not to do data mining with the Google products. There was also issue raised when Google’s Buzz, the social networking platform, which pre-populated people’s social network profile with people’s email contacts from Gmail. This led to a $8.5 Million settlement and another settlement with FTC where the company has to do bi-annual privacy audits.
She will be replaced by Lawrence You, another engineer who worked with Google for eight years and based in Moutain View. Looking at the new director’s location who is much closer to Google X Lab, this would be a good choice as one would be able to overview operations and newer products in terms of privacy check.
Google said in a statement:
During her 10 years at Google, Alma has done so much to improve our products and protect our users. The privacy and security teams, and everyone else at Google, will continue this hard work to ensure that our users’ data is kept safe and secure.