A developing group of more than 1,666 Google works is demanding Google stop selling its technology to police departments, TechCrunch has learned.
” We’re disappointed to know that Google is still selling to police forces, and praises its associate with police forces as somehow progressive, and seeks more expansive auctions rather than severing ties with police and joining the millions who want to defang and defund these institutions ,” employees wrote in a letter to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.” Why help the institutions responsible for the knee on George Floyd’s neck to be more effective organizationally? Not only that, but the same Clarkstown police force being advertised by Google as a success story has been litigated multiple times for illegal surveillance of Black Lives Matter organizers .”
Google, for example, has circulated how Clarkstown Police Department exerts G Suite for sharing information and digital evidence . Meanwhile, Google is also a partner and donor to the Seattle police foundation and its venture capital arm, GV, has invested in startups working on artificial intelligence technology for police.
In the symbol, employees go on to say they want to be proud of the company they work for. They also miss Google to speak to their qualities, the word says.
” The racist legacy of police in all the regions of the United Commonwealth goes all the way back to its roots, when police forces developed to protect the resource come from slavery and genocide ,” the letter states.” We have a long way to go to address the full legacy of racism but to begin with — we should not be in the business of profiting from prejudiced patrolling. We should not be in the business of criminalizing Black existence while we chant that Black Lives Matter. We, the undersigned Googlers, call on you to stop making our technology available to police forces .”
Google employees have been able to successfully pressure the company to drop contracts in the past. After employees petitioned Google to stop working on Project Maven, Google decided not to renew its contract with the Pentagon for that campaign. Then, in October 2018, Google declined out of the running for JEDI, the big cloud computing contract with the Pentagon.
Google is not the only tech company that has contracted with police departments and other law enforcement agencies. Salesforce, for example, has long viewed a contract with Customs and Border Protection, despite protest from employees and others.
Some positive change, nonetheless, has resulted. Earlier this month, IBM said it would no longer sell its facial acceptance engineering, which has become a tool for policing and mass surveillance. Meanwhile, Microsoft recently said it won’t sell facial recognition engineering to patrol without federal regulation and Amazon halted police exploit of its facial acknowledgment tech for one year. These were direct responses to the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.
In response to Floyd’s death, Pichai noted in an email to employees that” Our Black community is hurting, and many of us are searching for ways to stand up for what we speculate, and reach out to people we love to show solidarity .”
He also sketched how Google will give $12 million to racial justice syndicates. Since then, Pichai has developed on Google’s commitments to ethnic justice. Internally, for example, Google committed to improving diverse representation at the leadership level by 30% by 2025.
” We crave Google to make real steps to help dismantle racism ,” hires wrote.” We as a society have moved past the phase where saying Black Lives Matter is enough, we need to show it in our thinking, in our words and in our acts that Black lives do matter to us .”
TechCrunch has reached out to Google and will update this story if we examine back.
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