Google has recently faced protests and criticism from staff over its approach to human rights at home and abroad. The firm’s former head of international relations, Ross LaJeunesse, revealed on Thursday that his concerns over the matter prompted him to resign.
Whenever I participate in a human rights program, senior managers have found an excuse to say no. At first, they said that human rights issues were better addressed within the product teams, rather than launching a separate program. But product teams were not trained to address human rights in the course of their work. When I went back to the top executives to plead again for a program, they then said they were concerned about increasing the legal liability of the company. We have provided advice from outside experts who have confirmed once again that these fears are unfounded. At this point, a colleague was suddenly reassigned to lead the political team’s discussions for Dragonfly. As someone who had always advocated for a human rights-based approach, I was on the sidelines of the ongoing conversations about whether to launch Dragonfly. I then realized that the company had never intended to integrate human rights principles into its business and product decisions. Just when Google needed to double its commitment to human rights, it decided to seek higher profits instead and an even higher share price.
: Former Top Google Exec gives devastating explanation of why he quit