Former Google employee Jack Poulson is starting a non-profit organization to promote tech transparency.
Poulson is known for resigning from Google back in 2018 over the tech giant’s controversial plan to build a censorship AI for the Chinese search audience. Now, his organization aims to protect tech workers who want to speak out against their company’s unethical practices.
The former senior Google researcher’s non-profit is known as Tech Inquiry. The organization will act as a safe space where tech workers can fight for what’s right without having to sacrifice their livelihood. Through this project Poulson is pushing for greater tech transparency to prevent companies from crossing ethical boundaries.
Speaking to the Guardian Poulson says, “I believe tech workers need informed consent about when their work may lead to loss of life or suppression of human rights or freedoms.”
“How is it that we help tech workers who saw something go wrong? How is it that we ensure they have a trusted avenue, somewhere to reach out, that isn’t necessarily going straight to a journalist?”
Poulson will be a speaker in the Open Rights Group’s annual conference on data and democracy this weekend. He wants to extend the power of choosing what’s right to workers in the design and development departments, where projects are kept in utmost secrecy.
“Internally, and especially in a research department like I was in, there is a feeling that you have a free pass until you’re actually getting ready to hit the button to launch it,” Poulson says.