Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google Director of Privacy Alma Whitten Steps Down

Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy for product and engineering, is stepping down. She is said to be retiring after 10 years at Google. The news was first reported by Forbes.

Alma_WhittenGoogle and privacy are an explosively divisive topic with lots of public and regulatory scrutiny, but the London-based Whitten had not been a particularly loud external proponent for the company over the past three years since she took the role. Rather, she seemed more focused on internal engineering efforts.

Whitten will be replaced by Lawrence You, an eight-year veteran of Google who is an infrastructure engineer and has been involved in privacy efforts. He will report to Eric Grosse, the vice president of security and privacy engineering.

A Google spokesman 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.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald