Google Opens German Centre to Improve Data Privacy

Pichai had spoken about privacy at length during his Google I/O 2019 keynote.

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Google Opens German Centre to Improve Data Privacy

Google says it's opening a privacy-focused engineering centre in Munich, Germany, in its latest move to beef up its data protection credentials.

CEO Sundar Pichai said Tuesday that the Silicon Valley tech giant is expanding its operations in the southern German city and plans to double the number of privacy engineers there to more than 200 by the end of 2019.

Pichai said in a blog post that the new Google Safety Engineering Center will make Munich a global hub for the company's "cross-product privacy engineering efforts."

"The team will work hand-in-hand with privacy specialists in Google offices across Europe and globally, and the products built there will be used around the world... It's no accident that we're building our privacy hub in the heart of Europe, and in a country that in many ways reflects how Europeans think about online safety, privacy and security. Many of our privacy products have been built in Munich, including Google Account, a central place where you can control your privacy when you use Google products," he added.

The company unveiled new privacy tools this month that people can use to gain more control over how they're being tracked, part of a broader effort by big tech companies to counter increasing scrutiny of their data collection practices.

Pichai added, "This is a major milestone in our investments in Europe. Since 2007, we've grown in Munich to more than 750 people, hailing from more than 60 countries. We'll continue to invest in all parts of our operation, including the GSEC team. This year's expansion will take us beyond 1,000 employees for the first time, making the office a true global hub not only for privacy engineering, but for research and product development, as well."

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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