Our culture of open and critical discussion around the implications of our technology ensures that we remain true to that initial conviction, even as the nature of data and the environments where we operate evolve.
As we build and implement technology to answer questions of increasing significance and complexity, we follow a set of principles that help us ensure we are doing so responsibly.
Systems should incorporate principles of “privacy by design”. Our goal has always been to eliminate the perceived tradeoffs between privacy and utility. To do so, we treat privacy as a first-order concern at every stage of the engineering process and build privacy features as core capabilities in our platforms, seamlessly integrated with analytical and collaboration tools.
Decisions that can affect individuals' rights to freedom, opportunity, and happiness cannot be left solely to computers. Our customers are using data to inform decisions with significant implications for individuals. Rather than relying on algorithms that inhibit accountability and redress, we always build in means for humans to make necessary judgment calls based on their context and intuition.
Systems must facilitate accountability and oversight. Effective privacy protection entails multi-layered, overlapping policies and procedures to reassure the protection of fundamental rights. We design our platforms to support these policies with mechanisms that control usage, alert users to data handling requirements, and generate information for those responsible for oversight.
Technology is not the answer to every problem. Some decisions carry implications that are too complex or significant to be automated or streamlined, even with a human in the loop. We strive to contextualize major world problems and think critically about whether it's possible to engineer complementary solutions in an ethically responsible way. When the answer is no, we turn the opportunity down.
Privacy and civil liberties engineering is an evolving field, and every organization is subject to unique requirements and concerns. The ways in which these principles are realized will differ among products and organizations. But the end goal should be the same: developing and implementing technology with a full understanding of its potential effects on fundamental rights and incorporating technical capabilities that can support responsible data handling policies.