Google’s Chief of Privacy and Head of Competition Law Depart, No Replacements Planned

What just happened? Google, a company long criticized for its privacy shortcomings, is losing its chief privacy officer. Keith Enright, who has been with the Alphabet-owned firm for 13 years, is departing, and Google has no plans to replace him or its head of competition law, who is also exiting.

Enright was highly regarded and respected, reports Forbes, having assumed the role of chief privacy officer in September 2018. This was a period when Google faced the Senate Commerce Committee due to concerns about data privacy. Enright testified before the committee along with privacy officers from Amazon and Apple.

“After over 13 years at Google, I’m ready for a change, and will be moving on this fall, taking all that I’ve learned and trying something new,” Enright wrote in a post on LinkedIn. He will remain at Google until September.

Enright represented the company before Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and several global data commissions, Forbes added.

Also leaving Google this year is the company’s head of competition law, Matthew Bye, after 15 years with the firm. This coincides with the conclusion of the Department of Justice’s landmark antitrust trial over Google’s search engine monopoly. The case revolves around Google paying $26.3 billion to companies in 2021 to be the default search engine on various mobile phones and web browsers.

Google spokesperson Jenn Crider confirmed that Enright and Bye will leave their posts later this year and will not be replaced.

Confirmation of Google’s chief privacy officer’s departure comes just days after a leaked internal database revealed thousands of privacy and security failings flagged by Google between 2013 and 2018 – before Enright assumed the position. The issues included exposed email addresses, collected license plate numbers, and the transfer of a government cloud customer’s data to a consumer product. Additionally, a Google contractor accessed private videos on Nintendo’s YouTube account, leaking information ahead of the gaming giant’s planned announcements.

In April, Google agreed to delete browsing data it collected from Chrome users who were browsing in Incognito mode. This action was part of a settlement in a lawsuit alleging that the company tracked people who believed they were browsing privately by using Incognito mode.

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