Privacy was a tentpole announcement at I/O 2019 from Incognito Mode for Google Maps and Search to federated learning in Gboard. Sundar Pichai today announced the Google Safety Engineering Center (GSEC) in Munich, Germany to lead privacy initiatives around the world.
Google is making Germany the company’s global hub for “cross-product privacy engineering efforts.” Googlers in Munich are already responsible for the centralized Google Account with features like Privacy Checkup, as well as “Your data in Search,” which is still coming to Maps, Assistant, and YouTube.
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.
There is also a Chrome team in Munich responsible for the browser’s password and cookie management tools, and other security and privacy features.
Google plans to double the number of privacy engineers in Munich to over 200 by the end of this year. Overall, the city is currently home to 750 Googlers from more than 60 countries, with the first office opening in 2007.
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.