Report: Google's director of privacy for engineering planning to retire

Report: Google's director of privacy for engineering planning to retire

Summary: UPDATED: Amid a lot of tomfoolery on April 1, there are more serious matters at Google today -- including the reported resignation of the Internet giant's director of privacy for product and engineering.


Google's director of privacy for product and engineering, Alma Whitten, is reportedly stepping down from her post.

Forbes reported on Monday that Whitten made an internal announcement to her team that she is planning to retire within a few months.

Currently based in London, Whitten has been with the Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered corporation for a decade now being that she first joined Google in 2003.

During her tenure, she has worked on publications regarding protecting consumer privacy as well as security and user-centered design paradigms.

According to her official bio, Whitten previously received her computer science Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004, specializing in human factors challenges for computer security.

We pinged Google's PR team about this, and we'll update the story as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE: Google replied with the following additional details and confirmation:

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.

Whitten will be staying through June to help with the transition.

Lawrence You is taking over as director of privacy for product and engineering. You has been at Google for eight years and was one of the founding members of the privacy program. He will report into Eric Grosse, the vice president of security and privacy engineering.

Topics: Privacy, Google, Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Google = privacy thief

    Does anybody remember Google street cars WiFi fiasco? They blamed it on a 'rouge' engineer. But the fact is that it was a well planned operation with blessings from the highest ranks of Google. And they got away with it by bribing and lobbying politicians in many countries. Its good to know that some of those privacy thieves are retiring.
    • Nice try...

      A lie will always be a lie.
      • You caught the retiree

        In his current form Owllll1net that's how many versions of Owlnet?

        I count like five, I so look forward to being a retiree. Too bad for OwlnetIIIIV+.

        LOL......... :)
        • I don't think he has hit his 10 years yet

          Maybe he could be Owl8Net or OwlBlueNet.

          I do have to give credit to ZDNET for putting the proper headline. At exactly 10 years it is considered a retirement (maybe early but I would bet a really nice benefits), not a stepping down or being released/replaced. It is nice someone leaving a job on good terms.
          • Retiree Owl has reached 10 years and more

            In Owlet’s previous post.
            It was he used computers while Eric Schmidt was in diapers or he changed Eric Smith's diapers.
      • 7 million

        The fine was small by today's standards but a simple Google search provided me with this link.

        So if anyone is lying it is "Time Business & Money"