Google Hiring Privacy Professional

Are you an engineer obsessed with privacy issues? Would you like to work at Google? You’ll be pleased to hear, then, that the search engine wants to hire someone like you – and in the face of a recent fine, it’s probably not a minute too soon.

You may recall the announcement recently about Google’s agreeing to pay a $22.5 million fine because it violated the privacy of users of Apple’s Safari browser. That’s one expensive mistake the search giant doesn’t want to repeat.

You can check out the listing for the “Data Privacy Engineer, Privacy Red Team” if that’s up your alley – or if you’re interested in seeing what Google has learned from its privacy debacle.

Privacy Red Team members “independently identify, research, and help resolve potential privacy risks across all of our products, services, and business processes in place today,” Google stated in the listing. The search giant is looking for people with an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of modern web browsers and computer networks who get their kicks analyzing software designs and implementations from both privacy and security perspective. If you’re thinking about applying, the company would also like you to be a recognized expert “at discovering and prioritizing subtle, unusual, and emergent security flaws.”

So what qualifications does Google expect to see from applicants? You should have a BS or MS in computer science as a minimum, and ideally four years of relevant work experience. This includes “experience in vulnerability research, penetration testing, and code-level security auditing of complex web applications.” You’ll also need experience with low-level software development in C, C++, or Java. There’s more, of course, but you can just go to the listing for that.

It’s likely that Google figured hiring more privacy experts would cost less in the long term than having to pay more fines. You see, this is hardly the first time the search giant has been called on the carpet for, at best, not thinking through all the privacy implications of their actions. PC World offers up details from the last 15 months. These include a scrap with the Federal Trade Commission back in March of last year over issues relating to Google’s now-defunct social network Buzz; class-action lawsuits a year later over changes to Google’s privacy policy that were said to violate the search engine’s agreement with the FTC; and issues with Google Street View vehicles, which were discovered to be collecting data from individuals’ Wi-Fi networks.

Anyone who successfully applies for and accepts a job with Google on its Privacy Red Team faces a real challenge in keeping the search engine on the straight and narrow. Here’s hoping whoever they are, they’re up to all the scrutiny they’ll likely receive.

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