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Stanford Says It Won’t Use Google Funding Toward Privacy Research [UPDATED]

Stanford Says It Won’t Use Google Funding Toward Privacy Research [UPDATED]
[Photo: Flickr user Tuncay]

Update: Jennifer Granick, director at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, disputes the ProPublica report. “Stanford never promised not to use Google money for privacy research,” she wrote in a blog post, clarifying the designation is an internal budgeting matter and not a policy change. “Specifically, CIS does not bar any of our people from working on any subject, including privacy. Such a ban would violate University policy.”

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Stanford University has pledged not to use funding from Google toward privacy research, according to a report from ProPublica.

Both Stanford and Google told the publication that the stipulation, which took effect in 2013, is unrelated to 2012 research that led to the Federal Trade Commission fining Google $22.5 million over privacy violations.

“The money they gave us ran out in 2013, and then we asked for, got, and used Google money for different projects, not because of a specific prohibition,” Jennifer Granick, director at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, told ProPublica. “We have other funding for our consumer privacy work.”

Stanford, like many universities, has a policy that states donations cannot come “with strings attached.” Academics are also uneasy about the funding designation, with one law professor at the University of Maryland calling it an “etiquette breach.”

To read the rest of the report, head over to ProPublica.

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