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Google Social Responsibility
"Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information" (Annual Report, 2011). The corporate social responsibilities of Google, Inc. include addressing global challenges of climate change, education, and poverty alleviation (Corporate Social Responsibility, 2011). Google China Social Innovation Cup for College Students is designed to encourage youth to be agents of social change. Google, Inc. supports earthquake relief efforts raising funds for free advertising for businesses to rebuild, communication platforms for families to find loved ones, and funding for construction of Quake Relief Hope Schools. Google Grants is a program that provides free advertising for charities.
Because Google, Inc. is a global company, technology plays an integral role in how the programs and platforms work. Cultural issues become a part for social responsibility in all countries around the globe. Google believes that technology should do the hard work, including discovery, organization of the information, and the communication of the information. They work to design the products to incorporate a seamless productivity. All the programs and platforms work together to provide the services for social responsibility. For example, a business that was destroyed by an earthquake in a foreign country can use AdSense, even if they can only pay five dollars a day for advertising, and use that advertising to rebuild the business in their own country over the internet. Funds raised to help businesses rebuild can be quickly accessed through the technology and platforms.
"Don't be evil" is the slogan Google requires from all employees in the treatment of users and each other to show an unbiased experience to do the right thing, including following law, acting honorably, and showing respect (Code of Conduct). Google requires the highest possible standards of business conduct from all employees. It maintains an Ethics and Compliance hotline for employees to report inappropriate behavior. Service to Users includes integrity, usefulness of products, privacy, security, and freedom of expression. It is vital for employees to protect and respect the privacy of information. Confidentiality must be preserved by all employees.
Google faces challenges with new technologies that produce spam and rootkits that violate privacy of the information system. If there are vulnerabilities or errors in the system, it can easily be violated, which can compromise the security of the information it is designed to protect. Employees of Google have to be aware and observant in order to detect these threats and speak up for them to be fixed in a quick manner. The Human Resources function uses the technology for training of employees in social and ethical issues, as well as whom to contact and what to report when privacy is compromised, spam is spotted, or inaccurate information is spotted on the company websites. For example, Google has the continuous problem of websites with irrelevant and inaccurate information that uses the information to get higher rankings in the Google listings. These sites need to be detected and removed quickly in order to preserve rankings for appropriate websites that contain accurate and relevant information for Google users. When information is hard to obtain, the right employees need to be aware in order to ensure that information is easily accessible to users.
Human resources also use technology to make corporate policies accessible to employees and users. Because Google is a global company, it is necessary to use technology to ensure that employees are trained properly and policies are available. Information security policies are also available on the system to ensure that every employee understands what is allowed, such as internet usage, etc.
Google uses collaboration and creativity to address complex changes in technologies, which evolve rapidly in technology. Transparency and open dialog are used for internal communications to employees around the globe. With technology constantly changing, employees are constantly training on the new products and product changes in order to assist users. New regulations, laws, or interpretations of existing laws and regulations are challenges that create more training for employees.
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