Senate Democrats call on Google to conduct racial equity audit

The lawmakers say a racial equity audit is “long overdue.”

6/2/2021 9:30:00 PM

A group of Senate Democrats led by Cory Booker are calling on Google to carry out a racial equity audit that they say is “long overdue'

The lawmakers say a racial equity audit is “long overdue.”

.“We are concerned about repeated instances where Alphabet missed the mark and did not proactively ensure its products and workplaces were safe for Black people,” they wrote in letters to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, among others.

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The lawmakers called a racial equity audit “long overdue,” but said it would only amount to an initial step — Google must also increase efforts to hire a diverse workforce and continually evaluate its policies and products for potential discriminatory harms, they wrote.

Google spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Civil rights in the spotlight:Google is the latest Silicon Valley behemoth to face pressure to examine its impact on individuals and communities of color. Facebookafter facing calls from civil rights groups and lawmakers to review whether its policies adequately addressed racial discrimination and voter suppression.

Color of Change, an influential civil rights group active on tech issues,in April sent a separate letter to Googlecalling on the company to let independent auditors review the company’s civil rights and racial equity practices. The group, which was a driving force in the push to get Facebook to commit to conducting a civil rights audit in 2018, said it was concerned about the spread of white nationalist and extremist content on Google products, among other issues.

Their push to get Google to make a similar commitment gained several prominent backers this week via the letter, which was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), in addition to Booker (D-N.J.).

Read more: POLITICO »

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Company infamous for hiring employees based on skin color instead of merit could probably use a 'racial equity audit'

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