Transparency

Our Principles and Standards of Business Conduct

At Google, we believe it is important to have a voice in the political process to ensure the Internet remains a powerful engine for growth and innovation. Our engagement with policymakers and regulators is guided by a commitment to ensuring our participation is always open, transparent and clear to our users, shareholders, and the public.

Public Policy Engagement

We believe in the empowering and democratizing effect of putting information in the hands of everyone, everywhere. We started nearly two decades ago with the goal of organizing the world’s information and making it universally useful and accessible. Since then, the Internet has grown and evolved more than anyone could have imagined, and yet there are still many information challenges in the world today. We champion public policy and regulatory approaches that ensures the Internet continues to be a vehicle of growth and innovation serving the widest range of people possible.

Learn more about the key issues steering our public policy work below:

Connectivity

We believe that an open Internet enhances competition, consumer choice, creativity innovation and free expression. We can achieve greater broadband abundance through competition, investment, and adoption. Google believes that abundant broadband facilitates free expression, increases opportunities for everyone with internet access and drives investment and innovation. Google supports reform of federal, state and local regulations to remove barriers to broadband abundance. We also support legislative and regulatory efforts that preserve and equally protect an open Internet & competition. We believe that no single technological solution can solve the goal of abundance so Google supports policies that ease barriers to deployment of both fiber and wireless broadband technologies, including protecting and strengthening existing and new unlicensed and lightly licensed spectrum designations and establish investment-friendly, transparent, and predictable rules for unlicensed and shared use that encourage growth and deployment.

Competition

Google’s services help drive economic growth and are good for users and good for competition,and we've always accepted that with success comes responsibilities and scrutiny. When you search for something on Google, we try to provide you the highest quality information we can. Our engineers are constantly experimenting to find better ways to connect you with useful information, and, increasingly, to provide direct answers to your questions. We are confident our product innovations have benefited consumers and expanded competition and economic growth. The surest signs of dynamic competition in any market are low prices, abundant choices, and constant innovation. We also support tax policies that provide greater clarity, encourage job growth, and make the US competitive with the rest of the world.

Education and Workforce

At Google, our employees are one of our greatest assets - building innovative technology, growing our business, creating a positive working environment, and ensuring that we maintain the trust of our users. That is why we advocate for policies that allow them and their families to thrive both inside and outside of the office. We also know that far too many people believe a career in technology or at a technology company like Google is out of reach. We want to ensure that anyone can see themselves in tech and are investing in making that future a reality by building programs and supporting partners that equip students with the skills and education they need to enter today’s workforce.

Government Software Procurement

Google supports government agencies’ efforts to modernize and better secure government information technology systems. Evaluating and updating IT policies and regulations will be critical to allowing government agencies to realize the enhanced security, economies of scale, and cutting edge innovations provided by commercial cloud services and market leading technologies.

Machine Learning

We are making long-term investments in artificial intelligence for the opportunities and benefits it can bring to our products and many other sectors. To realize the full potential of AI, Google supports flexible policies that drive innovation while providing appropriate safeguards, and calls on governments to support open research that advances the state of the art and investigates novel applications and thoughtful development. Google is committed to broadening the benefits of AI throughout society. We are working to advance good practices for development and use of AI-powered systems and open research and technology. We are also committed to finding solutions to the challenges AI raises and its impact on society, and promising use cases in science and medicine.

Patents

Patents provide critical protections for inventors and incentivize future innovation. However, poor quality patents fuel abusive litigation and deter innovation. Google relies on a strong and well functioning patent system and supports balanced policies, legislation by Congress, and actions taken by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that promote patent quality and addresses litigation tactics used by patent trolls.

Privacy, Security & Data Use

Google is committed to protecting the privacy and security for our users around the world. Google relies on flexible and balanced regulatory frameworks to enable data-driven innovation while protecting users from harm. Google believes that government access laws must reflect users’ reasonable expectations in their privacy, and we have strongly supported updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in this regard.

Oversight and Compliance

Google’s Public Policy and Government Affairs team interacts with government and elected officials to explain our products and promote innovation and the growth of the web. In the United States, this team is led by Susan Molinari, Google’s VP of Public Policy & Government Affairs, who works directly with Google’s General Counsel, Kent Walker, who reports to Google’s CEO. Our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors, comprised entirely of independent directors, regularly oversee the company’s corporate political activity. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee reviews Google’s corporate political policies and activities, including expenditures made with corporate funds, Google’s NetPAC contributions, direct corporate contributions to state and local political campaigns, and our policy prohibiting trade associations and other organizations from using Google funds for political activities.

Google's Ethics & Compliance team ensures compliance with all relevant political laws. The Ethics & Compliance team provides training on applicable laws, and has implemented approval processes for Google’s political contributions and public reporting of political contributions with Ethics & Compliance reviews, as disclosed more fully below.

Like all Google employees, our Public Policy and Government Affairs team follows Google’s Code of Conduct.

Political contributions

To date, Google has chosen not to use corporate resources to make independent expenditures or fund electioneering communications in support of, or opposition to a federal, state or local candidate’s election. In the future, if Google makes any direct independent expenditures, we would disclose such expenditures on this website and public campaign disclosure reports.

NetPAC

In 2006, we created the Google NetPAC, a federal political action committee. NetPAC allows Googlers, through their personal funds, to join together and support candidates who share Google’s common values.

The NetPAC board bases its giving decisions on a number of factors, most importantly, the policy stances of individual candidates, committees, and organizations. Other factors the NetPAC board considers:

The Google NetPAC Board of Directors—a bipartisan group of Googlers—makes all decisions about the contributions made by NetPAC. NetPAC complies with all federal election laws and discloses its donations on a quarterly basis (see below, also publicly available at fec.gov). Additionally, NetPAC campaign contributions are never made in return for, or in anticipation of, an official act.

Contributions to Other Political Organizations

Where permissible by law Google makes direct corporate contributions to non-federal entities, including state and local candidates, committees, and organizations. These contributions are closely overseen by Google’s VP of Public Policy & Government Affairs, and are also reviewed by Google’s Ethics & Compliance team. The private political preferences of Google executives, directors and employees do not influence political contributions in any way. Corporate campaign contributions are never made in return for, or in anticipation of, an official act.

You can view a detailed report of Google’s corporate political contributions to 527 organizations and state and local candidates, parties, and committees below. The report covers contributions made on or after January 1,2016, and is updated quarterly:

National Committees and Organizations

Google has made corporate contributions to other national political committees and organizations:

Lobbying disclosure filings

Google regularly discloses information on our federal and state lobbying activities. You can view our federal lobbying disclosures for the past several years below:

Memberships

Google belongs to a number of trade associations and other organizations, representing the broad range of issues that we care about. We also provide support to a number of independent third-party organizations whose work intersects with technology and Internet policy. We respect the independence and agency of trade associations and third-parties to shape their own policy agenda, events and advocacy positions. Google’s sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn’t mean that we endorse the organizations’ entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions nor the views of its leaders or members.

We prohibit trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations such as 501(c)4s to use dues or payments made by Google for political expenditures. We inform trade associations and third party organizations of this policy by sending an electronic transmittal letter outlining the parameters of our prohibition with every payment we make. In order to ensure that organizations are abiding by our policy, Google also informs organizations that we reserve the right to terminate all payments immediately if we find that any portion of our contributions have been used for political expenditures during our annual review of our trade association and third party memberships and sponsorships.

Below is a listing of politically-engaged trade associations, independent third-party organizations and other tax-exempt groups that receive the most substantial contributions from Google’s U.S. Public Policy and Government Affairs team. We are committed to updating this information on a regular basis.

Trade Associations and Membership Organizations

Third Party Organizations

Google Policy Fellowship program

The Google Policy Fellowship program was inspired by Google’s Summer of Code with a public policy twist.

The Google Policy Fellowship program offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests.

Fellows have the opportunity to work at public interest organizations at the forefront of debates on broadband and access policy, content regulation, copyright and trademark reform, consumer privacy, open government, and more. Participating organizations are based in either Washington, DC, San Francisco, CA, Ottawa or Toronto, Canada, and include:

To learn more, visit the Google Policy Fellowship website.

Page last updated : May 2018