Google Takes up Project Nimbus: A Failure for Employee Activism?

Google Takes up Project Nimbus: A Failure for Employee Activism?
Case Code: HROB251
Case Length: 12 Pages
Period: 2021-2022
Pub Date: 2023
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Google, LLC
Industry: Technology & Communications
Countries: United States
Themes: Activism, HR Policy, HR Planning,Employee Attitudes & Emotions
Google Takes up Project Nimbus: A Failure for Employee Activism?
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


So, why the protests?

Once the news of Google and Amazon winning Project Nimbus became public, certain critics and human rights observers began alleging that the cloud technology, including the powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools provided by the two IT giants, could be used by the Israeli military to potentially weaponize its cloud computing infrastructure. They thought that it would lead to an increase in the surveillance of ordinary citizens and enable data collection..

Google’s Take on Koren And Project Nimbus

On its part, Google dismissed the allegation that it had retaliated against Koren and mentioned that it had a clear policy that prohibited retaliation in the workplace (See the link for Google’s policy document Speaking about Koren, Newberry said, “We thoroughly investigated this employee’s claim, as we do when any concerns are raised, and as we’ve stated for many months, our investigation found there was no retaliation here.” ..

Google’s Track Record in Dealing With Employee Activism

Industry observers stated that there were a growing number of tech employees who were closely watching their companies’ stance on a range of issues – social justice, hiring, diversity, types of contracts, and geopolitical issues. Industry observers stated that most principled..

Has employee activism failed in the case of project nimbus?

From the 2010s, Google had been aggressively trying to win contracts in the public sector cloud computing segment in order to reach the market leader position in the cloud market..


Exhibit I: The West Bank Conflict, as of 2022
Exhibit II: A Study Surveying Employees’ Ability to Change Social Issues, 2021
Exhibit III: Public Cloud Market Share of IT Giants, Q1 2021

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