Google 'pays academics millions to influence public opinion'

The CfA wants Google to reveal how it funded 66% of its research

Google apparently spends "millions" on academic research in an attempt to influence the world's opinion on its products and services, the US-based Campaign for Accountability (CfA) has revealed in a report.

According to the watchdog, the internet giant has funded 329 research papers between 2005 and 2017, across various topics, although it would seem the most popular subject is public policy. The reports were written by some of the world's leading research firms and academic institutions including Oxford University, Edinburgh University, Stanford, Harvard, MIT and the Berlin School of Economics.

The CfA said the majority of these organisations received significant payment from Google or partners closely linked to Google, such as its partners or groups supporting the company's work. Some of the authors were paid up to $400,000, while the lowest paid received $5,000.

It has called for the company to disclose the source of funding in 66% of cases in which it was not clear where the money to carry out the research and produce the report came from.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policymakers at every level," said Daniel Stevens, CfA executive director. "At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google."

However, Google has hit back at the CfA's claims, saying the information in the reports is supported by the people that author them and by paying for the research, they are not breaking any rules.

"Our support for the principles underlying an open internet is shared by many academics and institutions who have a long history of undertaking research on these topics across important areas like copyright, patents, and free expression," said director of public policy Leslie Miller in a blog post. "We provide support to help them undertake further research, and to raise awareness of their ideas."

Miller added the fact that Oracle, one of Google's main competitors, has actually funded the CfA in the past was far fropm coincidental, potentially suggesting a smear campaign was at work.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354479/google-adds-partners-to-real-time-translation-tools
cloud computing

Google adds partners to real-time translation tools

8 Jan 2020
Visit/hardware/354336/the-it-pro-products-of-the-year-2019-all-the-years-best-hardware
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019
Visit/marketing-comms/search-engine-optimization-seo/354339/google-is-getting-worse-as-it-does-more
search engine optimization (SEO)

Google is getting worse as it does more

21 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/354231/the-it-pro-podcast-is-the-future-multi-cloud
Cloud

The IT Pro Podcast: Is the future multi-cloud?

29 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020