HSSCM Methods: Hey, Enough of This Already

September 22, 2018

I read an allegedly “real journalism” story called “Google Suppresses memo Revealing Plans to Closely Track Search Users in China.” I won’t call attention to the split infinitive, which is not popular among the sensitive set.

And now to the “real” story:

The write up reveals that allegedly Google’s high school science club management methods include forcing employees to “delete a confidential memo circulating insight the company.”

But here’s the juicy bit:

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

Okay, now that’s management: Confidential material circulating. Info must be deleted. Data from the alleged memo gets leaked to a “real” news outfit.

The reaction is classic HSSCM: Anger, possible governance goofs, and saying one thing and maybe, just maybe, doing something else.

Well, the HSSCM method includes what the write up says is an interesting angle:

Google reportedly maintains an aggressive security and investigation team known as “stopleaks,” which is dedicated to preventing unauthorized disclosures. The team is also said to monitor internal discussions.

I particularly like the phrase “moral agency.”

Hey, hey, the HSSCM method means that the science club sets the rules. “Moral agency?” Can that be measured in mendacity?

Stephen E Arnold, September 22, 2018

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