The Big Interview

‘The tech industry is based on monetising surveillance’ – Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal

The head of a company that offers private communications unlike those owned by data-harvesting Big Tech firms, Whittaker says the famous stand she made against Google while working there has made her wary of so much power being concentrated in the hands of a few

Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal messaging application: best known for being one of the organisers of a series of walkouts by 20,000 Google employees in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual misconduct claims. Picture: Getty

Meredith Whittaker is not a conspiracy theorist but she paints a pretty bleak view of society and Big Tech’s impact on it.

“The tech industry as a rule is based on the practice of monetising surveillance,” she says.

“These companies are giant, obscure corporations that hide all their actions and at least half of what we know about them and their tech originates from their marketing departments.”

Whittaker is president of Signal, an encrypted service ...