Ever wondered how exactly Google is tackling the big existing technology problems that the online world faces ? Want to take a look behind the curtain of our engineering operations and learn from the people who actually work on the Google products and services day-in, day-out? Here's your chance: We are introducing the Google Brussels TechTalks for EU policy makers!

This will be an ongoing series, usually happening over lunch-time. We provide sandwiches and drinks - and introduce the hot topics. You ask tough questions. Everyone benefits. The talks will take place in our new Brussels office. In case you are unable to make it in person, we will record the presentations (but not the Q&A which will be off the record) and put it online later. The topics and dates will be published on this blog.

Our first session takes place on January 28, which is Data Privacy Day. Dr. Alma Whitten, a software engineer for security and privacy, will offer “An engineer's vision for Internet privacy".

Policy makers increasingly are embracing the concept of "privacy by design." What does this mean in practice? Is privacy an impediment to innovation in technology, or is innovation in technology the means for users to protect their privacy in today's online world?

Google has made user control of their privacy preferences a cornerstone of its product development. We recently launched a Privacy Dashboard that gives users a picture on what data Google stores in their account. When we rolled out advertising based on user's interests, we offered them a Ads Preference Manager which discloses the various interest categories associated with your browser and allow users to modify or decline all such advertising. Alma will discuss these and other case studies that illustrate how Google's engineers developed technological solutions to empower users and protect their privacy.

Alma joined Google in 2003 and is currently the Head for Google's Applied Security engineering team and the engineering lead for privacy. Her work within Google has maintained a strong focus on protecting the privacy of Google's users, and includes security and privacy policy development and consultation, development of engineering process, and design and implementation of technical controls. She has a long history of working on the protection of Google's log data.

If you want to attend, please register here. This event is primarily aimed at policy makers from EU institutions, but we'll be happy to welcome a wider audience if we have enough chairs.

When: Thursday 28 January, 12:15 - 13:45 hours CET (Sandwich lunch provided).
Where: Google Brussels
, Chaussée D'Etterbeek 180 - Steenweg op Etterbeek 180, 2nd floor, 1040 Brussels

Posted by Sebastian Mueller, European Policy Manager and Matthias Graf, European Head of Engineering Communications