#ShareTheMicInCyber: Brooke Pearson

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In an effort to showcase the breadth and depth of Black+ contributions to security and privacy fields, we’ve launched a profile series that aims to elevate and celebrate the Black+ voices in security and privacy we have here at Google.

Brooke Pearson manages the Privacy Sandbox program at Google, and her team’s mission is to, “Create a thriving web ecosystem that is respectful of users and private by default.” Brooke lives this mission and it is what makes her an invaluable asset to the Chrome team and Google. 
In addition to her work advancing the fields of security and privacy, she is a fierce advocate for women in the workplace and for elevating the voices of her fellow Black+ practitioners in security and privacy. She has participated and supported the #ShareTheMicInCyber campaign since its inception.

Brooke is passionate about delivering privacy solutions that work and making browsing the web an inherently more private experience for users around the world.

Why do you work in security or privacy?

I work in security and privacy to protect people and their personal information. It’s that simple. Security and privacy are two issues that are core to shaping the future of technology and how we interact with each other over the Internet. The challenges are immense, and yet the ability to impact positive change is what drew me to the field.

Tell us a little bit about your career journey to Google

My career journey into privacy does not involve traditional educational training in the field. In fact, my background is in public policy and communications, but when I transitioned to the technology industry, I realized that the most pressing policy issues for companies like Google surround the nascent field of privacy and the growing field of security.

After I graduated from college at Azusa Pacific University, I was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Macau, where I spent one year studying Chinese and teaching English. I then moved to Washington D.C. where I initially worked for the State Department while finishing my graduate degree in International Public Policy at George Washington University. I had an amazing experience in that role and it afforded me some incredible networking opportunities and the chance to travel the world, as I worked in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

After about five years in the public sector, I joined Facebook as a Program Manager for the Global Public Policy team, initially focused on social good programs like Safety Check and Charitable Giving. Over time, I could see that the security team at Facebook was focused on fighting the proliferation of misinformation, and this called to me as an area where I could put my expertise in communication and geopolitical policy to work. So I switched teams and I’ve been in the security and privacy field ever since, eventually for Uber and now with Google’s Chrome team.

At Google, privacy and security are at the heart of everything we do. Chrome is tackling some of the world’s biggest security and privacy problems, and everyday my work impacts billions of people around the world. Most days, that’s pretty daunting, but every day it’s humbling and inspiring.

What is your security or privacy “soapbox”?

If we want to encourage people to engage in more secure behavior, we have to make it easy to understand and easy to act on. Every day we strive to make our users safer with Google by implementing security and privacy controls that are effective and easy for our users to use and understand.

As a program manager, I’ve learned that it is almost always more effective to offer a carrot than a stick, when it comes to security and privacy hygiene. I encourage all of our users to visit our Safety Center to learn all the ways Google helps you stay safe online, every day.

If you are interested in following Brooke’s work here at Google and beyond, please follow her on Twitter @brookelenet. We will be bringing you more profiles over the coming weeks and we hope you will engage with and share these with your network.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about #ShareTheMicInCyber, click here.