Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the Firefox browser, announced that it hired Alan Davidson, a former Google executive and Commerce Department digital director as its new vice president of global policy, trust and security.
Defending the Open Web and Privacy
Mozilla said that it hired Davidson to be in charge of issues such as the company’s policies, trust and security work, compliance and investigations. In his role, Davidson will defend the open web, net neutrality, and user privacy, according to the company.
Davidson will report directly to Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s Chief Operating Officer, who said:
“At a time when people are questioning the impact of technology on their lives and looking for leadership from organizations like Mozilla, Alan will add considerable capacity to our public policy, trust and security efforts, drawing from his extensive professional history working to advance a free and open digital economy.”
Public Policy Experience
This is not Davidson’s first time working with Mozilla. From 2017 to 2018, he worked with Mozilla as a Tech Fellow on advanced policies and practices to support the nascent field of public interest technologists. These are experts in technology and public policy that will need to guide the society through the coming technological challenges posed by artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, etc.
Previously, Davidson was the first director of digital economy at the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as a senior advisor to the secretary of commerce. Penny Pritzker, the former United States secretary of commerce, called Davidson a “tremendous asset to the Commerce Department in our groundbreaking work to promote a strong and prosperous digital economy for all Americans.”
Before this, Davidson worked as a director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, and prior to that he opened and grew Google’s Washingon D.C. office, where he was in charge of the company’s public policy and government relations.
Over the past few years, Mozilla has increasingly focused on promoting the open web and building privacy features into Firefox for its users. More recently the company announced that it will block trackers by default. Davidson should have a primary role in further enhancing Mozilla’s image as an organization that fights for the users’ interests.