More jobs expected as Google sets up safety engineering centre locally

Company’s new centre to highlight its work in tackling illegal and harmful content

Google is to establish a safety engineering centre in Dublin that will have responsibility for leading the tech giant's work into tackling the spread of illegal and harmful content.

The centre, the second globally but the first to tackle the issue of safe content, will operate virtually at first with Google planning to have a physical presence as soon as it is safe to do so and Covid-19 restrictions allow.

Google did not comment on whether it expects the move to lead to increased headcount, but the expectation is that there will be “significant investment” once a physical centre is opened.

The company employs 8,000 people in the Republic, including contractors.


Google said the centre is aimed at providing regulators, policymakers and researchers with greater transparency into the work being done by the company in priority areas including ad transparency and child safety.

The company’s first safety engineering centre opened in Munich in 2019 and is focused on building tools to protect users’ privacy and security

Google said the new centre will provide hands-on understanding of how it deals with content safety, including how its anti-abuse technologies and early threat detection systems work.

Dublin is already a hub for the internet giant's trust and safety teams in Europe, comprising many different policy experts, specialists and engineers working to keep people safe online.

“We have a responsibility to keep people safe online and to protect our platforms and products from abuse. As we continue to invest and scale these efforts, we are committed to providing additional transparency into our processes and policies,” the company said.

Google, which has been in Ireland for the last 18 years, runs its search and advertising business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) from Dublin. It also has two data centres in the capital.

Turnover at Google Ireland rose by €7.6 billion in 2019, the last year for which accounts are publicly available, to €45.7 billion as the amount it paid in tax fell by nearly €9 million to €263 million.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist