It actually has gone publicly into US politics for a while now, because the concept of self-driving cars does need a lot of lobbying to get approved, since potentially, a lot of jobs could be lost all over the world. Therefor, politicians need to be convinced of the economical benefits that would stand across the social massacre that this innovative concept could potentially cause.
Since such major market changes are a known historical fact, one can not really oppose it. The industrial revolution changed agriculture forever, the technological and communication revolutions reshaped the way business is done today, so why not a transportation revolution? Surely the number of cars and trucks currently on the roads proves the necessity. Calculations estimate that just about 10% of the current number of cars would be needed to take care of most of the traffic if public robot-cars would replace all current cars. That makes Google’s move sure worth the while ecologically.
But what if Tech giants start mingling with international politics in a way that lives would be at stake through war and terrorism? Wikileaks recently released some of the Clinton emails, which state that Google has teamed up with Al Jazeera to help the US and Israel to destabilize Lybia, Syria and Iraq. More recently, Google’s mobile voice assistant refused to help when asked about the Clinton emails, which clearly proves which side they are on in the coming elections.
We already know that Facebook actively delays and denies you selected posted messages from friends. They actually have total control over what is shown to who and when it is shown. Google can influence the search results any way they want. They actually put in place an app for those countries that would help in overthrowing the Syrian government counting the number of defectors and making them public to strengthen the government opposition and encourage others to follow. Al Jazeera even won an award for that. Given the bloodshed it lead to, a dubious choice.
Through history, there have always been companies that benefited from war. Some of the largest companies in the world thank their growth through business with Hitler’s Germany, and post WWII with anyone else to build back up the countries that were ravaged by the occupation.
But the real question is not if it is ethically correct for a company to do business with countries at war. I think only dealers of arms and hazardous chemicals are to reconcile with that. It is whether a company actively helping a nation to start a (civil) war still is ethically correct. And that is what Google, Facebook and Al Jazeera likely are guilty of. Makes me wonder if Eric Schmidt and friends ever think about the bloodbath and the misery of millions of people that resulted from their participation.