Donald Trump is more of a businessperson than politician, but he is president-elect at the moment, and assuming all goes well for him, he will sit in the White House next year after President Obama’s term comes to an end. During his campaigns, Trump certainly did have some pretty zany ideas that he shared, including building a wall to prevent immigrants from crossing the US’ borders as well as to create a Muslim registry. Needless to say, many people found those ideas to be backward in nature and are opposed to them. As for the Muslim database, tech giants would obviously need to play a role in its construction and maintenance, and it looks like a pipe dream with tech companies having stepped forward to sign a pledge, citing that they would not lift a finger in helping out Donald Trump’s administration to construct such a database.
Over 300 employees from various tech companies, and these include the heavyweights like Google and Twitter, have signed the above mentioned pledge. A portion from an open letter which has since been posted on neveragain.tech read, "We are choosing to stand in solidarity with Muslim Americans, immigrants, and all people whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the incoming administration’s proposed data collection policies. We refuse to build a database of people based on their Constitutionally-protected religious beliefs. We refuse to facilitate mass deportations of people the government believes to be undesirable."
In the very same letter, there were comparisons made with the Holocaust atrocities that were committed by the Nazi regime during World War II as well as the internment of Japanese Americans in the same time period. In addition to that, the letter also did mention that the signatories and their companies would do their best to minimize data collection or retention which could eventually be used to target folks just because of their religion -- as well as oppose any possible abuse of data at their companies.
This particular pledge was a team effort, organized by Ka-Ping Yee and Leigh Honeywell, a software engineer at Wave and a security engineering manager at Slack, respectively. Yee mentioned to BuzzFeed News, "What’s important to me is that individuals who care about the ethical use of technology can step forward, show how many of us there are, and say that there are lines we will not cross.”
I don’t know about you, but this does sound somewhat hypocritical to a certain degree to me. How many of us do as much work archiving important emails as we do when it comes to sorting out junk mails? Ever wondered how did all of that spam end up in your inbox in the first place? Sure, you scrolled through the License Agreement as well as Terms and Conditions before signing up with a particular online service or website without reading such fine print, but somehow or rather, spammers managed to get hold your data and contact details eventually. Who knows? The same might happen when it comes to building such a registry.