Farewell Brave.

This note announces my departure from Brave to take up two new roles. 

After a little more than over two years at Brave, I have moved to new roles at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and the Open Markets Institute. 

The peculiarities of the GDPR, and Ireland’s place in the global economy, mean that regulatory inaction in Ireland has global consequence. I have joined the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) as a Senior Fellow to focus on this problem. The ICCL is Ireland’s oldest independent human rights organisation, and has campaigned on data rights for decades. The ICCL has a note about my appointment here.

I am also joining the Open Markets Institute as Senior Fellow. Open Markets is at the very forefront of a new trust-busting movement. It shaped much of the recent hearings in Congress on ‘big tech’ concentration and power. Open Markets’ announces my appointment here. 

Whereas I had diverse responsibilities at Brave, my new roles allow me to focus exclusively on two things: 

  1. To uncover and challenge data misuse, particularly by ‘big tech’ and ‘adtech’ that jeopardise privacy and data protection rights, undermine the business of journalism, and prevent innovation from nascent competitors. 
  2. To hold enforcers responsible to account where they have failed to act. 

I will continue research and analysis as before, and continue to share it through this email list and elsewhere.

Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave and I recorded a farewell call to mark my departure. We discussed the lack of GDPR enforcement, antitrust in the tech sector, decentralisation, algorithmic fairness, the morality of investors, and foreseeable mistakes in tech.

Video: Brendan Eich and Johnny Ryan’s farewell call 

I wish my colleagues at Brave all the very best. Advertisers are buying, people are installing, and the company is scaling. The great Pat Walshe has joined Brave to take up a part of my duties, as Data Protection Officer. Brave notes my departure, and Pat’s appointment, in a note here.