Chief Operating Officer, SpaceX
She’s not an engineer, an entrepreneur, or a venture capitalist, but Jacinta Gonzalez’s voice has become important in Silicon Valley. As the tech industry blazes new trails in big data analytics, cloud computing, and AI, Gonzalez has helped turn the spotlight on the dark side of these tools as the leading spokesperson for the immigrant-rights organization Mijente.
Mijente’s campaign has highlighted the ties between the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Palantir, and federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), accusing the tech giants of letting authorities use their technology to hunt and harass unauthorized immigrants and their supporters.
Gonzalez, a veteran activist, says the role of tech companies in the anti-immigrant crackdown has become clearer in the past few years.
“Part of the danger with this is that these technologies are more and more powerful,” she says.
Mijente has found many allies, including Stanford students and tech workers who share concerns about the misuse of technology and are willing to pit themselves against their employers more than ever before.
“Employees of these tech companies are incredibly concerned about what their work is building and how these products are being used,” she says.
Mijente’s activism campaign has inspired and spurred real-world change, including abandoned contracts and dropped sponsorships.