Google Fires Engineer for Privacy Violations

Wednesday Sep 15th 2010 by Staff

The staffer reportedly spied on private communications among teenagers and taunted them with his findings.

Gawker: Google has fired 27-year-old engineer David Barksdale for "breaking Google's strict internal privacy policies." The former employee allegedly abused his position as a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) to access the Gmail and Google Voice accounts of teenagers he met at a technology group. He then reportedly used the information he gleaned to taunt the underage minors.

Google's Bill Coughran confirmed the privacy breach and added, "We carefully control the number of employees who have access to our systems, and we regularly upgrade our security controls–for example, we are significantly increasing the amount of time we spend auditing our logs to ensure those controls are effective. That said, a limited number of people will always need to access these systems if we are to operate them properly–-which is why we take any breach so seriously."

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