Google fired employees for breaching user privacy

By Emil · 13 replies
Sep 15, 2010
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  1. Google Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) David Barksdale was recently fired for stalking and spying on teenagers through various Google services, according to Gawker. Although the stalking was not sexual in nature, it was still a massive breach of privacy since the employee regularly accessed private user information from Google's systems. Barksdale met the teens at a Seattle technology group in his area, of which he is no longer a part of. Google has confirmed that the 27-year-old was dismissed in July for "breaking internal privacy policies" and th...

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  2. Cueto_99

    Cueto_99 TS Booster Posts: 248   +12

    With great power also comes a great responsability...
  3. I call these things - self-advertising. :) I wonder how the hell did Google found out that?
  4. Article just says, that Google has a weapon to spy every human on the world.
  5. -Big Brother- scratch that, google is always watching!
  6. champmanfan

    champmanfan TS Member Posts: 59

    The fact they were often children being targeted is very worrying for everyone as he clearly had an agenda. Never mind sacking him, he should be arrested for stalking them since this is an obvious offence.

    Is anybody safe using emails/instant chat these days, of course not; but harassing consumers by violating their privacy is a pointer towards something seriously wrong at overseeing power-mad employees at Google.
  7. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,720   +860

    I'm with champmanfan - this guy should have been arrested. I know there are stalking and voyeur laws around. He should have been charged with one of those.
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom TS Rookie Posts: 32

    Google will take over the world one day
  9. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Just a reminder that there are sickos all over the world.

    What a shame. I am glad he got caught.
  10. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TS Enthusiast Posts: 385   +10

    He didn't get caught - he got fired after some parents complained. There's a difference.

    All that data in one place - of course the sickos, criminals and merely hackish are attracted. The security lesson here is that the biggest vulnerability is usually not from outside the firewall, it's from inside. I'd like to know what Do No Evil, Inc. is doing about enforcing its own internal policies, because clearly they had no active checks on this guy despite his unlimited access to user information. I'm glad he had no gambling debts or close relatives in prison to make him vulnerable to pressure... or did he?

    Google sits on a dragon's lair of tempting, shiny digital baubles and doesn't seem to watch those to whom it gives entry. That ain't a reasonable way for the dragon to act.
  11. Benny26

    Benny26 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,535   +51

    So when i type "Extra strength pile remover" it's stored in a log for some kid to retreve without my knowing...Damn the google empire !

    Maybe it's Bing time
  12. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    at least we learned one thing from this: don't f*** with a google SRE. lol.
  13. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    "This isn't the first time the search giant has had to fire an employee for breaching user privacy. "

    This should be a wake up call to all if not already aware that Google isn't your friend. Google is an amazing tool and anything you share with them you should be somewhat comfortable with others knowing this information. At least this is how I treat all of the services.

    Regarding this specific case, it's definitely troubling that he was targeting minors and it's not clear why. I'm surprised like others that the police hasn't intervened yet.
  14. imnotatechie12

    imnotatechie12 TS Rookie

    now im scared of google :D if someone hacks there system their users privacy will be open public <=== threat

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