Google data security- In a controversial move, Google LLC said it has fired four employees after determining they had violated its data security policies.
The search giant disclosed the decision in a memo distributed internally on Monday that found its way to Bloomberg.
The note, the contents of which Google confirmed to the publication, came from Chris Rackow, Royal Hansen and Heather Adkins, members of the company’s Security and Investigations Team. They wrote that the four fired employees broke internal policies by inappropriately accessing information about other staffers outside their work groups.
An investigation “found the individuals were involved in systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work,” the memo stated. “This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs — repeating this conduct even after they were met with and reminded about our data security policies.”
The information that Google says was inappropriately accessed included employee calendars. According to the company, screenshots of some staffers’ calendars that included their names and other details subsequently made their way outside the company.
The memo from the Google security team didn’t name the fired employees. However, software engineer Rebecca Rivers, who was involved in recent employee protests against the company, told Bloomberg she has been terminated. The Alphabet Inc. subsidiary earlier this month placed Rivers and another employee on administrative leave after finding they had tracked other staffers’ calendars in violation of internal policies.
In a Medium post today, the employee activist group Google Walkout For Real Change, which helped organize the recent staff protests, called the firings retaliation against worker unionization efforts. The group accused the search giant of failing to provide employees with clear guidelines on what documents they can and can’t access.