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Google fires four employees over data security policy violations

Google fires four employees over data security policy violations

The rally held by Google workers in San Francisco on 22 November. Image by GoogleWalkout via Medium. Google has fired four employees over what it claims were violations of the company’s policies around accessing and sharing internal documents. The staff, the company says, shared sensitive details, including medical appointments and other information. In a memo sent

Google fires four employees over data security policy violations

The rally held by Google workers in San Francisco on 22 November. Image by GoogleWalkout via Medium.

Google has fired four employees over what it claims were violations of the company’s policies around accessing and sharing internal documents.

The staff, the company says, shared sensitive details, including medical appointments and other information.

In a memo sent to all employees on Monday, Chris Rackow, Heather Adkins and Royal Hansen of Google’s Security and Investigations Team stated that the employees were not fired for “simply looking at documents or calendars during the ordinary course of their work.

“We’ve seen a recent increase in information being shared outside the company, including the names and details of our employees,” Google’s Investigations Team wrote in the memo, according to Bloomberg.

With these firings, Google is ramping up its illegal retaliation against workers engaging in protected organising

“Screenshots of some of their calendars, including their names and details, subsequently made their way outside the company,” it added.

One of the terminated workers tracked the whereabouts of other workers, the memo claimed.

All four employees continued to violate the company’s policies even after they were warned about their conduct.

Google confirmed the memo, but declined to provide any further details about the employees who were terminated.

According to Bloomberg, two of those employees are Laurence Berland and Rebecca Rivers, who addressed a rally held outside one of Google’s San Francisco offices last week to protest “retaliatory investigations” by the company.

Rivers, who previously criticised Google’s contracts with US Customs and Border Protection, tweeted yesterday that she was being terminated by the company.

Rivers was also recently questioned by the company and placed on leave in what she described as retaliation for her activism. She said at the rally that her work devices were taken away and personal data stored on those devices deleted.

Berland said that during his 2.5-hour “interrogation” he was not allowed to take bathroom breaks. He was forced to go on an administrative leave a couple of weeks ago for allegedly sharing sensitive information.

“With these firings, Google is ramping up its illegal retaliation against workers engaging in protected organising,” a group of Google employee said in a blog post on Medium.

“This is classic union busting dressed up in tech industry jargon, and we won’t stand for it,” they added.

“They think this will crush our efforts, but it won’t. For every one they retaliate against, there are hundreds of us who will fight, and together we will win.”

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