p2pnet view Kids & Kartels:- Google is run by ordinary people, not computers.
Hold that thought. And while you do, “We entrust Google [people] with our most private communications because we assume the company takes every precaution to safeguard our data”, says the Gawker.
But “It doesn’t. A Google engineer spied on four underage teens for months before the company was notified of the abuses.”
An employee of Gargle the Pure trifling with user data, and kids’ data at that?
Yes. And Google has confirmed it.
“We dismissed David Barksdale (right) for breaking Google’s strict internal privacy policies” TechCrunch has another Google employee, Bill Coughran, stating, going on >>>
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.
But not carefully enough, obviously.
Coughran adds >>>
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.
Unless the breach has something to do with Google’s Street View fleet scooping up unsecured WiFi data, of course.
Be that as it may, David Barksdale “repeatedly took advantage of his position as a member of an elite technical group at the company to access users’ accounts, violating the privacy of at least four minors during his employment, we’ve learned”, says Gawker, going on >>>
Barksdale met the kids through a technology group in the Seattle area while working as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google’s Kirkland, Wash. office. He was fired in July 2010 after his actions were reported to the company.
It’s unclear how widespread Barksdale’s abuses were, but in at least four cases, Barksdale spied on minors’ Google accounts without their consent, according to a source close to the incidents. In an incident this spring involving a 15-year-old boy who he’d befriended, Barksdale tapped into call logs from Google Voice, Google’s Internet phone service, after the boy refused to tell him the name of his new girlfriend, according to our source. After accessing the kid’s account to retrieve her name and phone number, Barksdale then taunted the boy and threatened to call her.
In other cases involving teens of both sexes, Barksdale exhibited a similar pattern of aggressively violating others’ privacy, according to our source. He accessed contact lists and chat transcripts, and in one case quoted from an IM that he’d looked up behind the person’s back. (He later apologized to one for retrieving the information without her knowledge.) In another incident, Barksdale unblocked himself from a Gtalk buddy list even though the teen in question had taken steps to cut communications with the Google engineer.
Adds the Gawker:
“It’s unclear how many accounts Barksdale inappropriately accessed while employed by Google, or if the company has conducted a thorough investigation into possible privacy abuses by other employees. (Calls to Google for comment were not returned.) It’s also not clear what measures are in place to prevent Google staffers from snooping on users.
“The Barksdale case comes as Google has attempted to address concerns about privacy by encrypting Gmail to protect messages from hackers, and by simplifying its privacy policies to make them more comprehensible to users. Ironically, just last week Google launched its Family Safety Center, dedicated to helping parents keep their children safe on the Internet. But as this disturbing incident suggests, the biggest threat to kids’ privacy might be Google employees themselves.”
Gawker – GCreep: Google Engineer Stalked Teens, Spied on Chats (Updated), September 14, 2010
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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