About 80 employees were fired by Google in the last two years for misusing company’s data and tools. According to a report by Motherboard, some of the employees who were fired had used Google’s tools to internally spy on other employees.
In 2020, Google fired 36 employees, who according to the report, were handling confidential information improperly. The report suggests that most of them had shared certain information with people outside the country. In 2019, Google fired another 26 people for “security-related” reasons and another 18 people were let go for the same. As per an internal document viewed by Motherboard, about 10% of allegations against employees were related to misuse of systems. This can include accessing employee or user data, changing or delete user or employee data among other things.
Google generally doesn’t fire people immediately for mishandling data as the report says other measures adopted are warnings, training and coaching.
A company spokesperson in a statement to Motherboard said that, “The instances referred to mostly relate to inappropriate access to, or misuse of, proprietary and sensitive corporate information or IP.”
Google further said that when it comes to user data, “we tightly restrict employee access through a number of industry leading safeguards, including: limiting access to user data to necessary individuals, requiring a justification to access such data, multi-stage review before access is granted to sensitive data, and monitoring for access anomalies and violations,” the statement added.
“The number of violations, whether deliberate or inadvertent, is consistently low. Every employee gets training annually, we investigate all allegations, and violations result in corrective action up to and including termination. We are transparent in publicising the number and outcome of our investigations to our employees and have strict processes in place to secure customer and user data from any internal or external threats,” Google said in the statement.