Google says it’s limiting employee access to user data after report


Google It has fired dozens of employees for misuse of internal data, but the company insists on carefully limiting access to user data.

The threat of employees and researchers misusing tech companies’ systems and data for personal gain is not a uniquely US challenge. Google, but it’s an issue that spans other industries, from home security to social media.

According to Vice, Google Since 2018, the company has laid off dozens of employees due to security-related issues, including misuse of access to its data and tools. The company reportedly laid off 36 employees in 2020 alone, including the misuse of confidential information that could mean the transfer of internal information to external actors.

Google He told the Washington Times that the examples cited by Vice are mostly related to misuse. Google“corporate information” or intellectual property.

“With regard to user data, we strictly restrict employee access through an industry-leading set of measures, including: limiting access to user data to essential persons, requiring a justification for accessing such data, multi-step review before access is granted to sensitive data, and monitoring for access anomalies and breaches,” he said. Google spokesperson said in a statement. “Whether intentional or unintentional, the number of violations is consistently low.”

Other companies that collect personal information are grappling with similar issues, as their tools and data are valuable to advertisers and reputable businesses, as well as criminals, stalkers and governments around the world.

In June, an ADT home security technician was sentenced to a little over four years in prison after spying on customers’ video feeds. According to the Ministry of Justice, the technician has secretly accessed nearly 200 customer accounts more than 9,600 times without users’ consent.

Some data are useful for authoritarian regimes that prey on dissidents. For example, the federal government accused two former Twitter employees, Ahmad Abouammo and Ali Alzabarah, of accessing non-public information on Twitter and sharing it with the Saudi Arabian government.

Google, for its part, stated that it takes all allegations seriously and is proactive about threats to users’ data.

“Every employee receives training every year, we investigate all allegations and violations result in corrective action up to and including dismissal,” he said. Google spokesman. “We are transparent about communicating the number and results of our investigations to our employees, and we have strict processes to protect customer and user data from any internal or external threats.”

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