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GCreep: Google Engineer Stalked Teens, Spied on Chats (Updated)

Sep 15, 2010, 21:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Adrian Chen)

"We entrust Google with our most private communications because we assume the company takes every precaution to safeguard our data. It doesn't. A Google engineer spied on four underage teens for months before the company was notified of the abuses.

"David Barksdale, a 27-year-old former Google engineer, 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. 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. [Update: Google has confirmed the security breach. An update appears below.]

"GCreep: Google Engineer Stalked Teens, Spied on Chats (Updated)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."

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