Google Engineer Fired for 'Stalking Teens, Spying on Chats'

David BarksdaleGawker published an alarming report detailing the exploits of "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 […]

David Barksdale

Gawker published an alarming report detailing the exploits of "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."


Google's Kirkland, Wash. office Campus

Google responded to the article:

"We dismissed David Barksdale for breaking Google's strict internal privacy policies. We carefully control the number of employees who've access to our systems, and we regularly upgrade our security controls–for example, we're significantly increasing amount of time we spend auditing our logs to ensure those controls are effective. That said, a limited number of people will always need to access these systems if we're to operate them properly–which's why we take any breach so seriously."

Bill Coughran, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Google

[Source]