Thursday, September 16, 2010

this is why google could not be trusted blindly

If you happen to be one of those privacy freaks who fear that someday Google would take control of your lives, thanks to all the information it has regarding you, here's a little reminder that more than Google as an entity, you should be concerned about individuals like this employee who was caught snooping into users private data.

David Barksdale, a 27 year old software engineer working for Google, was fired by the tech giant back in July when he was caught accessing information about four teenagers he had befriended in a technology meetup. Barksdale later allegedly accessed private information belonging to these teenagers - including Google Voice call logs, Gmail contact lists, and Google Chat transcripts. When one of the teens tried to severe contact with him, Barksdale allegedly hacked into the teen's account and unblocked himself from the teen's Gtalk buddy list.

Barksdale's job at Google was to troubleshoot Google sites related issues and as a part of  this, he had access to users' personal accounts and information, which he seems to have misused. Google was quick to fire the guilty employee saying Barksdale has broken Google's "strict internal privacy policies". Google also confirmed that it is constantly increasing strict security measures.

Google has been in the middle of a privacy storm for the past couple of months. While earlier, it was mostly about its Gmail e-mail service, attention soon turned to Buzz - its recently launched social networking platform. Google was also under pressure to reveal details about the personal data it took from unsecured wireless networks that was used in its Street View service.

Barksdale might just be one unscrupulous employee who took advantage of his privileges but are not you now worried about what you have in your Google accounts since you know that there are people who can possibly access them if they really want to?