Dozens of Google employees have been fired since 2018 for misuse of company data, including user and employee data.
Google fired dozens of employees between 2018 and 2020 for abusing their access to the company’s tools or data, with some workers potentially facing allegations of accessing Google user or employee data, according to an internal Google document obtained by Motherboard.
The document provides concrete figures on an often delicate part of a tech giant’s operations: investigations into how the company’s own employees leverage their positions to steal, leak, or abuse data they may have access to. Insider abuse is a problem across the tech industry. Motherboard previously uncovered instances at Facebook, Snapchat, and MySpace, with employees in some cases using their access to stalk or otherwise spy on users.
The document says that Google terminated 36 employees in 2020 for security-related issues. Eighty-six percent of all security-related allegations against employees included mishandling of confidential information, such as the transfer of internal-only information to outside parties.
A Google spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement: “The instances referred to mostly relate to inappropriate access to, or misuse of, proprietary and sensitive corporate information or IP.”