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Damage Control Time Again for Google

Google employee David Barksdale was recently fired by Google for stalking underage kids through their Google accounts including their call logs on Google Voice, unblocking himself from a teen’s Google Talk list and reading chat transcripts.

The list of things this guy is known (or believed) to have done is extensive and if you want to read about it go to Gawker which scooped this and all of its salaciousness. On the bright side, in addition to Google already having fired him, according to Gawker’s source at least, “there wasn’t any strong sexually predatory behavior, just a lot of violating of people’s personal privacy.” But that they were minors makes this even more major.

Needless to say, a good example of wildly poor judgment on the part of this man and certainly another major privacy embarrassment for Google, one it really doesn’t need right now – or ever, but especially right now with the snowballing privacy controversy and also that this is an instance of a Google employee (versus, say, Saudi Arabia), a Site Reliability Engineer slash deviant, using his administrative access to spy on and mess with Google’s younger users.

Not the headline I wanted to read this morning as in addition to being an exhausted Google apologist I’m trying to fire up a business migrating companies to the Google cloud. One thing I like to be able to assure clients I’m pitching this to is that this sort of thing doesn’t happen. Damnit.

Doug Simmons