Google keeps a close eye on its employees through a number of tracking mechanisms when they engage in certain online activities, according to a new report.
The tech giant zeroes in on employees who might be considering leaving out of fear they might access or leak sensitive material, according to reporting by The Information. Company security flags those workers by checking who has researched the cost of COBRA health insurance, drafted resignation letters, or searched for an internal checklist for those wanting to leave the company.
Most unusually, Google's security staff has raised alarms when employees take screenshots on their work devices when running an encrypted messaging platform at the same time or use non-Google online storage services, according to the report.
Google has been sued in the past year by an employee who claimed the tech giant has secretly viewed his online communications and is using it against him, and earlier this year, it terminated employees who allegedly accessed highly confidential company information.
A Google spokesperson told the Washington Examiner the company has "zero interest" in employees' personal data.
"However, we do have security policies that strictly protect user and customer data, as well as sensitive IP and trade secrets," the spokesperson wrote in an email. "All employees are required to safeguard this data and, just as other companies do, our security team thoroughly investigates breaches. Every day, people put their trust in Google. We will continue to hold ourselves and our employees to the highest standards, to preserve this trust.”
Google also captures and exploits user data in hidden and complicated methods, according to the report.
Some of Google's user data even makes it into the hands of law enforcement through a database called “SensorVault,” which stores detailed user location data indefinitely. The data is so precise that one deputy police chief told the Electronic Frontier Foundation that it “shows the whole pattern of life.”
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Nihal Krishan
Original Location: Google's methods for spying on employees revealed in report