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Google sued by its own employee for running an internal "spying program"

The plaintiff claims that Google's policies don't allow employees to discuss anything work-related outside Google and encourages them to report staff who do.

Published onDecember 21, 2016


A project manager over at Google is taking his employer to court. The employee, who goes by the name of John Doe for privacy reasons, has filed a lawsuit against Google because he believes that the company’s confidentiality policies, which include an internal “spying program”, are violating labor laws in California.

According to the lawsuit, Google’s policies don’t allow employees to discuss work-related topics including salaries, to post their personal opinions about the company online, and must not leak any product or other Google related information to the public. If Googlers break the company’s rules, they just might end up getting fired.

While this all might sound pretty standard, employees are even forbidden from discussing possible legal violations with the company’s legal advisors or from discussing working conditions at Google with the outside world.

Consumer advocates: Google is a ‘serial privacy violator’

The lawsuit also states that Google wants its employees to report those who are leaking information. Apparently, the tech giant has a “Stop Leaks” program in place that is managed through an internal website. Employees have the option of reporting a colleague to superiors, which then look into the matter and fire the whistleblower if the report is true.

In addition, John Doe is also stating that Brian Katz, the director of global investigations, intelligence, and protective services over at Google, has falsely accused him of leaking information to the media. Which, we assume, is at least one of the reasons why he has decided to press charges.

It’s probably going to take some time before the court makes its ruling but when it does, we’ll be sure to let you guys know the outcome. Meanwhile, feel free to let us know your thoughts about this topic in the comment section below.

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