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Google Fires Four Employee Activists For 'Data Security Breach'

Google Fires Four Employee Activists For 'Data Security Breach'

Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google LLC fired four employees over “clear and repeated violations” of the company’s “data security policies,” an internal memo accessed by Bloomberg on Monday showed.

What Happened

Google said that the employees were involved in “systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work” in a manner that wasn’t required as per the defined scope of their jobs. The tech giant said that they shared this information externally in violation of its policies.

The California-based company said in the memo that the employees affected by the breach felt “scared” and “unsafe.”

“This is not how Google’s open culture works or was ever intended to work. We expect every member of our community to abide by our data security policies,” the company said in the memo obtained by Bloomberg.

Google confirmed to Bloomberg that it sent the memo, but refused to give further details.

Fired Employees Connected To Activism

Rebecca Rivers, who contested Google’s involvement in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection project, is one among the sacked, she confirmed on Twitter. Rivers was put on administrative leave by the company last month, pending investigation.

“I was just informed by [Google] that I am being terminated,” Rivers said in a tweet on Monday.

Laurence Berland, the other employee, put on administrative leave along with Rivers, is also among the sacked, Google Walkout For Real Change, a Google workers’ union confirmed on Medium on Monday.

Google employees held a mass protest outside the company’s San Francisco office on Friday against its action of putting employee activists on administrative leave where both Berland and Rivers spoke up. The next working day, both of them have been laid off, along with two others.

“With these firings, Google is ramping up its illegal retaliation against workers engaging in protected organizing. This is classic union busting dressed up in tech industry jargon, and we won’t stand for it,” Google Walkout For Real Change said in a statement.



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