According to foreign media reports, Google fired four employees for violating the company's data security policy. The technology giant, once respected for its open corporate culture, has increased tensions between its management and radical employees.
According to Bloomberg, Google sent an email to all employees on Monday on the theme
For the past two years, some Google employees have been organizing protests against the company's cooperation with the military, censored search services and the handling of executives accused of sexual harassment.
Some supporters of laid-off workers say it is these organizational activities that have led to their dismissal.
In a statement, a supporter said:
In recent weeks, some employees have seen management initiatives, such as deploying tracking tools on their web browsers and hiring consulting firms known for their anti union work, as an attempt to curb radicalism. The company denied the charges.
A Google employee wrote on twitter that the company is firing employees to bridge internal differences.
On Friday, more than 200 people demonstrated outside Google's San Francisco office. Protesters have asked the company to reinstate Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Landlubber, two employees on political leave.
On Monday, rivers tweeted that she had been fired. Rivers confirmed the tweet but declined to comment further.
Rivers has said her goal is to protest against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, which is testing Google's cloud products. Berland actively protested YouTube's policy of dealing with hate speech. Both said last week they did not believe the company's official explanation of the punishment.
Federal labor laws limit revenge for collective action against employees.
Here's the full memo released Monday by Chris Rackow, Royal Hansen and Heather Adkins on behalf of Google's security and investigation team:
There are some misinformation about the investigation, both internally and externally. Let's be clear that none of these people have been fired for simply looking at documents or calendars in their daily work.
Instead, our thorough investigation found that these people were involved in the system's search for other employee materials and jobs. This includes searching, accessing, and distributing business information outside of its scope of work, even after it is warned and reminded of data security policies. Subsequently, this information, along with details of internal emails and incorrect descriptions of Google employees' work, is shared externally.
In one case, in addition to other information that is accessed and replicated, a person subscribes to the calendars of many employees outside the workgroup. The person has set up notifications so that they receive emails detailing the work and whereabouts of these employees, including personal matters such as 1:1s, medical appointments and family events, which are conducted without the knowledge or consent of these employees. When affected Google employees found out, many reported that they were afraid or insecure and asked to work elsewhere. Screen shots of some of their calendars, including their names and details, were then taken outside the company.
We have always attached great importance to information security, and will not tolerate efforts to intimidate Google employees or disrupt their work, nor will we tolerate behaviors that lead to the disclosure of sensitive business or customer information. This is not how Google's open culture works or how it was intended to work. We want every member of the community to comply with our data security policy.
Fortunately, such activities are rare. Thank you for all the people who do the right thing every day, and you also inspire and maintain trust between users, partners, and each other when you work well.