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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Technolog - Creepy Google stalker proves your privacy is an illusion

Technolog - Creepy Google stalker proves your privacy is an illusion
David Barksdale lost his job at Google after parents complained that the 27-year-old Site Reliability Engineer violated the online privacy of at least four minors, reports Gawker. According to the story, Barksdale used his elite position to tap into Google voice phone logs, accessed Google contact lists and chat transcripts, and in at least one incident, unblocked himself from a Google Talk buddy list after the teen account owner blocked him.
It's not clear whether Google was aware of Barksdale's activities before receiving complaints from parents of the minors. Gawker reports that several complaints were received and acknowledged by the company before Barksdale's July 2010 firing.
Adrian Chen of Gawker writes that the site "obtained an e-mail exchange between one person who complained about Barksdale to Google and Eric Grosse, an Engineer Director in Google's security group at the company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. Grosse quickly responded to the complaint with a curt e-mail: 'Thank you very much for reporting; we'll investigate quietly and get back to you if we need anything more.' "
Barksdale, a self-described "hacker," reportedly met the minors through a Seattle technology group — one from which he was barred after evidence of his abuses emerged.

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