Google has announced that it has fired an employee for violating the company's internal privacy policies.
According to news site Gawker, David Barksdale was caught spying on the Google accounts belonging to four teenagers.
He was fired from the job in July 2010, immediately after Google was made aware of the privacy violations.
Barksdale was a Google site reliability engineer and abused his position to access the Google accounts of teenagers he had befriended at a Seattle-based technology group.
He was reported to have spied on all Google Voice call records, as well as Gmail and Google Chat accounts belonging the children.
Google's senior vice president of engineering Bill Coughran confirmed the dismissal in a statement: “We dismissed David Barksdale for breaking Google’s strict internal privacy policies."
"We carefully control the number of employees who have access to our systems, and we regularly upgrade our security controls – for example, we are significantly increasing the amount of time we spend auditing our logs to ensure those controls are effective."
"That said, a limited number of people will always need to access these systems if we are to operate them properly – which is why we take any breach so seriously."