Google Engineer David Barksdale Fired For Tapping Into Google Voice Call Logs

Posted Sep 15, 2010

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) engineer David Barksdale was fired for stalking and spying on Google users and abusing his power. Barksdale spied on four underage teenagers for months before Google was notified about the abuse.

Barksdale accessed user accounts and violated the privacy of four minor Google users. Barksdale met the kids at a technology group in the Seattle area. Barksdale worked as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google’s Kirkland, Washington office. Eventually Barksdale was fired in July 2010.

Barksdale tapped into call logs from Google Voice after a boy refused to tell Barksdale the name of his new girlfriend according to Gawker. Barksdale retrieved the phone number using Google Voice and threatened the boy that he would call her.

Apparently Barksdale violated the privacy of other users by accessing contact lists and chat transcripts. After Barksdale was blocked on Google Talk by one of the engineers, he unblocked himself. “My gut read on the situation was that there wasn’t any strong sexual predatory behavior, just a lot of violating people’s personal privacy,” stated the Gawker source.