Google Employee Sues Company Over ‘Spying Program’

google lawsuit spying camera sue
The Google logo is seen on the top of its China headquarters building behind a road surveillance camera in Beijing January 26, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Updated | A Google employee has filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, claiming the Silicon Valley search firm is breaching labor laws and running an internal “spying program.”

The lawsuit, filed by an anonymous product manager, alleges that illegal confidentiality agreements, policies and practices mean it fails to live up to its motto “don’t be evil.”

Confidentiality policies have been put in place in order to prevent sensitive information from leaking to regulators, law enforcement or the press, according to the employee. This would potentially prevent employees from whistleblowing on illegal activity taking place within Google.

Other claims in the lawsuit state that employees are not permitted to write a novel about working at a technology company in Silicon Valley without the permission of Google.

If found guilty of all 12 violations in the lawsuit, Google could be fined up to $3.8 billion, according to calculations made by The Information, who first uncovered the lawsuit.  

A Google spokesperson told Newsweek: “We will defend this suit vigorously because it’s baseless. We’re very committed to an open internal culture, which means we frequently share with employees details of product launches and confidential business information. Transparency is a huge part of our culture.

The statement concluded: “Our employee confidentiality requirements are designed to protect proprietary business information, while not preventing employees from disclosing information about terms and conditions of employment, or workplace concerns.”

This article has been updated with a comment from Google.