Google Spying On Its Own Employees Using a Secretly Developed Tool

Must Read

Facebook Reveals Big Plans Behind The WhatsApp JioMart Integration In India

After Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) acquired a minority stake of 9.99% in Jio Platforms for a whopping $5.7 billion in...

Facebook Launches Music Videos to Eat into YouTube’s Market

With the launch of Music Videos, Facebook has made another competitive move against its biggest opponent, Google.

Microsoft To Acquire TikTok In the US?

The rumours are making rounds that Microsoft may acquire TikTok to keep the popular short video sharing...

Google is accused of spying on employees. The internet behemoth is under heavy criticism by its employees for a new tool that they think is meant to keep tabs on employee actions.

The featured concern was highlighted by an employee in a memo that was reviewed by Bloomberg, who also later published a news piece regarding the same.

The tool in question is a Google Calendar extension developed especially for the version of the Google Chrome browser installed on company computers. The feature reportedly sends a pop-up message to anyone creating a Google Calendar event consisting of more than 100 people or 10 rooms.


Employees believe it is a way for higher officials to track employee activities aimed at change and activism, which seem to be on the rise in recent times.

When asked about the tool’s intent, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. denied the suspicions to be “categorically false”. They further claimed that the extension’s purpose is to manage and curb spam on the Google Calendar service.

The explanation seems reasonable given the recent controversy around the easy accessibility and manipulation of Google Calendar events. A big section of employees, however, still believe that Google is spying on the employees to crush any unwanted incidents at the early stage itself.

Spying On Employees: Lack of transparency?

There is a decent amount of evidence to counter the Alphabet’s disclaimer of Google’s intent to monitor its employees. When the project’s existence first came into knowledge in September, the privacy review team questioned whether it aligned with the organization’s culture.

The forced and permanent nature of its installation raised further alarm among employees. To make things worse, the alleged purpose of this compulsion is to ensure policy enforcement.


However, the biggest red flag came when project documents were withheld from several employees. These documents contained information about the design of the tool.

Growing employee dissatisfaction

This is by no means the first instance of employee dissatisfaction in Google, although it seems to be the first to come across as blatantly oppressive.

Google’s employees have been vocal about company policies that don’t align with their value systems, and have witnessed victory in a fair number of instances.

In 2018, Google did away with its forced arbitration policy after employees protested vehemently against it. The outcry came as a response to Google’s questionable handling of sexual harassment cases.

Google has also been criticized for paying contract employees lesser than permanent employees, despite a similar workload. At the same time, a different set of benefits are granted to temp workers.

In May, Google was also accused of considering other drastic and equally unfair measures like decreasing the number of promotions and discontinuing annual employee holiday gift.

A Google spokeswoman also reported back in August that the company is creating a team to survey the company’s chat boards. A tool that allows employees to flag controversial posts is also in the works. More recently, on October 21st, a Google office in Zurich attempted to prevent a meeting about unionization from happening. An e-mail stating the meeting won’t happen was sent out to all attendees. Despite this, the employees went ahead with the meeting.

A depleting morale

Apart from internal policies, employees have also been active in expressing dissent against Google’s projects.

One such project was Google’s Dragonfly, a search engine for China that would adhere to Chinese censorship laws. Upon descent, the project was allegedly dropped. However, earlier this year, employees came across codes that seemed similar to those of Dragonfly. This led to the suspicion that the project is still ongoing.

Google also went ahead with their Maven AI project with Pentagon despite employees expressing their disapproval of Google’s involvement in war technology.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Microsoft Aims Global Acquisition Of TikTok, Including India!

It seems like TikTok can finally shed its Chinese origin from all over the world.

Will Google’s Move To Delete 2,500 YouTube Channels Add Fuel To The Fire With China?

The US-China trade war has started rearing its ugly head. Both sides are now turning to extreme measures on the digital front...

Will You Buy iPhone 12 Pro At US$20,500?

if you are suspecting any typo error here, you are highly mistaken! The price of iPhone 12 Pro is US$ 20,500 now...

Google Is Shutting Down Google Play Music

Google Play Music will soon be buried in Google's graveyard. The company has announced that by December the service will be completely...

The Lawsuit That Could Force Apple To Exit China Market

It seems like China is now turning up the heat and is ready to take some really hostile measures after being worn...

Global eCommerce Sales to Reach $3.9 Trillion in 2020 [REPORT]

As the coronavirus pandemic has lead healthcare authorities to discourage physical social contact as much as possible, the most popular mode of...

In-Depth: Dprime

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

Fantastic 4: Four Day Work Week A Flashpoint Of Innovation?

It has been an idea that has been mooted by many, perhaps also somewhat sceptically. From being a dark horse to becoming...

More Articles Like This