- A new tool created by Google programmers reportedly allowed its employees to send Google’s top lawyer Kent Walker an automated email notification every time they open an internal document, to flood Walker’s inbox in protest over the company’s more restrictive policies over its internal documents.
- The protest was part of a wider storm of criticism raging amongst Googlers after Walker sent out an internal memo last month, arguing that the sheer number of Google employees made it difficult to operate at the same level of transparency as before, Bloomberg’s Ryan Gallagher and Mark Bergen reported Friday.
- Google has made a conscious effort to double down on its ‘need to know’ data-sharing policies, and recently fired four employees, alleging that they violated its policies on accessing sensitive data.
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A group of Googlers unhappy with the company’s expanding ‘need to know’ restrictions on internal documents have come up with a clever form of protest: A new tool that sends auto alerts to Google’s top lawyer every time an employee opens a company document.
The tool, which is detailed in a report on Friday by Bloomberg’s Ryan Gallagher and Mark Bergen, is the latest example of employee unrest at the internet company.
Many employees are openly unhappy with Google’s conscious efforts to change its corporate culture. When Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker sent out a memo last month, arguing that the 21-year old company was too big to continue allowing workers to access any internal document, it provoked a storm of criticism, according to the Bloomberg report.
“When we were smaller, we all worked as one team, on one product, and everyone understood how business decisions were made,” Walker reportedly wrote. “It’s harder to give a company of over 100,000 people the full context on everything.”
Google did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
As Google grows larger, the company appears to be making a conscious effort to change its famously transparent corporate culture. The company recently fired four employees, alleging that they violated its policies on accessing sensitive data.
The employees deny Google’s charges, and say the company fired them for protected labor organizing. They recently filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
And when Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced that they were stepping down from their executive positions at Google’s parent company Alphabet, Google activists saw it as a letdown to the company’s original values.
“Some had seriously hoped Sergey and Larry would step in and fix Google. Instead of righting the sinking ship, they jumped ship,” a tweet from a group of Google activists said.
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