Google wins battle over employee data

Labor Department sides with Google

Google wins battle over employee data

"We were concerned that these requests went beyond the scope of what was relevant to this specific audit, and posed unnecessary risks to employees' privacy", Naughton said.

The judge said that the Dept of Labor had not provided a persuasive reason for the kind of personal data demanded.

"Anyone alive today likely is aware of data breaches surrounding this country's most recent Presidential election", he wrote. Doing so would exceed the Labor Department's mandate, the court said, which is only able to investigate companies' compliance with federal affirmative action rules during the time shortly before, and during, their service as government contractors - which, in Google's case, began in 2007. Google did not comply and in an attempt to force it to release the data, the Department of Labor filed a lawsuit against the tech giant at the end of a year ago.

A federal court in California moved on Friday to spare Google from turning over a trove of information about its employees to the USA government as the feds continue to investigate whether the tech giant underpays its female workers. Ransomware being used internationally is reportedly derived from tools hacked from our national security agencies.

Google denies having paid women less than their male counterparts.

The judge's preliminary decision drastically limits the number of company employees whose contact information must be provided to the Labor Department.

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But Google "reached an impasse" when the OFCPP asked for 15 years of employee compensation and other job information, as well as what Naughton describes as "extensive personal employee data and contact information for more than 25,000 employees". The company agreed to comply with the recommendation, which could be finalised by the end of this month unless appealed by the federal lawyers.

Under pressure to hand over data that could prove the existence of a gender wage gap, Google has balked at some of the Labor Department's demands, at one point arguing that it would be too costly to produce the information.

The department's regional solicitor, Janet Herold, told the Guardian the data suggested that "discrimination against women in Google is quite extreme, even in this industry".

Google's battle with the department comes as major Silicon Valley firms are struggling in a climate of intense criticism to create diverse workforces.

"Assuming the recommended decision becomes final, we'll comply with the remainder of the order, and provide the much more limited data set of information the judge approved, including the contact information for a smaller sample of up to 8,000 employees", Google said.

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