Man fined for deleting company’s files from Google Drive after being fired

SINGAPORE: A person who was fired from his job with in the future’s discover after he had already resigned deleted 20 files from the company’s Google Drive account.

Tan Wei Chiang, 30, was fined S$5,000 on Tuesday (Dec 7) for his crime. He pleaded responsible to at least one cost underneath the Computer Misuse Act of unauthorised modification of pc contents.

The courtroom heard that Tan labored as a manufacturing supervisor at meat manufacturing agency 786 SG within the company’s workplace at Aljunied Industrial Estate.

His job scope included planning the manufacturing schedule and checking on the standard of products.

On Jan 4 this yr, he tendered a resignation letter and started serving a 30-day discover interval, as required underneath his employment settlement.

On Jan 12, his direct supervisor handed a letter of termination to Tan, informing him that his employment was terminated with in the future’s discover on account of his general efficiency and work not assembly the company’s expectations.

According to the letter, Tan was to obtain his last pro-rated wage on the finish of January 2021. He signed and accepted the letter, and his supervisor instructed him at hand over all of the initiatives he had available, firm login particulars and all associated paperwork and data.

Later that day, whereas nonetheless within the workplace, Tan used his firm account to entry the agency’s Google Drive, a cloud-based information storage facility.

He deleted in a couple of batches 20 paperwork belonging to the corporate by transferring them to the bin. He then deleted 16 of those paperwork from the bin.

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Tan’s supervisor later accessed the company’s Google Drive and realised that a number of files have been not there. She despatched Tan a message asking if the file containing the company’s manufacturing data was nonetheless there, as she couldn’t discover them.

She requested if Tan had deleted the file, however Tan mentioned it was nonetheless there and advised her the place to go looking. His supervisor then requested if he had deleted them by chance, and he didn’t reply.

She then requested an IT worker to verify on Tan’s person logs related to his firm account, and was advised that Tan had deleted the company’s paperwork from Google Drive.

The firm later managed to get well 16 of the 20 deleted files, however have been unable to retrieve the remaining 4.

These files contained three manufacturing employees’ time beyond regulation data, which the agency relied on to pay time beyond regulation salaries; a consolidated document of the company’s compliance with Singapore Food Agency necessities, which is required for audits; an inventory of merchandise and tips for manufacturing facility employees to confer with; and an acknowledgement kind for prospects upon receipt of products.

The firm needed to expend effort and time for its workers to get well the paperwork, and needed to contact the SFA to retrieve some data from them and recreate some paperwork from scratch.

The agency deducted S$1,500 from Tan’s excellent wage as compensation.

In investigations, Tan initially advised the police that the paperwork he deleted belonged to him.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor requested for a S$5,000 high-quality, saying that Tan had offended in a deliberate method, deleting paperwork in batches and going additional to delete them completely from the bin. 

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The assertion of details additionally displays his lack of regret, as he continued to disclaim his acts when confronted, mentioned the prosecutor. She requested for “a higher fine” as 4 of the files weren’t recovered.


Defence lawyer Kalidass Murugaiyan requested for a high-quality of S$2,500 as a substitute. He mentioned the deleted paperwork had been ready from out there data, so “it’s not as if the information is invariably lost”.

“It’s collated information, the work was done by the accused person. He’s of course wrong to have deleted those items,” mentioned the lawyer.

“The loss of these documents, is not, as if – say, the loss of a precious ring. So all that needs to be done – not to make light of it – is manpower required to reorganise the documents.”

He mentioned Tan has since left his job. The defence lawyer mentioned his consumer advised him that “it would not have been difficult” to place the files collectively once more.

The lawyer added that S$1,500 was deducted from Tan, which might be “more than sufficient” for the corporate to get the files collated or to pay somebody to do it.

“Suffice to say, he was treated very roughly by the employer,” mentioned the defence lawyer.

The choose famous that Tan’s act was motivated by emotions of anger and isn’t to be tolerated. However, she took under consideration that he pleaded responsible on the earliest alternative.

For unauthorised modification of pc contents, he may have been jailed as much as three years, fined as much as S$10,000, or each.

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