Report: Facebook fired 52 employees caught spying on women

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:

  • Facebook reportedly discharged 52 company employees after they were caught using user data to spy on women they are romantically involved with.
  • Some of the platform’s male engineers had accessed Facebook’s user information to locate women or confront them.
  • Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly frustrated over the incident.

A new report suggests that Facebook has fired 52 of its employees over their abusive actions by accessing the company’s user data. Among those who were discharged were men who got the location on women whom they are personally interested in.

The report by the Telegraph claimed that the social network’s male engineers ━ using their privileges to gain access to the company’s internal systems ━ were able to track locations, private messages, and deleted photos, among others, of those women they are romantically involved with.

One incident in the report said that a Facebook engineer was with his lover in Europe and they ended up having a fight. The woman wanted to be alone and booked another hotel but she was tracked by the engineer through the Facebook data.

Another case cited was where an engineer used the company’s data to look for a woman she liked by viewing her regularly visited locations. He successfully got the information and tried to find the woman in San Francisco.

The report, though, noted that most of the engineers who stole Facebook information did not use it to be with their preferred women.

Company CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly dismayed after discovering the scheme. He was wondering why nobody thought of limiting the access of engineers to private data. The report, however, noted that Zuckerberg was the only one who implemented the data access system and opposed having it changed.

“At various times in Facebook’s history there were paths we could have taken, decisions we could have made, which would have limited, or even cut back on, the user data we were collecting,” a company employee told Frankel and Kang.

“But that was antithetical to Mark’s DNA,” the long-time employee said. “Even before we took those options to him, we knew it wasn’t a path he would choose.”

In response, a Facebook representative released a statement, saying: 

“We’ve always had zero tolerance for abuse and have fired every single employee ever found to be improperly accessing data… Since 2015, we’ve continued to strengthen our employee training, abuse detection and prevention protocols. We’re also continuing to reduce the need for engineers to access some types of data as they work to build and support our services.”

The abusive actions happened in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos noted that over a hundred employees may have also done the same thing without getting caught.

Source: New York Post

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