Facebook announced its decision to fire 52 employees for using their privileged position on the platform to access users’ private data. Apparently, these individuals even tried to get the exact location of some women they were curious or attracted to. Using their access to large amounts of user data through Facebook’s internal systems, the fired engineers were able to view the women’s locations, their private messages, deleted photos and other records.
The report, published by The Telegraph, provides multiple details about the actions of these individuals. For example, one of them was on holiday in Europe with a woman with whom he then had a fight, causing his separation. Using Facebook data, the engineer would have found the location of this person, whom he went to look for to confront her.
In another case, a former employee used Facebook data to follow the daily routine of a woman he was interested in, even discovering her exercise habits.
All of the fired software engineers reportedly took advantage of Facebook’s systems for similar purposes, although in most cases there was no relationship between these individuals and the women they harassed.
Although the layoff of 52 people was announced, a report published a few years ago by former Facebook security director Alex Stamos notes that hundreds of employees of the social media giant could engage in similar practices going completely unnoticed. Although rumors indicated that the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg would demand that changes be applied to these systems, other versions suggest that it is Zuckerberg himself who has refused to change Facebook’s data access system.
A Facebook spokesperson said: “Since the origin of the platform we have maintained a zero tolerance policy on abuse and all those who work against this ideal have been fired. We also continue to reduce the need for engineers to access some types of data as they work to build and support our services.”
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