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Facebook Fires Employee Who Allegedly Used Data Access To Stalk Women (vice.com) 99

After a member of the information security community provided evidence to Facebook's chief information security officer, the company has terminated a security engineer who allegedly used their work position to stalk women online. From a report: On Monday, Motherboard reported that Facebook was investigating a claim that one of its employees used access to data granted by their job to stalk women online. Facebook has since terminated the employee, Facebook confirmed to Motherboard on Tuesday, coincidentally shortly after the social media giant announced its upcoming dating service. "We are investigating this as a matter of urgency. It's important that people's information is kept secure and private when they use Facebook," Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief information security officer, told Motherboard in a statement.
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Facebook Fires Employee Who Allegedly Used Data Access To Stalk Women

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    good luck with that!

  • Not far enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @01:36PM (#56542424)

    Should this evidence have been provided to authorities?

    Just how far did this stalking go? Did he ever act on any of the information? Make unrequested contact or show up on doorsteps?

    This sort of abuse of power *should* get him fired. Depending on his other actions, it should also get him arrested. If someone in the medical or financial fields use their access to someones private information (e.g. home address or phone number), then they'd get slapped with some "hacking" or "unlawful computer access" charges. What gives?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just how far did this stalking go? Did he ever act on any of the information? Make unrequested contact or show up on doorsteps?

      It's a sad world we live in when merely making contact with someone is considered an arrestable offence. Or, let's be frank, making contact with someone while being the wrong sex: no one would be calling for the arrest of a woman who did such a thing.

      He should be - and has been - fired for abusing his position with Facebook. But arresting him for phoning someone or knocking on their door would be simply mad. What the heck kind of police state would do something like that?

    • Has there been a police complaint? The police can't investigate unless someone tells them something illegal has been done.

  • by TheZeitgeist ( 5083373 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @01:37PM (#56542442)

    Facebook Fires Employee Who Allegedly Used Data Access To Stalk Women

    Cue Sheryl Sandberg doing walk of shame out to parking lot with box of her stuff.

  • Who watches? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TimMD909 ( 260285 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @01:38PM (#56542456) Homepage
    Who watches the watchmen?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @01:44PM (#56542486)
    Throughout Facebook and the whole data tracking "industry" there is power for thousands of employees to stalk, and the majority are getting away with it.
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @01:45PM (#56542500) Homepage Journal
    Problem solved! Right? BTW, I like these new cuddly Facebook advertisements you guys are running! I totally trust you will do the right thing from now on!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Two stories down: "Tech giants hit by NSA spying slam encryption backdoors. The tech coalition includes Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon and Yahoo's parent company Oath — all of which were hit by claims of complicity with US government's surveillance."

    It's the usual tech company hypocrisy. They'll defend data tooth and nail against law enforcement, but internally it all appears to be readily available to any pervert.

    • To take your point a little further: they're completely okay with the data being readily available to any hypothetical pervert with internal system access, but feign indignation when the content originators or shareholders become aware of it. This is almost certainly not an isolated incident.
  • Ok, so you fired a person who was abusing his power of position at a company. Why is this a story? It's not. It's only floated out there by Facebook to "show" they are doing something. This will not be tolerated!! See?!? We care here at Facebook!!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    FB is rumored to be working on a dating app and this guy was beta testing it.. This reminds me of everyone's first friend on Friendster - Tom from Myspace. I guess creepy developers are not getting laid enough at facebook, so they need another way of hooking up.

  • Unless Facebook can demonstrate how they have restrictions in place for keeping employees away from personal production data, you have to assume all Facebook employees are stalking. They should also explain how 'this' employee had to do a convoluted end-run around the procedures. There is no in between.
    • This is probably why the guy won't get arrested. If they had a policy and access controls/auditing it would have never have gotten this far unless he was breaking into the system. They certainly have the option thought to fire the guy for misusing data to act inappropriately. Would it matter if it was a roledex on the secretaries desk?
      • Facebook has a lot of live data. It's not going to be possible to keep every single employee away from it. Somebody's going to have to handle it, which means access. Simple auditing isn't going to be that difficult to get around. It gets to be a cat-and-mouse game.

        What a company can do is establish a firm policy, limit the number of people with access, keep records, and keep alert. That isn't going to stop misuse. Heck, the NSA had its LOVEINT.

  • by AdamThor ( 995520 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @02:46PM (#56542872)

    So, one guy from FB stalks someone -- fire him!
    But when a company (advertisement) stalks me across the internet -- that's business!

  • Who knew Facebook could do PR?

    I'm impressed... You need to give the PR department a bonus for all those late nights in smoky rooms crafting all these slick press releases. Buy them pizza and coke too. They deserve it.

    I'd say you could give them a day off with pay, but I'm afraid that might be too risky. You need somebody minding the press, ready to combat the PR blemishes, ready to react to head off the rumor mill before it can start....

  • Alex Stamos? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @03:00PM (#56542930)
    Really? We trust Alex Stamos on this? The guy who was Yahoo's CISO when it exposed 2B account passwords, the guy who threatened to sue anyone who reported on Facebook's Cambridge Analytica issues? Yeah, fuck that guy.
  • Of course, many of their security people and some others will be doing this, but this guy got _caught_! That means he is incompetent and that is the reason to fire him.

  • It's important that people's information is kept secure and private when they use Facebook," Alex Stamos, Facebook's chief information security officer, told Motherboard in a statement.

    ... you are SO working for the wrong company. (But of course this is PR, not a recitation of true principles.)

  • by cjeze ( 596987 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @03:38PM (#56543098)

    Wasn't FB built to stalk women..?

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday May 02, 2018 @04:15PM (#56543340)

    ... stalking individual women? Or just using Facebook data as training examples so he can recognize women in real life?

  • I was a contractor for a health care company and was horrified at the sensitive data I had access to. There were no easy solutions. Spend days imperfectly sanitizing terabytes of data to troubleshoot a client issue, or jump right into the client site to resolve the issue today. I'm not ashamed to say I nearly had a mental breakdown, as in a similar scenario a colleague of mine did the wrong thing in calling out a workmate's antidepressant meds because data access is a bitch.

    • I've worked at a company like this for several years and I've never once put a name to the terabytes of data I work with. Why would you even think about it enough to drive yourself to almost a mental breakdown?

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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