Facebook Fires Engineer for Using Its Data to Stalk Women
On the heels of announcing a new dating feature, Facebook has fired a security engineer who allegedly accessed the company's data to stalk women online.
The issue was brought up on Monday when Jackie Stokes, founder of Spyglass Security, tweeted that she had evidence of the stalking, which she said likely involved "privileged access" of Facebook's data.
I’ve been made aware that a security engineer currently employed at Facebook is likely using privileged access to stalk women online.— Jackie Stokes ?? (@find_evil) April 30, 2018
I have Tinder logs. What should I do with this information?
"I have Tinder logs," she said, explaining that the evidence had come from an anonymous source. Stokes then tweeted out a picture of one of the exchanges between the Facebook employee and the victim.
In it, the employee jokes about being a "professional stalker," and that the victim was "hard to find."
I really, really hope I’m wrong about this. pic.twitter.com/NDkOptx8Hv— Jackie Stokes ?? (@find_evil) April 30, 2018
"I should mention that I confirmed this individual works at FB through cross reference of his Tinder profile pic, LinkedIn," Stokes added. However, she refrained from tweeting out the rest of the evidence.
The incident has been raising concerns that Facebook employees can easily take advantage of their jobs to stalk or spy on people. But on Wednesday, Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos said his company has strict policy controls in place that prevent staffers from misusing anyone's data.
"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," he said in a statement, adding that Facebook employees only have access to data required for their jobs.
"For example to fix bugs, manage customer support issues or respond to valid legal requests," he said. "Employees who abuse these controls will be fired."
Since Stokes tweeted about the alleged stalking, she said that Facebook staffers were quick to investigate the incident.
"I'd like to thank the many Facebook employees who reached out to me personally to find out what they could do to help," she tweeted.