Facebook has plenty of big-picture privacy and data controversies to deal with at the moment, but add a smaller-scale problem to the list: this week, it was revealed that the company fired an engineer who allegedly used his access to cyberstalk women.
The case was first revealed by Spyglass Security founder Jackie Stokes last week, who obtained the proof through Tinder data. (Tinder uses Facebook profiles as part of its sign-up mechanism.) It’s unclear what exactly the engineer did to abuse his position, but Facebook investigated Stokes’ claims and found them credible enough to fire the employee this week.
“It’s important that people’s information is kept secure and private when they use Facebook,” Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, said in a statement. “It’s why we have strict policy controls and technical restrictions so employees only access the data they need to do their jobs — for example to fix bugs, manage customer support issues or respond to valid legal requests. Employees who abuse these controls will be fired.”
It’s telling how quickly Facebook stamped out this scandal before it could get going. Because it’s beyond disturbing that an employee could abuse their access to private information like this — especially since Facebook hinted at a move into the online dating space this week.