Facebook Accused Of Snooping On Users’ Snapchat Data Via Secret Project

Four years ago, advertisers filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging the company was using its access to user data to stifle competitors. However, even in their wildest dreams, these advertisers couldn’t have imagined the bombshells this lawsuit would uncover. According to newly released documents in the case, Facebook created a secret program in 2016 called “Project Ghostbusters” to intercept and decrypt data passing between Snapchat and Facebook’s servers. The documents also say that Facebook eventually expanded this practice to Amazon and YouTube.

According to the documents, Facebook facilitated this data program using Onavo, a VPN-like app that has since been shut down for, ironically, privacy problems. However, not everyone within Facebook thought this invasive and secretive plot was a good idea.

“The company’s highest-level engineering executives thought the [program] was a legal, technical, and security nightmare,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian J Dunne wrote. He went on to cite an internal email from Facebook head of security engineering Pedro Canahuati, who allegedly wrote “I can’t think of a good argument for why this is okay. No security person is ever comfortable with this, no matter what consent we get from the general public. The general public just doesn’t know how this stuff works.”

Though Facebook has since ended the program, the revelations about its existence are sure to add to the company’s already-poor reputation for user privacy — not to mention badly hurting its standing in this lawsuit.

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