As the release date approaches for a book that takes an inside look at Facebook’s operations, disturbing excerpts continue to emerge about the company’s data and privacy practices. The most recent revelation: Facebook fired 52 engineers in 2014 and 2015 alone for spying on users.
According to the report, the majority of these engineers were men who looked up women they were romantically interested in. At the time, then-chief security officer Alex Stamos warned that it was possible that hundreds of other such transgressions had escaped unnoticed. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was reportedly angry about the abuse of user information, even though he was the one who designed the data access system in the first place.
For its part, Facebook emphasized that it has strong rules in place now to prevent this kind of abuse, and that engineers’ access to data has since been limited.
“We’ve always had zero tolerance for abuse and have fired every single employee ever found to be improperly accessing data,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “Since 2015, we’ve continued to strengthen our employee training, abuse detection and prevention protocols. We’re also continuing to reduce the need for engineers to access some types of data as they work to build and support our services.”
Of course, Facebook itself collects our private data all the time. So even if it has limited access to individuals, the company still knows basically everything about us.
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