Facebook Fires An Engineer For Boasting About His Data Access

Facebook, reeling from a data scandal with Cambridge Analytica, fired an employee Thursday (May 3) for boasting that he can access the data of its users.

Reuters, citing the company, reported that a Twitter user posted a Tinder conversation between herself and the Facebook security engineer with screenshots in which the employee bragged about his ability to access the private data, calling himself a “professional stalker.” The security engineer was accused on Twitter of using his access to the data to meet women.  Alex Stamos, Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, said in a statement that the company quickly investigated the incident and fired the person immediately. He said that access to sensitive data is logged at the social media company and that it has an automated system in place to detect and prevent the abuse of private date.  “Employees who abuse these controls will be fired — period,” he said, according to Reuters.

The firing comes as Facebook is still reeling from the mid-March data scandal in which Cambridge Analytica accessed the data of 87 million Facebook users without their consent. That has resulted in a series of investigations and Facebook being forced to enhance its protection of users’ data. While Facebook’s stock took a beating as a result of the data scandal, it has come out of it relatively unscathed. The same can’t be said of Cambridge Analytica, which confirmed this week that it is closing because of the scandal.  According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Nigel Oakes, the founder of SCL Group, Cambridge Analytica’s British affiliate, confirmed to the paper that the two businesses are shutting down. In March, Cambridge Analytica suspended CEO Alexander Nix and launched its own inquiry into the scandal.  The WSJ reported the company decided to shut down because it was losing clients and was facing legal fees related to the Facebook investigation.


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