Facebook Fired Dozens of Employees for Abuse of Access to User Data

Facebook engineer track the location of specific users in real time.

Between January 2014 and August 2015, Facebook fired 52 employees for using user data for personal purposes. As reported by Business Insider, one of the specialists used to access to the data to track a woman vacationing with him in Europe. The woman left the hotel room after an argument, and the man was able to locate her at another hotel using Facebook data.

Another Facebook employee used his colleague's access to find information about the woman he was on a date with. On the company's system, he had access to “years of private conversations with friends via Facebook messenger, events attended, photos uploaded (including deleted ones), and messages she commented on. Through the Facebook application installed on the woman's phone, the specialist could also see her location in real-time.

Most of the employees who accessed user data were "men who viewed the Facebook profiles of women of interest."

For the first time, the leadership started talking about the problem in September 2015. Then the director of the security service of Facebook Alex Stamos told Mark Zuckerberg that incidents with the abuse of access to personal data of users by the company's specialists occur almost every month. At that time, more than 16 thousand employees had access to the personal data of users. Stamos proposed to limit the number of employees with access to personal data to 5 thousand, and with access to passwords to 100. He proposed to require employees to submit formal requests for access to personal data but was refused by managers. One of the proposed solutions to the problem was to limit the storage time of user data, but this contradicted Zuckerberg's vision.