On Monday, Facebook said that it was investigating claims that one if its security engineers was using their data access privileges to stalk women online. Facebook confirmed to Gizmodo that the employee has been fired.
“We are investigating this as a matter of urgency,” Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos told NBC News on Tuesday. A Facebook spokesperson told Gizmodo that the company has “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 unclear whether this individual is facing any legal recourse, or if law enforcement is involved. We reached out to Facebook for comment and will update with a response.
The allegations against the unnamed security engineer surfaced on Sunday when Spyglass Security founder Jackie Stokes tweeted that she had evidence suggesting the employee was abusing their access.
“I’ve been made aware that a security engineer currently employed at Facebook is likely using privileged access to stalk women online. I have Tinder logs. What should I do with this information?” she wrote.
While Facebook said that it has a “zero tolerance approach to abuse” and that it will fire employees engaging in such behavior, this is another nightmarish example of how the people with privileged access to our data have the capacity to abuse those privileges. As Facebook continues its push for more of your intimate data, the consequences of enabling potential stalkers are uniquely disturbing.