- Facebook has investigated and fired an employee who was accused of using his privileges to “stalk women” online.
- Cybersecurity expert Jackie Stokes made the claim about the Facebook engineer on Twitter, citing “Tinder logs” she had been passed by a source.
- Facebook said it had a “zero-tolerance” approach to abuse and it fires anyone it deems guilty of “improper behaviour.”
Facebook has fired an employee accused of using his privileges to stalk women online.
The company launched an investigation into a claim made by cybersecurity expert Jackie Stokes, who said the individual was a security engineer and “likely using privileged access” to find women.
In a thread of tweets, Stokes said she had confirmed the man works at Facebook through his Tinder profile, LinkedIn, and through Facebook’s outgoing chief security officer Alex Stamos’ connections on encryption key directory Keybase.io.
Stokes, the founder of cybersecurity consultancy Spyglass Security, tweeted what appeared to be a screenshot of a conversation between the individual and her source. She did not say where the conversation took place, but in a separate tweet said she had “Tinder logs.”
I really, really hope I’m wrong about this. pic.twitter.com/NDkOptx8Hv
— Jackie Singh (@find_evil) April 30, 2018
Just hours after investigating the claims, the employee was fired.
In a statement, Stamos said Facebook does not tolerate abuse of its controls. He said: “It’s important that people’s information is kept secure and private when they use Facebook. It’s why we have 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 not clear how exactly the Facebook staffer might have used his access to the platform to track women down online. Stokes declined to comment further when contacted by BI.
But late on Tuesday, she did praise Facebook for its swift response to the issue:
I'd like to thank the many Facebook employees who reached out to me personally to find out what they could do to help, and especially their CSO @alexstamos for deft handling of a dicey issue during a time when words and actions matter more than ever.https://t.co/W8Joe2Bc6e
— Jackie Singh (@find_evil) May 2, 2018
Facebook’s firing of the so-called “stalker” comes after the company announced that it was launching a dating service. The irony was not lost on Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox: “Firing an employee for using company collected data to stalk women at the same time as announcing a dating service is very 2018 Silicon Valley.”
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