Facebook allows staff to retrieve deleted user data, claims sacked employee
A sacked content screener at Facebook has claimed that the social media platform allows its employees to resurrect deleted user data and share the information with law enforcement.
According to Bloomberg, Brennan Lawson, who was fired from the company, has filed a lawsuit in California seeking more than $3 million in compensation plus punitive damages.
Lawson said he was informed about the new rule during a team meeting in 2018. He, however, immediately questioned its legality, but was later fired from his job and remained unemployed for 18 months. Lawson said he was sacked from his role in July 2019 on grounds of making improper use of a Facebook administrative tool.
According to Lawson’s complaint, the rule allowed Facebook’s Global Escalation Team “to circumvent Facebook’s normal privacy protocols by retrieving data from the Messenger app that users had chosen to delete.”
The complaint further stated that Facebook’s new protocol violated Federal Trade Commission rules that require the social media platform to “accurately inform users about its data retention policies.”
“Law enforcement would ask questions about the suspect’s use of the platform, such as who the suspect was messaging, when messages were sent, and even what those messages contained. To keep Facebook in the good graces of the government, the Escalations Team would utilize the back-end protocol to provide answers for the law enforcement agency and then determine how much to share,” Lawson claimed in the lawsuit.