- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Facebook is investigating a claim that one of its employees used their position to potentially stalk women online, a spokesperson for the world’s largest social network said Monday.

“Although we can’t comment on any individual personnel matters, we are aware of the situation and investigating,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement sent to media outlets, Motherboard first reported.

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, and improper behavior results in termination,” the spokesperson said.

The social network confirmed the investigation’s existence after cybersecurity consultant Jackie Stokes tweeted Sunday that she believed a member of Facebook’s security team was abusing their position.

“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?” Ms. Stokes asked her Twitter followers.

Ms. Stokes was subsequently contacted by multiple Facebook employees and said that she provided details about her claim to Alex Stamos, the social network’s chief security officer, Motherboard reported.

“We maintain strict technical controls and policies to restrict employee access to user data,” Facebook said in a statement. “Access is scoped by job function, and designated employees are only allowed to access the amount of information that’s necessary to carry out their job responsibilities, such as responding to bug reports, account support inquiries or valid legal requests.”

Facebook has faced a firestorm of criticism concerning its policies for protecting user privacy in the wake of recent revelations involving the company’s past ties to Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm that amassed the personal information of 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

“This was a breach of trust and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a full-page apology ad placed in U.S. and U.K. newspapers after the data scandal broke in March.

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