Facebook are looking at your account, without asking

4 March 2015

Bitterwallet - Facebook Facebook aren't too clever when it comes to respecting your privacy. You knew that. 3 hour old babies could even tell you that Facebook aren't to be trusted when it comes to things like that.

And so, to one Facebook user who paid a visit to the social network's offices in Los Angeles, who saw something that gave him the willies, and will prompt some of you to pop your tinfoil hats on and start shouting "TOLD YOU SO!"

Making, ironically, a post on Facebook itself, Paavo Siljamäki noted that a Facebook engineer logged straight into his account, but without using a password.

He said: "Popped to Facebook offices in LA, the nice people there were giving us good advice on how to use Facebook better. I was then asked if i'm ok for them to look at my profile, i said 'sure'. A Facebook engineer can then log in directly as me on Facebook seeing all my private content without asking me for the password."

"Just made me wonder how many of Facebook's staff have this kind of 'master' access to anyone's account? What are the rules on who and when they can access our private content and how would we know if someone did? (My facebook did not notify me that someone else accessed my private profile)."

Over at NakedSecurity (not as fun as it sounds), they asked FB about this, and got this reply: "We have rigorous administrative, physical, and technical controls in place to restrict employee access to user data. Our controls have been evaluated by independent third parties and confirmed multiple times by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner's Office as part of their audit of our practices."

"Access is tiered and limited by job function, and designated employees may only access the amount of information that's necessary to carry out their job responsibilities, such as responding to bug reports or account support inquiries. Two separate systems are in place to detect suspicious patterns of behaviour, and these systems produce reports once per week which are reviewed by two independent security teams."

"We have a zero tolerance approach to abuse, and improper behavior results in termination."

So there you have it. Some will argue that this is Facebook accessing the innards of your profile like a bank accessing your current account or whatever, while others will see this as a flagrant abuse of power by a company who already has a chequered history.

Should we be asking more questions regarding matters like this, or do we just accept that, posting things online is our deal with the devil and that nothing is private?

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy   Technology


  • Jon B.
    There will be a divide on this for sure. Im on the former. Ultimately you are using their system for Free, you dont get to call shots on a system somone is giving you, its a fit in or fuck off design, yet the same as is seen in using the likes of gmail for free and then freaking out because they read your mail. You're an idiot if you put anything in there you want private, or retain the rights to. If you have requirments you have to pay for them. Its free, so you have the freedom to choose to use it for what it is, or not. "oh no, they have full access to the system they built, support, update and gave me for free" Cretins.
  • Skymarshall
    If you're that worried about it, don't post sensitive information into a public domain. It's pretty much common sense..
  • Mr C.
    I'm not exactly sure what anyone else expected. If someone works for a bank, mobile phone network, satellite TV company or anyone else they will be able to see customers' account details, on the proviso that it is strictly for business needs only and that you get sacked for gross misconduct if you go browsing through customers' accounts for fun. I am not sure why anyone would be surprised that Facebook has the same access. Indeed, they would *need* that access to be able to take down harrassing or illegal content.
  • Father J.
    In other news, Facebook abuses your privacy... who knew?? Only a complete cabbage would put anything on Facebook that they want kept private.
  • bugger y.
    Shit for brains goes all Daily Mail would be a better headline. Next he'll be amazed that the bank knows how much money is in his bank account!
  • Ano
    I think that you will find that ALL software programs will have a back door for administrative reasons. This is nothing new.

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