Facebook is accused of secretly saving deleted Messenger data and sharing it with the police | Science & Technology News

Meta has been accused by a former employee of secretly keeping users’ deleted Messenger data and sharing it with the police.

Brennan Lawson, who worked for the social media company after leaving the US Air Force, filed a legal complaint alleging that Facebook created a tool to access Messenger data that users think they have deleted.

Lawson, who is suing the company for retaliation against the whistleblower, alleges he was fired after raising concerns about the legality of the tool.

In a filing with the California Superior Court in San Mateo County, Lawson said he worked for MetaThe parent company of Facebook, as a senior expert in risk and response.

“The role required him to view extreme content such as beheadings, child rape, and other cruel and brutal displays of violence or obscenity,” the profile reads.

Lawson alleges that Meta, founded by Mark Zuckerberg, failed to properly protect his mental health, which was affected when he was exposed to this content. He is seeking $3 million in damages along with punitive damages.

‘Agitated by accusations’

Lawson claims to have attended a meeting in late 2018 “where a Facebook manager introduced a new tool to the accountability team”.

The applicant asserts: “Unlike other meetings, no documents were distributed in advance for the attendees to review.

“This is because, unlike other meetings, Facebook is teaching employees how to use a tool that allows them to circumvent Facebook’s usual privacy protocols to access data that has been compromised by users. erase.

“This back-end protocol is allowed [Lawson’s] to retrieve data in Messenger that the user has selected to delete. Facebook claims to users that once the data is deleted, it will not be stored locally and cannot be accessed. Not so. “

According to Lawson’s statement, the tool was used by Facebook in conjunction with law enforcement.

“Law enforcement will ask questions about suspects using the platform, such as who the suspect texted, when the messages were sent, and even what those messages contained.” specified legal documents.

“To keep Facebook in good standing with the government, the Reporting Team will use back-end protocols to provide answers to law enforcement and then determine the number of shares.”

Lawson claimed to have spoken out during the meeting because he knew it was against Meta’s commitment to US regulators on user privacy and illegal under data protection regulations in the EU and UK. Great Britain.

He said he later received a critical review in his performance review and was subsequently fired – officially for improperly using Facebook’s admin tool to check his account. his grandmother, who she alleged was attacked – as a pretext to fire him for his accusations.

Meta told Sky News: “These claims are null and void and we will defend ourselves against them vigorously.”

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