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Data Harvesting is daily routine at Facebook said ex-employee

by Harikrishna Mekala

Most Facebook user data is already mined by a lot of companies said Sandy Parakilas. He was a platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for securing data breaches made by third-party software developers between 2011-2012, he warned the senior executives at the company that its lax approach to data protection risked major data breach.

“My concerns were that all of the data that left Facebook servers to developers could not be monitored by Facebook, so we had no idea what developers were doing with the data,” he said.

Facebook had terms and service agreements that most of the users don’t understand while signing up in the website, moreover the company did not use its enforcement mechanisms, including audits of external developers, to ensure data was not being misused.

Parakilas job was to investigate data breaches by made developers which suspected to a Global Science Research. The Company harvested userdata of millions of Facebook profiles and provided the data to Cambridge Analytica said the slew of recent disclosures.

“It has been painful watching,” he said, “because I know that they could have prevented it.”

Parakilas said he “always assumed there was something of a black market” for Facebook data that had been passed to external developers. However, he said that when he told other executives the company should proactively “audit developers directly and see what’s going on with the data” he was discouraged from the approach.

He also mentioned that one of the Executives told him not to dig a rabbit hole by saying “Do you really want to see what you’ll find?”. The sentence interpreted to “Facebook was in a stronger legal position if it didn’t know about the abuse that was occuring”.

Parakilas first went to media with his concerns about privacy at Facebook four months ago, but his direct involvement policing Facebook data given to third parties throws new light on discoveries over how such data was collected by Cambridge Analytics.

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Source: The Guardian

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