Facebook taps user data to defend workers from threat

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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Facebook gathers intelligence from
its platform to identify people who threaten the firm or its workers, the
social network said Thursday in response to media reports of the security
tactic.

CNBC reported that it interviewed more than a dozen former Facebook
security employees, some of whom questioned the ethics of what was portrayed
as an unclearly defined practice at the leading social network.

Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison told AFP that the company’s physical
security team exists to keep workers safe and that strict processes are in
place to protect people’s privacy.

“Any suggestion our on-site physical security team has overstepped is
absolutely false,” Harrison said.

“They use industry-standard measures to assess and address credible
threats of violence against our employees and our company, and refer these
threats to law enforcement when necessary.”

Facebook keeps a routinely updated list of people that members of its
security team should “be on lookout” for due to threatening statements,
according to CNBC.

The so-called “BOLO” list purportedly includes former employees whose
actions at the social network came under scrutiny.

Facebook mines the social network for threats against the company or its
workers, and its watch list can even feature photos of people, CNBC reported.

For cases in which threats against Facebook or its workers seem credible,
the security team was said to be capable of tracking those behind them using
location data from the social network’s apps or websites.

Facebook is adamant that its security processes are designed to protect
people’s privacy and adhere to data privacy laws, as well as the social
network’s terms of service.

In cases of credible threats of violence against an employee, Facebook
uses publicly available data and industry practices to determine how close
someone behind a threat is to the worker or company offices, according to the
social network.

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