It’s no secret by now that Facebook hates its users privacy and that fact was highlighted this week after it was discovered that Facebook monitors its users communications and automatically reports that information to local law enforcement.
The process uses specialized software that scans for certain words and phrases and then signals when something might be wrong. Information collected can include the exchange of personal information all the way to vulgar language.
The software also takes into account gaps between users and the established time for accounts to determine if a user is a long-time user of the system.
Facebook has made the system “smart” by collecting data from sexual predators to determine inappropriate chat.
As messages are flagged Facebook security employees then determine if they should notify police.
At this time it is not known if scanned chats are deleted or stored permanently, either way privacy experts have reason to be upset as Facebook once again proves that user privacy is worth nothing to the world’s largest social network.
For its part Facebook is not trying to hide the new systems capabilities, it was revealed by Reuters in an interview with Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan after a child predator was brought to trial thanks to the system.
Visiting one page reveals:
“We may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law. This may include respecting requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, apply to users from that jurisdiction, and are consistent with generally accepted international standards.
“We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities.”
In comparison Twitter has actually went to court to protect user data, even when that users statements were first made public and then later deleted from the social network.
Long story short, don’t talk to people on Facebook messenger unless you want Facebook to see your messages, even if they are meant to be private and not posted for the world to see. I am all for catching child predators, murderers and other scum of the earth, but at what expense?