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Former Facebook Employee Warns Against Sharing Personal Info

Facebook iconFacebook employees at one time had access to a “master password” that granted them access to every one of the accounts on the social network, according to a former employee.

And while “more secure forms of logging in to repair accounts” were later put into operation, Katherine Losse, who joined Facebook in 2005 as its 51st employee, told The Guardian Wednesday that members of the site should avoid sharing personal information, especially now that the scope of surveillance by the U.S. government has come to light.

Losse, the former speechwriter for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, first made the allegation in The Boy Kings, a book she penned after leaving the company in 2010, but she reiterated her allegations in the interview with The Guardian.

She also told the U.K. publication that Facebook users have reason to be concerned that if the social media site’s staff can access their information, than federal law enforcement agencies can as well.

“Even if an average staff person can’t access it, the information may still be recorded somewhere for the NSA,” she said of how Facebook user information could be treated.

Facebook is one of the companies that allegedly is part of PRISM, the National Security Agency’s top-secret program through which it acquires user data from technology companies.

“Users of social networks generally assume that they are the only ones that can access the information they input, and in most cases at most companies that is most likely not true, because at least some of the staff need to have access to user accounts in order to do their jobs,” Losse was quoted by The Guardian.

Losse is known to have a beef with Facebook and was very critical of the social network in The Boy Kings.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

8 Comments

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  • Do not share personal information? Now really nothing is safe.

  • Is not for personal gain, people will return to conscience objective interests.

  • Some social networking platforms and institutions need to responsible for the user to better protect people’s personal information.

  • There is probably also a administrator password for the facebook database holding all your personal data. And there is a system administrator password which also allows you to do and see everything you want. Not much news that there is a master password on application level. Everybody should assume that whenever they send or upload something through the net someone else may be able to see it, personal or not. We can only make it more difficult for the ‘someone else’ by using encryption. And that also doesn’t guarantee your 100% privacy.

  • @Arnaud Kleinveld – If you really wanted to, you can design a software so that it is safe even in the presence of administrators: All data in the database could be stored in encrypted form only. Encryption and decryption could be used “just in time” and in a way so that only the people with whom you want to share your data could decrypt it again. If the personal key used for decryption never leaves your web browser this should be almost totally safe and if the key is is stored on the server in active sessions only it should be at least be “very” safe. So it’s not a question whether privacy can guaranteed technically. It is a question if the company providing the service is willing to guarantee it and if it lives up to its promises. And if there is some kind of “master password” / “master key”, then there’s at least some doubt on that.

  • It’s never safe to put personal info anywhere on the internet, including the cloud where someone can just grab it.

    I’m even against kids being on here giving out personal info then walking off with monsters. The internet is a very dangerous place where no child should be. I’m glad I never signed up with FB due to privacy issues with them.