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Facebook probing accusation employee used company resources to stalk women

A security researcher says the unnamed employee stalked women online through "privileged access" at the company.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Facebook is investigating accusations made by a security researcher that a Facebook engineer used company data to stalk women online.

The accusations against the unnamed employee were lodged Sunday by Jackie Stokes, the founder of Spyglass Security.

"I've been made aware that a security engineer currently employed at Facebook is likely using privileged access to stalk women online," Stokes tweeted Sunday. "I have Tinder logs. What should I do with this information?"

Facebook said it was aware of the allegations and was investigating, noting that it couldn't comment on individual personnel matters.

"We maintain strict technical controls and policies to restrict employee access to user data," Facebook said in a statement. "Access is scoped by job function, and designated employees are only allowed to access the amount of information that's necessary to carry out their job responsibilities, such as responding to bug reports, account support inquiries, or valid legal requests.

"We have a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, and improper behavior results in termination," the company said.

The allegations arise amid heightened concern over customer privacy at the social network. The company has been grappling with questions about how it handles its users' data in the wake of a scandal stemming from a political data analysis firm's improper access to as many as 87 million user profiles.

Stokes' accusations are reminiscent of ones lodged against Uber in 2014. A BuzzFeed journalist reported that a top executive at the ride-hailing startup used an internal feature to track her without her knowledge. The feature, known as "God View," was available to Uber employees and allows them to see logs of Uber customer activity.

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