Facebook security chief Stamos quits over 'fake news'

20 March, 2018, 06:20 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Report says Facebook security chief to leave

Alex Stamos joined Facebook as chief information security officer in June 2015 and has been a staunch proponent of uncovering and disclosing how Russian Federation used the social network to influence the USA presidential election.

As part of Stamos leaving, Facebook has reportedly broken down and reassigned his security team.

In a tweet, Stamos dismissed reports of his departure as "rumors", and said he he is "still fully engaged" with his work at Facebook despite his role changing.

Stamos was persuaded to stay through August to oversee the transition of his duties because company executives thought his exit would look bad, it said, citing current and former employees.

He made a decision to leave in December after his day-to-day responsibilities were reassigned, but was persuaded to stay through August because execs thought his departure would look bad, sources told the NYT. Facebook's stock was down close to 7 percent at the close of markets Monday due to these reports, which also resulted in US senators calling for hearings on the data abuse. "I'm now spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security", Stamos wrote.

"It's true that my role did change", he wrote shortly after the Times story broke. "He is a valued member of the team and we are grateful for all he does each and every day".

More recently, Stamos, who was one of Facebook's most vocal executives on Twitter, tweeted a thread over the weekend defending the company for its role in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal before abruptly deleting the tweets. He did not address his future plans.

The Times report also follows Facebook's announcement last week that it had suspended Cambridge Analytica over evidence that it used data from 50 million user profiles to craft messages on the social network designed at influencing elections. According to Reuters, he resigned after a year after discovering that Yahoo had secretly built a program to scan all incoming email for the NSA or Federal Bureau of Investigation. By November, they found evidence of Russian operatives pushing leaks from the Democratic National Committee, the Times reports, but that same month, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said it was a "pretty insane idea" to think Russia influenced the election. In fact, Facebook was set up to allow third parties to misuse data without any such difficulty.

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