San Francisco, February 15: Facebook has been monitoring and tracking locations of those users who can pose threat to its employees or physical properties, the media reported. According to a report in CNBC on Thursday, the tracking of users begins when the Facebook security team finds they are making “credible threats on its social network”. The tracking is done by using location data taken from the user’s Facebook app or an IP address collected by the social network when a user is active on Facebook.
The locations of users are only accessible after they were placed on a ‘Be On the Lookout’ (BOLO) list after their threats are deemed credible. The list is updated nearly once a week. “The company mines its social network for threatening comments, and in some cases uses its products to track the location of people it believes present a credible threat,” said the report. Facebook Users to Now Petition Elected Officials for Change.
Facebook has 2.7 billion users across its services. “That means that if just 0.01 per cent of users make a threat, Facebook is still dealing with 270,000 potential security risks, the report added. Users who publicly threaten the company — including posting threatening comments to company executives like CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg — are added to the list.
“Our physical security team exists to keep employees safe,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We have strict processes designed to protect people’s privacy and adhere to all data privacy laws and Facebook’s terms of service. Any suggestion our onsite physical security team has overstepped is absolutely false,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Depending on the threat, Facebook’s security teams can take other actions, such as stationing security guards, escorting a BOLO user off campus or alerting law enforcement.