Facebook fires employee who allegedly cyber-stalked women, source says

Facebook has fired the employee alleged to have used “privileged access” to personal data to cyber-stalk women.

On Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the situation told Fox News that the employee in question has been terminated. The employee has not been identified.

The stalking claim was made on Sunday by Jackie Stokes, founder of cybersecurity advisory firm Spyglass Security. “I’ve been made aware that a security engineer currently employed at Facebook is likely using privileged access to stalk women online,” she tweeted. “I have Tinder logs. What should I do with this information?”

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Stokes added that she was not a target of the stalker.

In another tweet, Stokes wrote that “multiple senior Facebook employees” had reached out to her to express their concern over the issue.

The accusation prompted Facebook to launch an investigation. “We are investigating this as a matter of urgency. It’s important that people’s information is kept secure and private when they use Facebook," explained Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, in a statement emailed to Fox News on Tuesday. "It’s why we have strict policy controls and technical restrictions so employees only access the data they need to do their jobs – for example to fix bugs, manage customer support issues or respond to valid legal requests. Employees who abuse these controls will be fired.”

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Stokes thanked “the many Facebook employees who reached out to me personally to find out what they could do to help,” in a tweet on Tuesday. The security expert also thanked Stamos for his “deft handling of a dicey issue during a time when words and actions matter more than ever.”

The company's probe comes at a time when the social network is dealing with the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Reports emerged recently that data mining firm Cambridge Analytica improperly used information from as many as 87 million accounts on the social network, prompting Facebook to suspend the U.K.-based company. Cambridge Analytica, which has ties to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign, denies any wrongdoing.

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Most of the affected users are in the U.S., Facebook has previously said.

Earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to launch a dating service on the social network.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers