Facebook's chief security officer, Alex Stamos, is reportedly considering departing from his role at the social media company in the middle of a contentious privacy issue that has prompted several regulators and lawmakers to investigate how Facebook handles the data of its billions of users. Citing former and current employees familiar with the situation, The New York Times reports that Stamos is likely to leave the company in August of this year amid internal disputes within Facebook that resulted from disagreements over how the company is supposed to disclose the abuse of user data by various states, with Stamos reportedly pushing for a more transparent way of disclosing how Russia allegedly meddled with the United States elections and a number of changes to the organizational structure in order to prevent similar issues in the future.
Stamos' duties and responsibilities as Facebook's head of security were also said to have been transferred to others while his security team was taken over by the product and infrastructure divisions of the company, according to the report. The rumored upcoming departure of Facebook's chief security officer comes amid allegations that Cambridge Analytica, which mines data for the electoral process, allegedly harvested and misused the data of around 50 million Facebook users as part of an effort to boost the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump during the 2016 elections. The allegations prompted Antonio Tajani, the chief of the European Parliament, to announce that EU lawmakers will be launching a full investigation into the alleged abuse of Facebook’s user data, saying that this action is an “unacceptable violation” of the right to privacy of millions of Facebook users.
Former employees at the data analytics company also revealed that Cambridge Analytica supposedly paid a third-party researcher named Aleksandr Kogan, a Russian-American professor, to acquire information from the social networking giant, and the academic did so under the pretext of academic research. He then reportedly turned over the vast collection of information to the data firm, which Facebook acknowledges and describes as a violation of the company’s policies. Also, contrary to claims that the treasure trove of data had been deleted since, the former Cambridge Analytica employees, as well as documents obtained from the company, suggested that Cambridge Analytica still keeps the data.