An interview with an anonymous Facebook employee is flying around the web and burning up Twitter, but is the info discussed really anything surprising? The employee revealed that the company records everything their users post, upload and view, and that their data is kept even if they delete it. That’s not exactly a secret-Facebook uses the information for the Suggestions area, to serve relevant ads, and to provide such services as letting you know when your friends have birthdays coming up.
The other revelations in the interview might be a bit more unsettling to some. The employee said that until recently a master password existed that allowed employees to log into any account. That practice was done away with in what they called a “crack down” and now any employee who logs into a user account must explain why it was necessary. The employee, who was not identified for fear of losing her job, also said all messages sent on the site are easily accessed by employees.
Now judging from the sheer volume of messages sent on the site each day it’s pretty doubtful Facebook employees are sitting back and reading them all. It’s more likely inbox messages are saved and archived for e-discovery and compliance reasons-that is, if Facebook is ever subpoenaed on behalf of one of it’s users, it will be able to produce what is requested.
Still, it’s a good reminder that for privacy and other reasons, you shouldn’t post anything on Facebook or online in general that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times!