Meta: access deleted messages on Messenger, possible interruption of Facebook and Instagram

The new week of Meta Platforms opens with a double of problems, with the colossus of Menlo Park that has accused new problems with employees regarding its uninhibited practices, but also new disputes with the European authorities.
Meta: access deleted messages on Messenger, possible interruption of Facebook and Instagram

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The well-known parental company Meta, parent company of some of the most famous social platforms in the world, has once again ended up in the center of attention due to a dispute with the European institutions, but also because of a former employee who sued it in court.

Meta’s primary concern involves Facebook and Instagram. As is known, until 2020 the two platforms could transfer data overseas to the USA without problems, thanks to the “Privacy Shield” law: the same year, however, the European authorities canceled the agreement, fearing that the forces of local order could be granted too easy access to European user data. In March 2022, Meta had reported to the SEC of its fear that, in this regulatory vacuum, it would have to stop the provision of some services, including the two platforms mentioned.

In recent days there was also the pronouncement of the Irish privacy guarantor, who announced to the European one that it will shortly interrupt the flow of Meta data from Europe to the USA: Menlo Park immediately pronounced itself on the matter, premising that this decision immortalizes a situation of conflict between European and US laws which, however, is in the process of being resolved, given that an initial agreement has already been reached for a new legislative framework that properly regulates the transit of data overseas, allowing Meta to keep together communities, economies and families.

The second reason for concern about Meta Platforms comes from its former employee, Brennan Lawson, a veteran of the US Air Force hired on the risk escalation management team: at a meeting of his working group in 2018, Lawson (nomen omen), learned of a back-end protocol that could allow them to bypass privacy restrictions and give access to deleted messages on Messenger, thereby offering support to law enforcement in investigating suspicious individuals.

In the course of some subsequent meetings, the former employee of Meta complained that the new protocol could have interfered with a 2012 order from the FTC, which required his company the maximum transparency with users in terms of data storage, without forgetting the severe European restrictions on the right to be forgotten.

The man was then fired in 2019, on the grounds that he used an administrative tool and his credentials to help his grandmother recover her hacked account: obviously, a lawsuit followed in which Lawson claims he was fired. with an excuse, actually for his complaints, with the consequence that he is now asking for $ 3 million in punitive damages, since he was unemployed for 18 months also due to the poor evaluation given to his performance. When asked about it, Meta declared to Gizmodo: “These statements are without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves from them”.

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