Facebook monitoring you for illegal activity.
Facebook’s Chief Security Officer has revealed details of how the company screens users activity for potential criminal activity. It also monitors for evidence of “imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.
Rather than have Facebook employees screen for activity directly, the monitoring is done by software which monitors for specific words or phrases.
The software pays more attention to chats between users who don’t already have a well-established connection on the site and whose profile data indicate something may be wrong, such as a wide age gap. The scanning program is also “smart” — it’s taught to keep an eye out for certain phrases found in the previously obtained chat records from criminals including sexual predators.
If the scanning software flags a suspicious chat exchange, it notifies Facebook security employees, who can then determine if police should be notified.
Keeping most of the scanned chats out of the eyes of Facebook employees may help Facebook deflect criticism from privacy advocates, but whether the scanned chats are deleted or stored permanently is yet unknown.