Facebook security chief Alex Stamos is reportedly leaving the company after clashing with other members of its leadership over whether Facebook should be more proactive in handling its role in disseminating falsehoods. Prior to his hiring at Facebook in 2015, Stamos was Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo.
The California-based social media giant is facing an onslaught of criticism at home and overseas over revelations that a firm working for Donald Trump's presidential campaign harvested and misused data on 50 million members.
The social media company has already taken away Stamos' responsibilities to counter government-sponsored disinformation, the source said.
FILE PHOTO - Alex Stamos, Chief Security Officer for Facebook, speaks at the NYU Center for Cyber Security in the Brooklyn borough of New York March 7, 2016.
A Facebook spokeswoman did not address whether Stamos is leaving, although she pointed to a tweet in which Stamos says he's still fully engaged at Facebook but that his role has changed.
Unlike other top executives at the company, the Timesreported, Stamos has always been an advocate for investigating Russian propaganda and other "disinformation" spread on Facebook. "I'm now spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security", Stamos wrote.
He made a decision to leave in December after his day-to-day responsibilities were reassigned, but was persuaded to stay through August because execs thought his departure would look bad, sources told the NYT.
"It's true that my role did change", he wrote shortly after the Times story broke.
Stamos is now working in a new role in the company. "He did, however, misuse that data after he gathered it, but that does not retroactively make it a 'breach.'" Stamos later deleted the tweet and others about the incident.
Facebook did not immediately have a comment.
Facebook said it had hired a digital forensics firm to examine how the data leak occurred and to ensure that any data collected had been destroyed.
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