Facebook F8, the social platform’s annual developer conference, is set to get underway today offering the tech giant a rare opportunity to show off its successes. Yet, coming in the wake of yet another scandal, Facebook will be forced to address its poor handling of user data at the conference for the second year running.
Last month it came to light that Facebook had left the account passwords of hundreds of millions of its users visible in plain text on an internal server, making them accessible by Facebook employees.
The latest blunder has once again raised concerns over Facebook’s handling of data. According to a poll conducted by NBC this month, 60% of US citizens no longer trust Facebook with their personal information.
Now, a new poll conducted by Blind, an anonymous app that allows employees to answer questions on their industry and workplace, has found that one in four Facebook employees agree.
“Do you trust Facebook with your data?”
Blind polled a total of 10,361 employees in the tech industry, asking the question “Do you trust Facebook with your data?” between April 18 and April 25, weeks after the password blunder was made public.
Some 400 of these respondents worked for Facebook, with 24.25% admitting that they don’t trust their own employer with their data.
The majority of Facebook employees do trust their employer, with 75.75% answering “yes”. However, this goes against the wider tech industry. On average, 88.8% of respondents expressed distrust in Facebook.
Those employed by the four tech leaders – Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft – expressed the most distrust. Some 93.43% of Amazon employees said that they didn’t trust Facebook with their data, followed by Google (93.35%), Apple (92.79%) and Microsoft (92.62%).
Those from LinkedIn were most trusting, but this is still just over one in ten employees at 10.6%.
Facebook password leak follows a year of blunders
The internal password leak is just the latest issue to arise, but distrust in Facebook has been building over the past 18 months.
Facebook’s monthly active user base hit 2.375bn in the first quarter of 2019, meaning approximately 32% of the global population checks the social media platform at least once a month.
Yet, while users were once eager to share their data, trust in the social media platform has dropped 66% since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in early 2018.
Further scandals have followed since, such as the unearthing of a Russian campaign to influence the 2016 United States presidential election, a security breach that exposed more than 50 million users, the continued spread of fake news, and the live-streaming of a terror attack in New Zealand.
This collection of issues have seen Facebook come under attack from regulators. Facebook now faces an inquiry into its failures from Ireland’s Data Protection Commission as a result of the password breach, while the UK and EU continue to push on with plans to regulate internet platforms to safeguard against fake news and exposure to harmful content.