ICE is using Facebook to Track Undocumented Immigrants Wanted for Deportation
According to a report by The Intercept, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) used backend Facebook data to track down undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation. The Intercept obtained documents and emails through a public records request that provided a rare look into one of the tactics ICE used to monitor suspects. The report shows that the backend Facebook data revealed when the accounts were accessed and the IP addresses corresponding to each login for the targeted individuals. In an email, a Facebook spokesperson wrote the following to the Bay Area News Group,
Facebook does not provide ICE or any other law enforcement agency with any special data access to assist with the enforcement of immigration law.
Facebook has been facing mounting criticism over how users’ personal data have been accessed by third parties for things such as political purposes. The revelation of Cambridge Analytica using the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their permission put Facebook in an awkward position with its users. In response, federal regulators have been investigating the data breach, and politicians are considering new privacy rules that could constrain tech firms. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has since apologized for the mishandling of users’ information, but it is unclear what the company plans to do to prevent the same issue from happening again. According to The Intercept, Facebook received 32,716 requests for data from 52,280 users, but it’s unclear how many of these requests came from ICE. We will have to wait and see what federal regulators plan to do to prevent users’ data from being breached and what Facebook plans to do about it as well.