Brennan Lawson, an Air Force vet who worked at Facebook, is suing Meta, claiming he was fired in retaliation for questioning a protocol that allowed Facebook staff access to deleted user data and were sharing it with law enforcement.
In the lawsuit filed this week in a court in California, Lawson claims he was hired to Facebook’s escalations team in July 2018. His work was similar to that of a content moderator.
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.
According to the lawsuit, the content reviewed by Lawson’s team was rather high-profile, as it was content flagged by law enforcement, governments, and journalists.
The suit says that in 2019, Facebook introduced a protocol allowing Lawson’s team to access deleted data on Facebook Messenger.
“Facebook had represented to users for years that once content was deleted by its users, it would not remain on any Facebook servers and would be permanently removed,” the lawsuit states.
The protocol was used to access the data at the request of law enforcement.
“To keep Facebook in the good graces of the government, the Escalations Team would utilize the back-end protocol to provide answers for the law enforcement agency and then determine how much to share,” the lawsuit states.
After he questioned the legality of the protocol, Lawson was fired. However, Facebook said he was fired because he did not use the appropriate channels to get his grandmother’s hacked account restored. The lawsuit states he followed the appropriate channels.