The leaked document revealed that the company's "open borders" system had no control over how user data is used.
Facebook has no idea where its user data goes or how the platform uses it, a leaked internal document obtained by Motherboard has revealed. Described as a "tsunami" of global privacy regulations, the document notes that its system, which is built with "open borders," has no control over where data flows.
The report, created by the platform's privacy engineers it the Ad and Business Product team in 2021, clearly states that the company does not have "an adequate level of control and explainability of how our systems use data," thereby rendering it unable to confidently make "controlled policy changes or external commitments" about not using user data in a specific manner, reported Vice.
Transcribing the document from scratch to protect its source, Motherboard wrote that Facebook's engineers had themselves admitted that they were struggling to keep track of the data of its almost three billion-strong user base.
The team of engineers behind the report highlighted how the company would not be able to assure regulators – who have already been working to limit how big tech platforms can use user data – that they would not "use X data for Y purpose," the report said.
Meta-owned Facebook has repeatedly come under fire after the leak of a slew of documents termed 'The Facebook Papers' in 2021, which showed that the company was aware of how its platform promoted hate and violence in parts of the world, but chose to keep mum, prioritising profits.
A notable challenge to the platform's usage of its user data came in 2018, when the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandated that every bit of user data collected by platforms could only be used for specific purposes and could not be reused for anything else.