Facebook's outgoing chief security officer is calling for a sea change in how the company operates.
In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal in March, Facebook's CSO Alex Stamos, who is leaving the company in August, sent a memo to colleagues saying they should avoid collecting data on users where possible and "pick sides" when it comes to moral or humanitarian issues, Buzzfeed reports. In the previously unreleased memo, which Buzzfeed published Tuesday, Stamos linked the misuse of data from over 87 million Facebook users by political firm Cambridge Analytica to the broader issue of Facebook designing its features to get as much data as possible from individuals.
"We need to build a user experience that conveys honesty and respect," Stamos wrote. "Not one optimized to get people to click yes to giving us more access." He also urged his colleagues to pay attention when people call features "creepy."
Perhaps the most radical change Stamos called for is that Facebook not make short-term growth and revenue its main focus, and that the company "explain to Wall Street why that is ok."
Stamos wrote the memo in response to a series of news articles that in his view portrayed his departure as "rage-quitting." According to those reports, he clashed with colleagues over how much transparency was necessary in disclosing how Russian operatives misused the platform during the 2016 presidential elections. In December, Stamos had many of his day-to-day responsibilities as chief security officer assigned to other workers. In the memo, Stamos confirmed his departure, adding he agreed to stay through August to oversee the reorganization of his department.