Wired just released a deep dive into Facebook’s “hellish two years” and Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to contain the beast he created. As a whole, the story is fascinating, but there’s one tiny tidbit in the article that is raising a lot of eyebrows. Tech writer Jason Abbruzzese called it out on Twitter:
Reporting on tech companies is fun: pic.twitter.com/p2NXm2r2Hv
— Jason Abbruzzese (@JasonAbbruzzese) February 12, 2018
It seems a Facebook employee asked Wired‘s reporter to turn off his phone so Facebook couldn’t track it. The fear, apparently, was that the mere proximity of the reporter’s phone to a Facebook phone would be enough to tip Facebook off. While this may be just a case of one stressed-out employee worried about talking to the press, it’s also an eye-opening glimpse into Facebook’s phone-tracking abilities and the level of fear and suspicion it fosters among those who are most familiar with it.
While it’s unsettling to think of a social media app tracking your whereabouts, at least the employee didn’t seem concerned about Facebook listening in on their conversation–a practice Facebook denies doing, although some users remain highly skeptical.