Facebook's outgoing security chief: 'We need to intentionally not collect data where possible'

  • The memo came just days after a pair of news reports revealed improper access to sensitive user information by research firm Cambridge Analytica.
  • It also touches on Stamos' planned August exit, transparency around Russian interference on the platform, and what he calls "passionate discussions with other execs."
Alex Stamos
Brendan Moran | Getty Images
Alex Stamos

Facebook's outgoing security chief, Alex Stamos, sent a telling memo in March — reported by Buzzfeed News — calling for the company to "intentionally not collect data where possible, and to keep it only as long as we are using it to serve people."

The comments, first circulated internally months ago, shed new light on the personal reflections of the company's top security executive amid widespread privacy failings. The memo came just days after a pair of news reports revealed improper access to sensitive user information by research firm Cambridge Analytica — a revelation that kicked off a firestorm of international probes, policy changes and corporate soul-searching.

"We need to listen to people (including internally) when they tell us a feature is creepy or point out a negative impact we are having in the world," Stamos wrote. "We need to deprioritze short-term growth and revenue and to explain to Wall Street why that is ok [sic]. We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues."

The lengthy memo also touches on Stamos' planned August exit — first reported in March — transparency around Russian interference on the platform, and what he calls "passionate discussions with other execs."

Read the full memo at Buzzfeed News.