According to a recent report published by reuters which is handed over to them by Facebook’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan, Facebook and other social networking websites are monitoring the users chat conversation for criminal activities. They are bound to notify the police department if any suspicious behavior is detected.
The task is handled by an automated scanning software that monitors chats for words or phrases that signal something might be amiss, such as an exchange of personal information or vulgar language.
If a suspicious chat conversation is flagged by the software, it notifies Facebook security employees, who can then determine if police should be notified. The system is proven to be a great assets for these websites for keeping the community clean and healthy.
Taking most of the chat conversation away from the employees reach may help Facebook deflect criticism from privacy advocates, but whether the scanned chats are deleted or stored permanently is yet unknown.
The software pays more attention on the new users and in-establsihed accounts with lower no. of activities, whose profile data indicates something may be wrong.
The scanning program and algorithm is continuously maintained and updated which makes it smarter day-by-day.
Facebook works with law enforcement "where appropriate and to the extent required by law to ensure the safety of the people who use Facebook," according to a page on its site.
"We may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law. This may include respecting requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, apply to users from that jurisdiction, and are consistent with generally accepted international standards.
"We may also share information when we have a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect ourselves and you from people violating our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, courts or other government entities."
Facebook has been known to be a co-operative company when it comes to the actual criminal activities. They helped the police investigations in the past - giving out all the beneficial information to the Boston police department of a murder suspect.
We might not be happy when it comes to know that someone is spying on us where we think we all more secure to have an conversation - but this is how it is. You should see it as a security step, rather than a threat.
Is Facebook doing a great job by monitoring chats for it's users? share you thoughts in the comments.!