Facebook underinvests in Australian security | Western Magazine

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, said the company was underinvesting in security measures on its platforms in Australia, a parliamentary committee has heard.

Ms Haugen – who last year denounced Facebook for knowingly using algorithms to promote divisive content – ​​appeared before the online safety committee on Thursday.

She says Facebook disproportionately spends its security budget in the United States and as a result the rest of the world is missing out.

“Because Facebook knows they operate in the dark – they don’t have to tell the truth about anything – they continue to underinvest because they can get away with the bare minimum,” she said.

Ms Haugen says social media companies can no longer be left to self-regulate when it comes to security.

“If we allow Facebook to write its own regulations…they will continue to mislead us and underinvest in the most basic security systems,” she said.

“They could make very simple changes and lose a fraction of the profits to make things safer.”

Ms Haugen said changes could include appointing a moderator in groups of 10,000 people or more and removing share buttons in some cases, asking people to copy and paste content onto their page instead. .

In January, employees of Meta – the company behind Facebook – told the committee that security was at the heart of the company.

Policy officer Mia Garlick said all reports of Facebook putting profits above the safety of their users were “categorically false”.

The commission is due to submit a final report to parliament by mid-February.

Australian Associated Press