If we talk about privacy and “old” social networks, you’re long-forgotten and beloved MySpace also spied on your private messages, as some ex-workers of the company recognize.
Privacy in social networks is one of the main concerns that the user has when it comes to facilitating their photography, personal information, and even when exchanging private messages.
That’s where Facebook’s recent privacy problems come from, where users now think twice about putting certain information on the social network, in case there are consequences in the future.
But before there was Facebook, there were other social networks like MySpace. If you spend 30 years for sure you previously had an account on MySpace, which worked almost very similar to Facebook where you could add your friends, and at the same time also have some communication with certain musical groups.
Well, as it has been detached from former MySpace workers, that social network also spied on you and was even able to read your private messages. A report published by Vice notes that its former employees had access to a specific tool to spy on its more than 100 million users.
Supposedly, the employees had access to a tool called Overlord to know the passwords and also the private messages of the users. Although this tool was designed to moderate the platform, it was also used to respond to requests for data from the authorities, which allowed the workers of this social network to spy on their own users without their consent.
The tool, which was easy to access for employees and easy to use, also supposedly would have been used without any type of court order and simply by secretly checking information from some colleagues.
Hemanshu Nigam, the security officer at MySpace between 2006 and 2010, has clarified that all companies have a tool of these characteristics to comply with the requests of law. In addition, it indicates that since its arrival, stricter data protection security policies have been introduced. He adds that there were strict access policies, training programs on the use and management monitoring to guarantee a fair use and that any employee who ignored these rules was fired.
The tool still exists today, but it seems that it is no longer used in the same way and that it allows MySpace to protect users from security threats and cyberbullying.
So if you came to have a MySpace account in the past, and came to exchange certain private messages, it is likely that some of those messages also reached the eyes of a stranger.