A former Facebook employee and Air Force veteran is suing meta, claiming he was fired for raising concerns over a protocol that allowed Facebook employees to access deleted user data.

On Tuesday, Brennan Lawson filed a lawsuit in California. Lawson stated that Facebook hired him in July 2018.

His work was very similar to Facebook's army of content moderators. Viewing graphic material including be-h***ings.

Lawson and his team viewed high-profile material, according to the lawsuit. It had been flagged by journalists, law enforcement and governments on Facebook.

Lawson claims that in 2019, Facebook created a protocol that allowed his team access to Messenger data, even if an individual deleted it.

According to the lawsuit, this contradicts what Facebook claimed it would do.

Lawson claims that Facebook had for years claimed to users that once content was deleted, it would no longer be stored on Facebook servers.

According to the lawsuit, the protocol was used for accessing user data when law enforcement sought information about a suspect.

The lawsuit states that Facebook would like the Escalations Team to use the back-end protocol to answer the law enforcement agency and decide how much to share.

Lawson claims that Facebook retaliated against his questioning the legality and protocol of the meeting. It used the pretext of his grandmother's hacked Facebook account to fire him.

Lawson's grandmother contacted him in 2019 to inform her that her Facebook account had been hacked.

Lawson claims he directed her case through appropriate channels to restore her accounts. 

However, Facebook fired him, claiming that he didn't follow company protocol when he entered his grandmother's email address in an admin tool.

Reporters contacted Meta about the lawsuit, but Meta did not respond immediately. Lawson's lawyer did not respond immediately when contacted outside of normal US work hours.