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Facebook suspends another analytics firm amid questions over surveillance

Published: July 22, 2018
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Source: The Guardian

Facebook has suspended a social media analytics firm from accessing user data while it investigates potential violations of its policy barring surveillance.

The firm, Crimson Hexagon, boasts an impressive list of blue chip clients and claims to have collected more than 1tn public social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sources. It uses artificial intelligence and image analysis to monitor social media and provide customers with insights into public sentiment about their brands.

But the company had its access to the Facebook and Instagram APIs shut off Friday after the Wall Street Journal queried Facebook about Crimson Hexagon’s contracts with the US government, a Russian not-for-profit with ties to the Kremlin, and the Turkish government.

“We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram. We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate,” said a Facebook spokesman.

“Based on our investigation to date, Crimson Hexagon did not obtain any Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately,” he added.

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