We all know very well that how important role does this Social networks play in our daily life. But, now it seems bit risky Social networks had entered into agreements with the company Geofeedia, a platform that analyzes the location of people, and then sold the data to the authorities, according to the research by ACLU.
Facebook, Twitter, And Instagram Exposed User Data To Surveillance Company
Every time you use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, social networks can reach you, without your knowledge, even police can also do the same. That’s what says the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
On Tuesday, the ACLU reported the results of an investigation of public documents where it found that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter had shared publications of users and even their locations with a company called Geofeedia, selling this information to its customers, including some 500 police and public safety agencies.
“These documents revealed the rapid expansion of surveillance by social networks with little or no discussion or supervision,” said Matt Cagle, an attorney for ACLU in the state of California, in a press release. “The government should not have a favorite expression of users in social networks for the purpose of monitoring access.”
Geofeedia is a company that developed a platform that analyzes the content on social networks to find trends that allow customers to react quickly to an event or incident. These data are automatically acquired after entering through a special contract difficult to obtain by an individual, the content of Facebook and Twitter. Geofeedia used this special access for the authorities to become customers, as shown by some letters obtained by the ACLU.
According to Cagle, ACLU informed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram unit of its investigation. The three social networks have already taken the necessary steps to eliminate or reduce Geofeedia access to user data, according to the lawyer. Instagram will not give access to publications of users, Facebook cut off access to publications on a trending topic, while Twitter said it would suspend access to data completely.
Cagle stated, “even social networks do not have a public policy that prohibits the exploitation of user data for surveillance”.
For its part, Facebook stated that “Geofeedia only had access to data that people chose to go public. Their access was subject to the limitations of our policy platform, detailing our expectations of what they can do developers receive data using the Facebook platform. If a developer uses our API in a way that has not been authorized, we will take prompt action to stop it and we would end our relationship completely if necessary”.