Tech

Facebook suspends another data analytics firm over surveillance concerns

Tech giant Facebook has suspended another analytics firm during its own investigation into data sharing and collection on the social media platform.

Crimson Hexagon, a US company offers "consumer insights" and works with government agencies around the world.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the firm had contracts "to analyse public Facebook data for clients including a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin and multiple US government agencies".

Its clients also include the likes of Adidas, Samsung and broadcaster the BBC. According to its website, it works with more than one trillion posts from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to form its insights.

Though gathering and sharing data insights from the platform is not against Facebook's privacy policy, it prohibited user's information being monitored for government surveillance in March 2017.

Read more: Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter to testify before US Congress this week

"We dont allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram," a Facebook spokesman said.

"We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate,”

"Based on our investigation to date, Crimson Hexagon did not obtain any Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately."

A blog post from Crimson Hexagon on Friday did not directly address the suspension, but did defend its work.

"Crimson Hexagon only collects publicly available social media data that anyone can access," wrote chief technology officer Chris Bingham.

"Cambridge Analytica raised alarm surrounding the potential for misuse of private Facebook data, but public data appears to be coming under increased scrutiny as well. To be abundantly clear: What Cambridge Analytica did was explicitly illegal, while the collection of public data is completely legal and sanctioned by the data providers that Crimson engages with, including Twitter and Facebook, among others.

"The real conversation is not about a particular social media analytics provider, or even a particular social network like Facebook. It is about the broader role and use of public online data in the modern world."

Read more: Cambridge Analytica destroyed by 'concerted' media campaign, says boss

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