Facebook updates privacy policies denying developers to harness data for surveillance; Twitter made changes in November.
The best thing to develop business is to win users trust and that is what social media giant Facebook is doing.
It tries its best to make sure that its users feel safe and the data is not used by developers for surveillance as the October 2015 ACLU report had pointed it.
It had reported then that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram “provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that we have seen marketed to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters.”
It is understood that this is to end after the social media tweaked up its privacy policies and said it is “committed to building a community where people can feel safe making their voices heard.”
This is what Rob Sherman, Facebook’s deputy chief privacy officer, posted on the company’s privacy page: “Today we are adding language to our Facebook and Instagram platform policies to more clearly explain that developers cannot ‘use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.’”
This is good news for those skeptics who always thought that the data could be used for surveillance.
Last year ACLU had pointed out about how locations and other personal information of social media users were vetted by the Geofeedia tool and then made available to 500 law enforcement and safety agencies.
“Using Geofeedia’s analytics and search capabilities and following the recommendations in their marketing materials, law enforcement in places like Oakland, Denver, and Seattle could easily target neighborhoods where people of color live, monitor hashtags used by activists and allies, or target activist groups as ‘overt threats,’” the ACLU wrote.
“We know for a fact that in Oakland and Baltimore, law enforcement has used Geofeedia to monitor protests.”