Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Facebook suspends analytics firm over data usage

Facebook suspends US-based analytics firm Crimson Hexagon over data concerns Image courtesy Reuters
Russell Knight | 22 July, 2018, 05:53

Facebook introduced a policy banning developers from using public user data for surveillance in March 2017, following revelations that police departments were using social media monitoring company Geofeedia to track protesters.

Facebook said it was looking into whether some of these deals were in violation of its policies on surveillance.

The newspaper cited documents which it claimed showed that Crimson had used publicly accessible data from Facebook to study public opinion of president Vladimir Putin, as part of its contract with the Russian group, and said it had accumulated the largest repository of public social media posts from a variety of sites and apps.

For now it's just a suspension - there's no evidence of wrongdoing yet - but Crimson Hexagon was blocked from the Facebook and Instagram feeds after the Wall Street Journal raised questions about its connections to the United States government, a Russian organization linked to the Kremlin, and the Turkish government.

The company has had contracts in recent years to analyse public Facebook data for third-party clients, the report claimed.

"We don't allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram", the Facebook spokesman said in the e-mail statement.

He added: "We need to really take the oversight of these organisations seriously and they should not be at the table".

Proteas floundering despite Maharaj wicket haul
Dananjaya and Rangana Herath frustrated South Africa through the morning session as they added 61 runs to the overnight total. Sri Lanka are without regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, who is suspended for the series over a ball tampering incident.

Forcing China on trade with illegal action will not work - EU's Malmstrom
The deal will be signed in Tokyo, although this is largely a ceremonial exercise as the agreement was struck late previous year . The difference reflects exceptions on such products as rice, which enjoys strong political protection from imports in Japan.

Cousins fires back at critics: 'I don't give a f-'
Boogie continued by saying "time is on my side" regarding his recovery, and that it helps that "I'm not needed right away". When he was asked about his relationships with Golden State's biggest stars, Cousins revealed who his favorite Warrior is.

In a blogpost published Friday afternoon, Bingham drew a distinction between Cambridge Analytica, which collected private data from Facebook users, and Crimson Hexagon, which he said only used public social media data. The company's customers include Adidas, BBC, General Motors, Samsung and Twitter and Walmart. People can share their information with developers on Facebook and Instagram - just as they can when they download an app on their phone. It did not respond to a request for comment.

It said Crimson Hexagon appears at least once to have mistakenly received private data from Facebook's Instagram service.

Facebook does not prohibit third parties like Crimson Hexagon from providing data to government agencies for market research purposes, for example when the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wanted to find out how people perceived the organization.

In a blog entry posted by the firm on Friday, its chief technology officer Chris Bingham defended the company's work - without specifically mentioning Facebook's investigation.

Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at University College Cork, Professor Barry O'Sullivan, said when it comes to data privacy and data protection, social media platforms should not be allowed to regulate themselves.

You could be forgiven for arguing there seem to be really only three or four stories about Facebook at the moment, and that the crush of news coverage lately generally falls into one of those buckets.

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