Facebook suspends and investigates data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon

Lloyd Doyle
July 22, 2018

Since March, Facebook has been auditing developers and third-party data providers because of the issues raised by Cambridge Analytica, another company with alleged ties to Russian Federation that the social network says misused data on 87 million of its users to influence political campaigns. Facebook is investigating whether the company violated the platform's policies in regards to the collection, sharing and storing of user data. The company monitors social media sentiment for a roster of blue chip clients, and also has links to platforms like Twitter and Tumblr.

Facebook Inc. suspended another company that harvested data from its site and said it was investigating whether the analytics firm's contracts with the US government and a Russian nonprofit tied to the Kremlin violate the platform's policies.

"We don't allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram", Facebook said in a statement Friday. The firm has had contracts with several government agencies across the world and Facebook is now investigating if they violated its policies. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg and his exec team will want to be seen to be being tough on companies that don't follow the rules in regards to harvesting personal information from social media.

Facebook said that Crimson Hexagon is cooperating and that so far its investigation hasn't found evidence that the firm obtained Facebook or Instagram information inappropriately.

Crimson Hexagon pulls only publicly-available data from Facebook and Twitter, the Wall Street Journal said.

In March 2017, Facebook prohibited user data being used for government surveillance following pressure from civil liberties groups concerned about the targeting of dissidents and protesters.

On its website, Crimson Hexagon boasts that it can provide "instant access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs, reviews and more".

After the publication began inquiring about Facebook's oversight of Crimson Hexagon's government contracts, the social media site suspended the firm's apps on Facebook and its Instagram unit so it could take a closer look. People can share their information with developers on Facebook and Instagram - just as they can when they download an app on their phone. He added that the company allows firms like Crimson Hexagon to produce "anonymized insights for business purposes". It did not respond to a request for comment.

The WSJ reported that Crimson Hexagon may have received data it should not have in at least one instance from 2016.

Crimson Hexagon's Chief Technology Officer Chris Bingham defended the company's work in a blog post on Friday.

In April this year, Facebook had warned investors that more users" data scandals in the future may adversely affect the social networking giant " s reputation and brand image.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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