Short Bytes: The ACLU of California has released some records that show Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram shared the user data with a company named Geofeedia which makes surveillance products used by government law enforcement agencies. Following the exposure, these social media networks have cut off their feeds to Geofeedia.
The data shared by these companies included the locations, pictures, and other information shared by the users on their social media profiles. After this public exposure, these social media giants have cut-off Geofeedia’s access to their data feeds.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) October 11, 2016
Geofeedia calls itself a company that analyzes the social media posts to deliver real-time surveillance to 500 law enforcement agencies. In the recent times, it has grown to become one of the heavyweights when it comes to supplying aid to police.
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Shedding more light on the subject, in a blog post, ACLU writes that neither Facebook nor Instagram has a public policy that stops the developers from exploiting the user data for spying. On the other hand, Twitter has a ‘longstanding rule’ that prohibits the sale of user data and its use to investigate or surveil users.
This revelation highlights another dark side of the rise of social media and its exploitation by the governments to keep a close eye on users’ activities.
We have reached out to Geofeedia, Facebook, and Twitter for a comment. We’ll be updating this article if we receive any update.
These companies need to enact strong policies to protect the free speech rights and user data. What do you think? Don’t forget to drop your feedback in the comments section below.
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